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What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) in Project Management?

A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management, also known as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, details all the necessary stakeholders and clarifies responsibilities amongst cross-functional teams and their involvement level in a project. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed and each letter corresponds to a team member.

A RAM in project management should be referred to by all parties throughout a project because it helps plan an individual’s roles and responsibilities before work begins. A RACI matrix ensures all stakeholders know who is responsible for completing a task or getting feedback on deliverables.

The four roles are broken down as follows:

Responsibility Assignment Matrix template

A common RAM template looks like the example below. Notice how all stakeholders can have more than one role:


What is a RACI Chart?

Basic project management.

Advanced Project Management

Software Features

What is a RACI Matrix?

A RACI Matrix is a document project management teams use to identify which individuals or groups are responsible for a project’s successful completion, and level of influence each will have during the project.

Because successful project management depends on a team-wide understanding of roles and responsibilities, using a RACI matrix (sometimes called a responsibility assignment matrix) to assign the positions sets the project up for success. In short, the RACI matrix can be the project manager’s first project win or first project mistake.

In a hurry? Jump straight to How to Create a RACI Matrix

Defining job roles and responsibilities ensures everyone knows the degree of involvement that is required from them and sets the stage for ensuring project awareness. Additionally, laying out job roles and responsibilities assists in driving the communication plan, governance, and more.

Some of the biggest project challenges are found in statements such as, “I didn’t know you needed to be involved in this topic,” “I didn’t realize you should have been a part of the decision-making,” or “I didn’t know I was responsible for creating this.”

When the lines blur on responsibility, the line blurs on whether or not the given task is completed and completed properly. This is role confusion.’s Top 3 Software Recommendations


Originated in the 1950s and originally called a decision rights matrix, A RACI Matrix clarifies roles and responsibilities for each team member for the duration of a given project. It is also referred to as a RACI matrix, RACI model, RACI diagram, or simply just RACI.

raci illustration.

A RACI matrix is created by the project manager at the start of the project as a key part in establishing the initial human resources planning for the project. RACI charts are typically created for complex projects; however, role confusion can happen even on simple projects, and thus, implementing a RACI chart even for small projects can be beneficial.

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RACI Definitions

The acronym RACI stands for the different responsibility types: responsible , accountable , consulted , and informed . In a RACI matrix, the initials R, A, C, and I are assigned next to the person or job title with each level of responsibility for each task or deliverable.

Within a RACI, individuals will play different roles depending on the task or deliverable but not multiple roles.

A challenge of the RACI approach is to ensure the definitions of the roles are clear. If you are not using a template that provides a brief definition, consider including one in the margin or a link to the definitions to maintain clarity and minimize confusion.


The individual(s) with responsibility for the task or deliverable is typically responsible for developing the deliverable or completing the activity. The persons responsible are typically working-level project team members, such as the project manager, business analyst, developers, or those who create marketing material and technical documentation, for example. These are the doers.

Drawback: A RACI doesn’t distinguish the primary “doer” versus another team member participating in completing the task.


The accountable party is typically the person or group responsible for ensuring the work is complete and suitable. This is usually someone with signature authority or the decision-maker. The accountable parties are typically the business owner, business sponsor, steering committee, key stakeholders, information security or governance bodies, or the manager of the key responsible party.

Drawback: While there should only be one person accountable, that is not always the case. Having more than one person listed as accountable can cause confusion. Try to have just one when possible. Also accountable doesn’t mean that the person is signing off on the work or reviewing for quality.

Consulted individuals are those from whom feedback and input should be solicited. Consulted parties could be legal, information security, compliance, and subject matter experts (SMEs) from other departments in the organization that could be impacted. If you are working on new product development, this could essentially be the entire organization.

Consulted individuals or groups should be consulted prior to starting a task or deliverable to understand the requirements, constraints, and risks as well as after completion to ensure every angle has been considered in the results.

Informed persons are those you simply want to keep in the loop. These individuals do not have to be consulted or be a part of the decision making. Keep this group on your cc list for awareness of topics, decisions, and progress. Also, invite this group as optional attendees for kickoff meetings and project demos.

Drawback: Knowing the difference between who needs to be consulted versus informed could be a challenge due to organizational ambiguity and sometimes organizational maturity and reorganizations.

Suggested Books

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) has a section for RACI under matrix-based charts. The PMBOK uses RACI as an example of RAM. A RAM serves the purpose of showing which activities belong to project members. For more information about the PMBOK Guide, we wrote an article for you .

How to Create a RACI Matrix

A RACI matrix begins as a simple chart that identifies the work to be done, the members of the team, and which RACI role they’ll hold for each work phase or activity. Below, we’ve created a simple example.

Creating a RACI for each project is a best practice. The below four-step process is an approach that can be followed by the project manager to implement this useful strategy. The biggest challenge with creating a RACI is to avoid ambiguity and ensure optimal clarity.

1. Determine the list of key activities and deliverables

Working with the business owner, sponsor, and other stakeholders, as well as reviewing historical information on past similar projects, start a list of the key activities and deliverables. This will essentially be the basis for your work breakdown structure, so this list should align closely with your project schedule. After multiple reviews, finalize the list, and use that as the basis for a RACI.

2. Determine who is needed to be a part of the project or initiative

This is not limited to the project team. This includes the project team (project manager, business owner, product manager, developers, testers, etc.), the leadership team or steering committee members, impacted departments within the enterprise or at least representation from those bodies, the change management lead, and any other organizational stakeholders with a vested interest in the initiative.

Initially, you may only have names of departments or roles, but if possible, attempt to obtain the actual representatives that will support from each group. If you have already created the organizational chart, you will be able to pull this information from the org chart.

Tip: Determining the group needed for consulting will require a bit of organizational investigation. Try mapping the new product, initiative, or system to determine which functions or groups it touches. Then, determine the key leader for each of those groups—perhaps director’s level—and request that individual to define a consultative point of contact (POC) for their area of the business. Do this in writing to ensure you have documentation of the request and the response.

3. Determine the project roles and responsible job titles and persons for each activity and deliverable

Once you have determined the what (tasks) and the who (responsible persons), it is now time to assign the groups to the activity. This will be an iterative task. As the project manager, take a first cut based on input from your business owner and documentation from similar and organizational artifacts.

Similar to step one, a review of historical documents from similar projects can also help to determine who is needed. older project charters, kickoff decks, organizational charts, project schedules, and milestone plans. Also, try interviewing business owners or project managers from past similar projects to get insight on the roles that participated as well as lessons learned.

Tip: Best practice is to list the names of people along with their project roles. While people may change, having names listed helps to avoid ambiguity, while having the title listed will support future updates as roles change.

When assigning the responsible role, try to limit this to one person, or make a clarifying note if more than one person is listed to avoid ambiguity. Additionally, have a separate person listed for accountability from the person responsible for creation. This ensures clear sign-offs and approvals.

4. Hold review sessions with key members of the team for alignment

Once the initial RACI draft is completed, hold a review session with the team to review the key activities and deliverables and the human resources responsible for each. Share the draft via email, and then, schedule time to review.

Tip: Document the outcomes of the review session, and distribute meeting notes. Let the team know before the meeting that the notes will follow the meeting. This will also help to ensure the key members are paying full attention and are being thoughtful and focused during the review.

What if the project has already started?

It is never too late to step back and ensure clarity. If a project has started, the project manager can use the existing project schedule to create a draft RACI, use the activities defined in Steps 2 and 3 to ensure the right groups are engaged and assigned, and then hold a review session (or sessions) and achieve acknowledgment from the team.

The creation of a RACI and getting the roles as accurate as possible will be key in determining the usefulness of supporting the success of the project.

Implementing a RACI

Email alone will not lead to the effective implementation of a RACI matrix. This key document should be reviewed during a meeting early in the project timeline with all members and stakeholders present — ideally during your project kickoff meeting. Make this a standard part of your project kickoff meeting.

Additionally, send the document around to the meeting distribution as read-ahead material, requesting feedback if there are any major concerns. Obtaining this early feedback will allow for the majority of modifications and discussions to be held in advance of the meeting, leading to a smooth communication of the final RACI.

During the meeting, conduct a review of the tasks and responsible parties. Do not rush through this review, but rather ensure enough time in your project kickoff for this important aspect. Skimming the surface of this review could be dangerous later. Also be certain to clarify the definitions of RACI to avoid ambiguity. This way, all parties are clear on what they are agreeing to.

After the meeting, send out the notes documenting acceptance or updates to the RACI. In addition to sending out the notes, request any changes within a reasonable yet defined timeframe, stating that if no changes are requested, each person is acknowledging their responsibility and committing to the project tasks as outlined.

Consider a quick review each quarter or every six months for longer projects to ensure it remains up-to-date and not simply another document in the repository but a relied-upon artifact.

The Benefits of a RACI

A completed and aligned RACI will be the foundation for other key documents and project planning tasks and will support the development of the following subsequent documents.

Detailed project plan and Gantt chart

The RACI chart will be a good foundation to build your project schedule and Gantt chart on in terms of tasks and responsible roles. It will also be the foundation for your project timeline and/or milestone plan. With a RACI pre-aligned during the kickoff, the project plan finalization should be more focused on time frames and dependencies.

Governance body structure

Now that you have determined the key impacted departments and the key accountable persons, this is a great start to develop a list of candidates for the governing body or steering committee of key stakeholders. Of course, this is not the final determinant, but it provides you a great starting place from which to make suggestions to your business owner and/or business sponsor.

Documentation and activity signature authority (sign-offs)

For each key task and deliverable, including documentation, there should be someone responsible for the project that is responsible for reading, reviewing, and signing off on key tasks and deliverables.

Oftentimes during projects, the project manager is placed in the uncomfortable place of being the project manager and also drafting documentation and reviewing to give feedback that should be given by the signature authority. Having this type of documentation and keeping it up to date will also lessen communications from other teams about who needs to review and sign off on things like requirements, user stories, validations, and documentation.

Communications and meeting planning

A RACI matrix should be used to develop the communications plan. It can tell you what level of participation is needed from which persons or groups on each topic. RACI matrices can help to drive meeting effectiveness by helping to determine who should be in which meetings based upon topic.

It will also help to drive the distinction of who is critical for meetings versus which attendees should be invited as optional. Additionally, RACI matrices also help to determine which parties simply receive a copy of the notes from the meetings.

Being able to distinguish who is really needed in communications will support having the needed participation, as the team will understand that if they were invited in the “To” line of a meeting invite, then they are needed as opposed to being there as a passive listener.

RACI matrices assist in email management. Everyone gets too many emails only adding to team capacity and bandwidth issues. Knowing who needs to be key on which pieces of information versus who belongs on the cc line of emails is important; it helps teams manage their emails and their time by knowing where to focus their attention and work prioritization.

Limitations of RACIs

While a RACI matrix can help to solve challenges associated with project role ambiguity, it has its limitations; however, even many of these can be solved by adding your own variation to the chart.

Role limitations

There are different types of responsibility matrices similar to a RACI which focus on different or enhanced responsibility types. These alternative matrices seek to close some of the earlier identified gaps. For instance, the RASCI, includes the S for supporting members. This version distinguishes the key responsible doer from supporting team members. Supporting members are different from consulting members, as they provide input in the form of work into the doing, yet they are not the primary doer. Their input is not merely consultative feedback but action.

Another gap in a RACI is the determination of who is responsible for verifier and signatory. In this case, you should consider a RACI-VS responsibilities matrix,as the verifier and signer may not be the same party as the individual accountable. Additionally, a RACIQ considers a responsible party for quality, and a RACIO also includes an O for out of the loop, as not everyone has a responsible role for each task. Those designated out of the loop can help manage where there is no role needed, which supports the team’s ability to manage their capacity. When everyone is involved in everything, it can overwhelm the team and distract them from their actual work and support tasks.

In addition to a RACI, RACIO, RACIQ, RASCI and RACI-VS, there are countless others. You can even create your own. There is no limit to which roles you include in your RACI version, find the balance of those that support your team and the work.

Task detail

Additionally, while a RACI matrix can provide an overview of who is responsible for different tasks, it will not state what needs to be done. 

Organizational information, reach back, and past documentation can assist in supporting this limitation. Try to make your task detail clear—focusing on not just the activity but the output. If your organization has a deliverable list by project type or gating items, include them. Add a comment field if helpful.

Not aligned to the agile mindset

While a RACI matrix has been a well-adopted tool for waterfall project managers, project managers using an agile methodology like scrum may find it redundant since the accountability, ownership, and ongoing communication is built into the scrum framework (i.e., product owner, scrum master, and daily standups with the team).

Additionally, agile focuses on team-based delivery and accountability, while the RACI framework and alternatives focus on individual responsibility and autonomous accountability. For agile engagements, consider using teams instead of just roles or a name for certain tasks and roles.

Top RACI Matrix Project Management Tools

Using project management software is one of the best methods to ensure each team member knows their role according to your RACI matrix and has a clear understanding of the work ahead. Your project management platform will allow teams to track each step of the project and see exactly what responsibilities fall to each team member, when they are supposed to be completed, and when they were actually completed.

That’s because project management software typically has built-in collaboration tools that allow team members can quickly consult and update each other regarding project steps. Teams can effectively act and communicate throughout each installment of the project.

We’ve listed five of the best PM tools below. They clearly assign and define tasks to eliminate confusion and promote successful projects.

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4 Smartsheet


Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.

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5 Zoho Projects

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Online project management and issue tracking tool. Collaborate better and complete your work faster. 5 users, 2 projects and more for free. Sign up now!

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More Sample RACI Charts

Below are a few sample RACI charts you can emulate to ensure clear roles and responsibilities on your next project. Consider making one or two of them a part of your standard project documentation as an easy-to-follow template. 

Good templates and samples can also be found on the Project Management Institute’s website .

Sample 1: Color-coded RACI using titles only.

3 RACI Videos You Need to Watch

These first two videos provide you with a short snippet of how RACI can work for you. Looking for a longer explanation? Watch video three.

Video 1: The Basics of RACI

This five-minute video from The RACI & RACI Project Channel covers some of the basics of RACI and how the program can benefit your organization.

Video 2: How to Make Your Own RACI Chart

Make a RACI chart in just 11 minutes with this video from Excel Training 101:

Video 3: How RACI Will Help You Manage

Take it even further with this video from the RACI & RACI Project Channel. This 20-minute video will walk you through how RACI will help you manage matters related to efficiency, accountability, and role clarification. After you answer questions relating to your organization, this RACI video takes you through a hypothetical situation about what it would look like if no one completed a task, and how RACI can manage it.

RACI Matrix Recap

The goal of using a framework like RACI is to ensure clarity. As you go about implementing projects and programs, you may determine a preference for one of the RACI variations, or you may even come up with a new variation that solves another challenge. Project management is an evolutionary science and art. Select the version that best suits your project, team, and the needs of your organization.

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Program Management

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation of various organizations, people, and their roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project. It’s used by the Program Manager (PM) in clarifying roles and responsibilities in a cross-functional team , projects, and processes. A Request for Proposal (RFP) might request a RAM from a contractor.

Definition: A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the role and responsibilities of various people and/or organizations in completing specific tasks for a project.

Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) Matrix

Responsibility assignment matrix (ram) template, template: responsibility assignment matrix (ram) template (excel), responsibility assignment matrix (ram) goal in project management, responsibility assignment matrix (ram) tutorial, responsibility assignment matrix (ram) standard format.

A RAM is displayed as a chart that illustrates the interaction between work packages that need to be done and project team members. Typically, the list of objectives is on the left-hand column with the project team member names across the top. Each work package will be assigned to the appropriate project team member. The chart aids in communication amongst the project team members.

6 Steps to Developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

Developing responsibility assignment matrix (ram) matrix best practices.

Below is a list of best practice topics that can help Program Managers effectively build and use a Responsibility Assignment Matrix.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Lessons Learned

Difference between a responsibility assignment matrix and a responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed (raci) matrix., acqlinks and references:, leave a reply.

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The RACI matrix: Your blueprint for project success

A RACI matrix is a simple, effective means for defining project roles and responsibilities, providing a comprehensive chart of who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed every step of the way.

project management meeting raci

Having managed and rescued dozens of projects, and helped others do so, I’ve noted that there is always one critical success factor (CSF) that has either been effectively addressed or missed/messed up: clarity around the roles and responsibilities for each project participant and key stakeholder. No matter how detailed and complete a project plan may be for any project, confusion or omission of participant roles and responsibilities will cause major problems.

Enter the RACI matrix. The simplest and most effective approach I’ve seen and used to define and document project roles and responsibilities is the RACI model. Integrating the RACI model into an organization’s project life cycle (PLC) creates a powerful synergy that enhances and improves project outcomes.

What is a RACI matrix?

The RACI matrix is a responsiblity assignment chart that maps out every task, milestone or key decision involved in completing a project and assigns which roles are Responsible for each action item, which personnel are Accountable , and, where appropriate, who needs to be Consulted or Informed. The acronym RACI stands for the four roles that stakeholders might play in any project.

In almost 100 percent of these rescue efforts, I have found that there is no shared understanding of participant roles and responsibilities, nor is there explicit documentation to support it. Establishing such a consensus by employing the RACI model almost always gets a stuck project moving again, and enables the key stakeholders to readily deal with the other issues that require resolution.

[ Learn why IT projects still fail at an alarming rate, beware the 12 project management myths to avoid , and find out how to pick the right project management methodology for your team . | Get the latest project management advice by signing up for our CIO newsletters . ]

RACI matrix rules and roles

The RACI model brings structure and clarity to describing the roles that stakeholders play within a project. The RACI matrix clarifies responsibilities and ensures that everything the project needs done is assigned someone to do it.

The four roles that stakeholders might play in any project include the following:

How to create a RACI matrix

The simple process for creating a RACI model includes the following six steps:

RACI matrix example

For purposes of simplification, let’s say your project can be broken down into four discrete tasks, undertaken by a team of application developers, along with a sponsoring project executive, project manager , business analyst , and technical architect.

Step 1 of the process involves mapping out the project as a whole. For this, the project manager is both accountable and responsible for the work at hand. To determine the scope and deliverables of the project, the project manager consults with the project’s executive sponsor and with the business analyst about the process to be overhauled as part of the project. The technical architect and the application developers are subsequently informed of the project plan.

In Step 2, the business analyst must then delve more deeply into the process to help map out each facet of the business process to be overhauled. The business analyst is thus responsible for the task, with the project executive being accountable for signing off on this work. To better understand the technical underpinnings of the current process, the business analyst will consult with the technical architect. The project manager and application developers will then be informed of the conclusions derived from this portion of the project.

Here is an illustration of a simplified RACI model for this example project, taking these first two steps into account:

simplified raci matrix model chart cio

The subsequent third and fourth tasks involve shaping the new process, again with the business analyst responsible for this work, and the other roles on the team following their same responsibilities when the old process was being analyzed in Step 2. Step 4 sees the technical architect taking over, devising a new architecture that will support the new process, signed off by the executive sponsor, and held accountable by the project manager, who devised the scope and deliverables in Step 1.

RACI matrix template

Templates are available for free on the web for those looking to get started with the RACI model. These are typically geared toward Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, but can also be available for more specialized software. Here are several popular possibilities:

RACI matrix best practices

Simply creating a RACI matrix is not enough. You must ensure that the matrix maps to a successful strategy. Here, conflicts and ambiguities in the plan must be hammered out.

Resolving conflicts and ambiguities in a RACI matrix involves looking across each row and up and down each column for the following:

Analysis for each stakeholder:

Analysis for each PLC step or deliverable:

No R’s : Who is doing the work in this step and getting things done? Whose role is it to take the initiative?
Too many R’s : Is this another sign of too many “cooks in this kitchen” to keep things moving?
No A’s : Who is Accountable ? There must be one ‘A’ for every step of the PLC. One stakeholder must be Accountable for the thing happening — “the buck stops” with this person.
More than one A : Is there confusion on decision rights? Stakeholders with accountability have the final say on how the work should be done and how conflicts are resolved. Multiple A’s invite slow and contentious decision-making.
Every box filled in : Do all the stakeholders really need to be involved? Are there justifiable benefits in involving all the stakeholders, or is this just covering all the bases?
A lot of C’s : Do all the stakeholders need to be routinely Consulted , or can they be kept Informed and raise exceptional circumstances if they feel they need to be Consulted ? Too many C’s in the loop really slows down the project.
Are all true stakeholders included in this model : Sometimes this is more of a challenge to ensure, as it’s an error of omission. This is often best addressed by a steering committee or management team.

RACI matrix in project management

It is the above analyses, which are readily enabled by the use of a RACI matrix, that deliver the real benefit of the model. It is the integration of the model with a specific PLC that ensures that the project is structured for success. Without either component, problems with the structure of the project management process may remain hidden until (or even while…) they cause the project to bog down. Making the time and effort to create a customized PLC/RACI for each significant project is an opportunity to design your project management process for project success.

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What is the RACI Model?

assignment matrix types

Project management is constantly evolving in it’s technology and trends, from RACI to Gantt and back. It’s no wonder that sometimes it feels like a Pandora’s box of different decision makers, project roles, and responsibilities. This is particularly true if you don’t have a project plan and the structures in place to complete the task milestones from start to finish while managing the responsible parties involved.

Without this, it’s pretty easy for the right hand to be in the dark about what the left hand is doing. One steadfast method involves the use of something called a RACI chart. In this blog, we’ll cover what the RACI model is, why it’s important for a healthy project management environment, and how to implement it the right way.

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What does RACI mean?

The acronym RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed . This is how each of the 4 components is defined:

There are other variations of this method. RACI is the base level, the vanilla ice cream of responsibility matrices. Other versions add their own unique flavors — peanut butter, cookies, and more. RASCI, for example adds the 5th level, support, to the matrix. This could look like a senior developer who works on another project but also has unique experience working with APIs.

What is RACI in project management?

Also called a RACI matrix, RACI charts are a type of responsibility assignment matrices in project management. These simple spreadsheets or tables highlight the different states of responsibility a stakeholder has over a particular task or deliverable and denotes it with the letters R, A, C, or I. It’s typically implemented by color-coding each responsibility level and creating a simple table layout.

raci model color coding responsibility

Generally, nobody should have more than a single responsibility level for each deliverable or activity group in the RACI chart.  In this example, we’ve given every person some level of involvement to keep things simple. But when you make a real model for more than four people, there’s often more white space. We will get more into how class RACI looks and functions later.

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Why do you need a RACI?

The goal of the RACI model is to bring structure and clarity regarding the roles that stakeholders play within a project. This responsibility assignment matrix instills confidence in each responsible person because they know what they are doing— this type of stakeholder engagement is crucial, according to a 2020 study by Wellingtone . In fact, it was ranked as the highest-valued project management process.

PPM process value vs. difficulty chart

RACI provides a concrete and intentional framework to manage all relationships appropriately, from start to finish. A large scale project could involve many stakeholders, like:

Mapping all of their responsibilities out from the beginning and sharing them is an excellent way to avoid miscalculations and blunders that could cost you precious time and money. And of course, it will contribute to your overall stakeholder engagement efforts.

Research-backed tips for effective stakeholder engagement

Before we get into the technical components of creating a RACI chart, let’s dive into stakeholder engagement briefly. A recent McKinsey study highlighted three key areas for engaging external stakeholders effectively — a corporate purpose, active use of technology, and organizational agility.

( Image Source )

How can you apply this research? Check out these tips.

1. Map out deliverables and activity groups thoroughly before using RACI

Don’t jump immediately into assigning individual responsibilities. Start by consulting with subject matter experts and accurately mapping out the moving parts. Only once you’ve got a clear outline of your project can you make educated decisions. That could be your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) or a project roadmap.

2. Don’t be afraid to give responsibility to less senior staff

Assigning the accountable role to a high-level executive or project manager for all tasks is a mistake. Since they have the final say on when a job is complete, you instantly create a bottleneck. Instead, don’t be afraid to assign that role to experienced staff on the project team itself, who is most familiar with the work.

3. Standardize the approach across departments and locations

While a single project team is good, stakeholder relationships don’t exist in a vacuum. Your whole organization must get on board to truly maximize the return on investment. Make distributed responsibility and decision-making part of your corporate purpose. Everyone — from executive to intern — must be on the same page.

4. Use the right digital tools to implement RACI at scale

A written memo isn’t enough to standardize your methods and remove departmental silos. Use digital tools to build a platform for efficient RACI implementation and stakeholder management .

Try RACI template

Join the 127k+ teams that use, who uses a raci matrix.

Even though the RACI model is a project manager’s useful tool for stakeholder management, that doesn’t mean it should be used for all projects. The deciding factors on who uses it relate to the scale of the project and the company structure.

Use the RACI matrix for projects that are:

Don’t use the RACI matrix for:

In Agile organizations, cross-functional teams and collaboration is the default. So task responsibility depends on the employees’ initiative rather than a top-down decision. For Agile teams, implementing a hard version of RACI will likely not be helpful, as teams should be self-organizing.

Traditional vs Agile Organizations

What should a RACI include? RACI model guidelines

RACI has a set of general guidelines to help you implement the method successfully:

How to create a RACI chart with

While there is a wide variety of project management apps out there, in the particular case of a RACI, Work OS provides an outstanding offering of robust integrations and extensibility that allow you to build the exact platform you need to manage this structure and more.

You can get started much quicker with our RACI matrix template and share it with the entire team. Keep track of the RACI roles for all project activities and easily see project phases and individual deliverables for each.

assignment matrix types

In addition to customizations on columns, statuses, and more, easily assign roles to internal users or guest users created for external stakeholders. All assigned roles will automatically get informed of status changes to the work item.

Here are a few more ways you can get the most out of your RACI matrix.

Continually update and revise to reflect the real-time statuses

An out-of-date RACI diagram helps nobody. Use board permissions to let responsible users directly edit the status of the row themselves.

screenshot of setting board permissions in

Keep stakeholders involved with shared boards and dashboards

With, you can easily give them viewer access to project and workflow boards. That way, they know the actual status of the project in real-time. They can then use that information to guide their decisions. You can also inform stakeholders of crucial changes automatically with automations.

Our integrations with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Gmail let you send messages based on status changes, new items, missed due dates, and more.

assignment matrix types

Remove data silos to keep everyone on the same page

Naturally, every department uses a different set of tools and applications.’s robust integrations make it easy to bring all of this data And even if you use custom business apps, you can easily integrate them into using our API and 50+ pre-built adaptors.

RAPID vs.RACI— What’s the difference?

Sometimes when you want to define RACI, it’s important to use another method for comparison.

RAPID and RACI are both two important tools for project managers, but they have different functions. As we have seen, the RACI method revolves around deliverables and the key person responsible throughout each stage of the process. RAPID however, focuses primarily on the decision-making process and the actions made by an organization.

You can see the breakdown of RAPID here:

RAPID method diagram

While making a key decision is a part of the project management process, it’s not the whole journey. The RACI framework outlines who should do a task, who to keep in the loop, and who gets the final say.

Empower stakeholders and don’t miss a beat with RACI charts

The RACI matrix is an excellent method for assigning responsibilities and keeping stakeholders engaged throughout the journey because it clarifies where everyone should focus their energy and makes it easy for people to lead the way in their area of expertise.

That being said, the platform and tools you use to make it automated and up to date can have a significant impact on its success. Use our RACI template and share it with your entire team to ensure everyone understands and deals with it accordingly.

What Is A RACI Chart? How This Project Management Tool Can Boost Your Productivity

Rob Watts

Updated: Dec 14, 2022, 2:20pm

What Is A RACI Chart? How This Project Management Tool Can Boost Your Productivity

The RACI chart has long been a popular tool amongst project managers around the world. Also referred to as the RACI matrix, it’s used to clarify employee roles and responsibilities for each task, milestone and decision that takes place throughout a project.

The chart is designed to ensure clear communication and smooth workflows across all parts of a team. RACI charts can help prevent that sinking feeling when a major decision-maker comes at the end of a project and complicates things with a large number of changes because they weren’t consulted throughout the project.

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What Is a RACI Chart?

A RACI chart, also called a RACI matrix, is a type of responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management. In practice, it’s a simple spreadsheet or table that lists all stakeholders on a project and their level involvement in each task, denoted with the letters R, A, C or I. Once these roles are defined, assignments can be attributed to the roles and work can begin.

R, A, C, I stands for:



Here’s what each designation means:

Responsible designates the task as assigned directly to this person (or group of people). The responsible person is the one who does the work to complete the task or create the deliverable. Every task should have at least one responsible person and could have several.

Responsible parties are typically on the project team and are usually developers or other creators.

The accountable person in the RACI equation delegates and reviews the work involved in a project. Their job is to make sure the responsible person or team knows the expectations of the project and completes work on time. Every task should have only one accountable person and no more.

Accountable parties are typically on the project team, usually in a leadership or management role.

Consulted people provide input and feedback on the work being done in a project. They have a stake in the outcomes of a project because it could affect their current or future work.

Project managers and teams should consult these stakeholders ahead of starting a task to get input on their needs, and again throughout the work and at the completion of a task to get feedback on the outcome.

Not every task or milestone needs a consulted party, but the project manager should consider all possible stakeholders when creating the RACI chart and include as many consulted parties as is appropriate. You should limit this to only necessary input, however. For example, one consulted party per affected team is generally considered best practice to avoid clogging the process with too much input.

Consulted parties may be individuals on the project team who aren’t working on a given task but whose work will be affected by the outcome. They’re also often teammates outside of the project team—even in different departments—whose work will be affected by the outcomes of the project.

Informed folks need to be looped into the progress of a project but not consulted or overwhelmed with the details of every task. They need to know what’s going on because it could affect their work, but they’re not decision makers in the process.

Informed parties are usually outside of the project team and often in different departments. They might include heads or directors of affected teams and senior leadership in a company.

When Should You Use a RACI Matrix?

The framework of a RACI chart is useful for almost any project, although some teams might find it more useful than others

For example, I know in creating this article that I’m the responsible party, because I’m doing the work of writing. My editor is accountable for assigning and reviewing the work. And they likely have consulted and informed others around them, such as a managing editor and an SEO specialist.

But this project is fairly simple. It only takes a few steps and includes a handful of stakeholders. A formal RACI chart comes in handy for complex and long-lasting projects that include lots of stakeholders, tasks and milestones, especially if work is overlapping.

For example, a company’s website redesign would require design, copy and development teams to work on tasks concurrently. Each task would affect work in sales, marketing, finance and business development. Structural changes, timelines and major costs would require input and approval from senior management.

Needs are easily overlooked and requirements dropped in such complex projects.

A project manager typically creates a RACI chart to avoid missing those important details and ensure clear communication throughout the project.

Using RACI with Other Project Management Methodologies

Agile is a very popular type of project management, especially for tech workers. While RACI is applicable to agile project management, schools of thought vary on whether it is necessary for an agile context.

Additionally, the Scrum and Scrumban project management methodologies build project ownership (accountability) into their framework and are designed to facilitate regular communication among project teams and outside stakeholders. That makes a RACI chart seem redundant for this method and possibly a poor use of a project manager’s time.

However, additional communication and clarification—in a systematic fashion—tend to be more of a benefit than a drawback for any project, so some SCRUM project managers find RACI useful for clarifying roles for individual projects or their overall process.

Example RACI Chart (and How to Use It)

assignment matrix types

To create a RACI chart, list all of a project’s tasks down the left-hand column and stakeholders across the top row. For each task, enter an R, A, C or I to assign a level of involvement for each stakeholder in each task.

For example, in the matrix above:

Color coding tasks can be useful to see at a glance whether any team member is responsible for too many tasks within a project and to make sure you’ve assigned at least one Responsible and one Accountable party for each task.

Breaking the chart down by project phases also lets you see how many tasks anyone is responsible for within a certain timeframe, which can help distribute work evenly and avoid overwhelm.

Pros and Cons of RACI

From a project management perspective, things like more organization and clearer communication are generally better, so the benefits of using a RACI chart on a project far outweigh the drawbacks in most cases. With that in mind, teams should be cognizant of the initial time investment of creating a RACI chart and the rigidity of the roles.

You might see additional drawbacks using a RACI chart for your project if your team succumbs to some common pitfalls, including:

RACI Matrix Alternatives

Some teams find the roles designated through the RACI model aren’t the right fit for their projects. You might find better options in these less common alternatives—all use a chart with tasks and stakeholders like RACI, but they use different terms in an attempt to more clearly define roles.

This alternative to RACI uses the RACI model plus S for Supportive. This is someone who participates in doing the work of a task by supporting the responsible parties.

This model designates stakeholders as:

This model simplifies CARS with just the Responsible, Approve and Support roles. It eliminates communication outside the project team, which would need to be accounted for another way in the project management method.

This model includes these roles similar to RACI:

In this model, stakeholders are assigned these actions:

Bottom Line

Projects can be complex, confusing and chaotic. That’s why we rely on team members with the project management skills necessary to reign in the disparate pieces of a project and focus directly on keeping them organized as a project progresses.

A RACI chart is one tool that helps project managers keep a project on track.

By listing all stakeholders and assigning a level of involvement for each task, the chart helps teams communicate clearly and keep the right people in the loop.

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Dana Miranda is a certified educator in personal finance (CEPF) who has been writing and editing since 2011, covering personal finance, careers and digital media. She’s written about work and money for the New York Times, CNBC, The Motley Fool, The Penny Hoarder, a column for Inc. and more. Dana has taught journalists, writers and editors how to write for the web through Utah Valley University, Queen's University at Kingston, ACES: The Society for Editors, the National Association for Independent Writers & Editors, online courses and private trainings. Find her at

Rob is an SMB writer and editor based in New Jersey. Before joining Forbes Advisor, he was a content producer at Fit Small Business. In that role, he was responsible for writing, editing, and strategizing content geared toward small business owners. Before that, he worked at PCMag as a business analyst.

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What Is a RACI Chart? How to Use RACI to Define Project Roles

assignment matrix types

Want to manage projects better? See 100+ reasons customers love TeamGantt.

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It’s a fact: Complex projects make it easy for teams to lose track of tasks.

You might have an air-tight project plan and a stellar team to back it up. But if you’re not crystal clear about assignments—or even involvement—on a task level, confusion, crankiness, and even demotivation will creep into your project team.

Lucky for you, avoiding those issues is as simple as creating a RACI chart. 

In this article, we’ll explain what a RACI matrix is and how it’s used in project management. You’ll also learn how to make a RACI chart using our free Excel template or, even better, build RACI roles directly into your project plan using TeamGantt.

What is a RACI chart?

What does raci stand for, how a raci model is used in project management, how to create an excel raci matrix with template, how to build a raci chart online in teamgantt, raci matrix basics explained.

Looking for a quick breakdown of the basics? Watch this video for a brief explainer of RACI definitions, uses, and examples.

A RACI chart—also known as a responsibility assignment matrix—is a simple diagram used in project management to map task roles and responsibilities.

A RACI chart defines whether the people involved in a project activity will be Responsible , Accountable , Consulted , or Informed for the corresponding task, milestone , or decision.

Using a RACI matrix for a project helps you eliminate confusion by identifying who’s doing what at a more granular level than simple task assignments.

See how TeamGantt's built-in RACI chart feature works.

RACI chart example

This sample RACI matrix gives you a quick glimpse at how roles and responsibilities come together for different project tasks.

RACi matrix example

RACI is an acronym that stands for Responsible , Accountable , Consulted , Informed . Each letter in RACI represents a level of task responsibility on a project.

RACI chart definition guide

This simple chart gives you an at-a-glance view of RACI meanings and how many people to assign to each role in your RACI matrix.

Now let’s define what each role in the RACI acronym means in a little more detail.

What's the difference between Responsible and Accountable in RACI?

While the same person can be both Responsible and Accountable for a task in a RACI matrix, they’re not one and the same. So what’s the difference? 

RACI alternatives

RACI isn’t the only responsibility assignment matrix out there. These RACI model  alternatives provide a small sample of other approaches you might come across in project management.

At its core, a RACI matrix helps you set clear expectations about project roles and responsibilities. That way you don’t have multiple people working on the same task or against one another because tasks weren’t clearly defined on the front end.

A RACI matrix also encourages team members to take responsibility for their work—or defer to someone else when needed. Essentially, you’ll remove personal judgment and politics from your process and focus on your team’s ability to act responsibly within a framework you’ve created. Sounds pretty sweet, huh?

When to use a RACI chart for your project

A RACI chart serves just about every project well. But it’s especially helpful when tasks require multiple resources, run concurrently, or depend on other tasks.

Here are a few scenarios when a RACI roles and responsibilities matrix is useful:

Of course, not all teams and projects are created equally. You might work with a team who just happens to communicate really well and stays on top of their own work. (Lucky you!) Or maybe your project is small enough that it would be silly to take the time to go through this exercise. 

In cases like these, don’t worry about taking the extra step of creating a RACI matrix. Just be sure you have a clear plan in place to guide your team and project.

‍ See the difference a well-thought-out plan can make.

Best practices for using a RACI chart in project management

In a best-case scenario, you’d sit down with your team to walk through the role assignments on each task. But let’s be real: That’s not always possible.

Just be sure everyone represented on your RACI chart has acknowledged and agreed to the roles and responsibilities you’ve laid out. More importantly, you want to check that your matrix eliminates any further project confusion.

These best practices can help you get the most out of your RACI chart:

What are the RACI rules?

Using a RACI chart is a whole lot easier when you follow a few simple rules. Once your RACI chart is complete, review it to be sure it meets these criteria:

If you have a lot of Consulted and Informed roles on your matrix, make sure you have an easy and lightweight way to keep them informed. It could be as simple as making sure everyone has access to your project plan so they can follow progress along the way. Sharing a view-only link to your project in TeamGantt is a great option for looping in folks outside your organization.

Lots of people use Excel to make a RACI chart for their projects. To build a RACI matrix in Excel, simply follow these 5 steps, using the examples below as your guide.

Step 1: List project tasks and deliverables in column A

First, make a list of all the work that needs to be done for your project down the left side of your RACI chart. Enter each project task, milestone, or decision in column A of your Excel worksheet. 

Feel free to group tasks by project phase like we’ve done in the RACI chart example below. That way, your RACI matrix is easy to scan and read.

Excel RACI Chart Step 1: List project tasks and deliverables in column A.

Step 2: Add team members or project roles across row 1

Starting with column B, label each column header with the name of a team member and/or project role. 

Include the people who will execute and review work for the project, as well as any subject matter experts or stakeholders you may need to consult or keep in the loop along the way.

Excel RACI Chart Step 2: Add team members and/or project roles across row 1.

Step 3: Insert a new worksheet for RACI roles and definitions

Click Insert > Insert Sheet from the Home ribbon at the top of your Excel workbook.

Excel RACI Chart Step 3a: Insert a new worksheet for RACI roles and definitions.

Go to your new worksheet, and list each letter of the RACI acronym in column A. Then enter the corresponding role for each letter in column B and their definitions in column C, like we’ve done in the example below.

Excel RACI Chart Step 3b: Enter RACI role and definition details into the new worksheet.

This worksheet provides a handy reference in case you or your teammates need a refresher on RACI roles and definitions. We’ll also use it to populate a drop-down list on your main worksheet to make it easier to assign RACI roles quickly.

Step 4: Add a drop-down list of roles to your RACI matrix

Now, go back to your main worksheet, and click into the first open cell in your RACI chart.

On the ribbon, click Data > Data validation to insert a drop-down list with RACI roles.

Excel RACI Chart Step 4a: Add a drop-down list of roles to your RACI matrix using data validation.

On the Settings tab, choose List under the Allow menu.

Excel RACI Chart Step 4b: Choose List in the Allow drop-down menu.

Click into the Source field, then highlight the data range with your RACI options from the RACI Roles & Definitions worksheet you set up in Step 3. We highlighted cells A2-A5 in our example.

Excel RACI Chart Step 4c: Select the source data for your RACI drop-down list.

Verify your Data validation settings are correct, then hit Enter to add the drop-down list to your selected cell.

Excel RACI Chart Step 4d: Verify your data validation settings.

Copy and paste that cell to apply the drop-down list to other cells in your RACI matrix worksheet.

Step 5: Assign a RACI value to everyone on every task

You’re finally ready to fill out your RACI chart! 

Go down the list of tasks on your RACI matrix, and assign a role to every person who will be involved in that project step or deliverable.

Excel RACI Chart Step 5: Assign a RACI value to everyone on every task.

RACI template Excel download

Want to build an Excel RACI chart of your own, but don't want to start from scratch? Download this blank RACI chart template for free!

Free Excel RACI matrix template screenshot

TeamGantt makes mapping task roles and responsibilities simple by building a RACI chart right into your project plan. Not only does that save you time and paperwork, but it also ensures everyone always has easy access to your RACI matrix online. 

Here’s how to use TeamGantt’s RACI feature for your next project.

Assigning RACI roles and responsibilities to TeamGantt tasks

How to assign RACI chart roles to tasks in TeamGantt

Viewing RACI chart assignments for your project

There are 2 simple ways to view RACI assignments in TeamGantt:

How to view RACI assignments in your gantt chart in TeamGantt

RACI tab example for a project in TeamGantt

Keep your team in sync with TeamGantt

A RACI chart is a simple tool that makes projects easier to manage by creating less confusion and more accountability. But you’ve got more than roles and responsibilities to keep straight.

TeamGantt makes it easy to build a project plan your whole team can contribute to and collaborate on. And because everything happens online, you can stay on top of deadlines and keep up with project progress in real time.

Try TeamGantt for free today!

assignment matrix types

PM Learning Solutions

Two excellent tools for communication and team management are the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) and the project org chart.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

A RAM is a matrix-based chart that is used to illustrate the connections between the work that needs to be done and project team members. A RAM can be developed at varying levels of detail, commonly at the activity or deliverable level.

Typically, the list of deliverables or activities are on the left-hand column with the team member names across the top. Each deliverable or activity will be assigned to the appropriate individuals. This will aid in communication amongst the team members and help expose any gaps that may exist.

A common RAM is a RACI (responsible, accountable, consult, inform) RAM format.


Organization Chart

A project organization chart is a hierarchical chart used to show positions and relationships in a graphic, top-down format.

Project org charts display the project team members and their reporting lines within the project and to the overall organization. This ensures that team members and stakeholders are aware of who is participating in the project and what the reporting structure looks like.

Org Chart

Both org charts and RAMs are helpful in most project team settings. The RAM clarifies roles and responsibilities while the org chart communicates the team members participating in the project and the reporting structure both within the project and to the broader organization.

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