Embrace the Power of the RACI matrix!

May 23, 2023

By Kathryn Lopez

A RACI chart is one powerful tool for project management that helps define roles and responsibilities for each project team member, turning the old phrase, “Too many cooks in the kitchen,” on its head. Furthermore, this tried and true tool has the additional benefit of being very easy to understand and implement without costly software or training. Since a smooth implementation is the foundation of a successful HCM system, we cannot underestimate the effectiveness of introducing the RACI chart very early on.

Defined Roles

The RACI chart also known as the Decision Matrix or Responsibility Chart dates back to the 1950s. It charts four roles against whatever responsibilities a group is working with. The four roles are:

Defining the RACI’s roles against the project’s responsibilities helps avoid confusion and sets expectations. When teams can thoroughly list out the tasks and milestones of a project, leveraging a RACI chart exposes gaps and minimizes overlap. This assists in creating a well-defined project team ready to execute in sync.

RACI Improves Communication

A RACI chart improves communication between team members by clarifying:

  • who needs to be consulted as the project progresses
  • who only needs to be informed about the project’s progress.

These are different levels of communication. And it is important to make this distinction.

Projects have many moving pieces, which, over time, can blur the lines of who should be involved and at what level. Using a RACI chart sets a level of expectation and transparency with the team. The matrix identifies who the players are and how they relate to each other. This will leverage success, minimize misunderstandings, and create cohesiveness. at the onset and throughout the project

By clearly defining who is responsible and accountable for each task, a RACI chart helps to increase accountability, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and to a high standard. In addition, understanding the specific part each of these roles plays in the project allows focus on what they can control. 

RACI Increases Efficiency

A RACI chart is critical to increasing efficiency within a team. While most project teams are anxious to cross the finish line, the RACI helps define the lanes where everyone will run as they work together. Several workstreams overlap in an HCM system implementation project, making accountability and responsibility a bit murky. Applying the logic of a RACI chart leads to clarifying discussions about roles and responsibilities which leaves the team ready to focus on the work at hand. These efficiencies are the best reason for any HCM project implementation to begin with a well-defined RACI chart.

There are several other alternatives to RACI. The RASCI matrix, adds a support role to the typical RACI roles, or DACI, which identifies Drivers. Some Rapid development or Scrum frameworks forego RACI. Still, the bottom line is defining stakeholder roles, responsibilities, and involvement using RACI or a similar tool, is critical in the complex world of HCM implementations. 

 HRchitect is the leader in quality HCM Implementations including Client Side Project Management.  For more information contact us here

About the Author

Kathryn Lopez is the Director of HRchitect’s Ceridian Implementation Practice. Kathryn is a seasoned HCM professional with a proven history of strategic management in Human Resources. Her HCM expertise encompasses all aspects of Human Resource automation Her experience includes all functions and modules of HCM software.

For more information about the author: Kathryn Lopez on LinkedIn