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Using a RACI Matrix to Improve Project Delivery

If your organization uses marketing technology, or really technology of any kind, a best practice for project delivery is to first create a "matrix" organizational structure. By grouping team members together by their roles or functions, organizations can create very specialized skills within each of these functional capabilities. When projects launch, this enables you to form a project team with the right team members at the exact time needed. Bringing together team members in this manner is highly efficient, and allows you to deliver quickly and with deep expertise in specialized areas. However, ensuring everyone knows their precise responsibility is paramount to project success. A tool that could help you accomplish this is the RACI matrix.

The term RACI is an acronym that stands for Responsible (R), Accountable (A), Consulted (C), and Informed (I). The matrix is simply a cross-reference of the roles vs. the work, with the RACI definitions at the intersection points. Here is a simple example:

An example RACI diagram for use in technology projects

In order for a RACI to be fully effective, you must have a clear understanding of what each of the RACI components means:

  • Responsible: This is the person actually doing the work. There may be more than one individual who is responsible for a given task.
  • Accountable: This is the person who is ultimately accountable for the completion of the work. This is who you go to when things are not getting done well or on time. A best practice is to only have one person be considered accountable for a given task.
  • Consulted: This is often a group of individuals who play an indirect role in the work. These are likely subject matter experts on the topic or task.
  • Informed: This is an individual(s) who needs to be aware of the status or outcome of the work, but not directly play a part in the outcome.

A RACI is a fairly easy-to-use framework that clarifies any uncertainty about who is doing what on your project. It doesn’t take much time to create and it is easy for team members to follow and understand. At Merkle, we consider this a best practice that we apply regularly.