End Project Chaos with RACI Charts

Abbott and Costello famously did a baseball comedy skit called “Who’s On First“.

In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s the premise: Costello is asking Abbott about the names of the players on the baseball team, which leads to utter confusion through a series of questions and ridiculous answers.

The skit reminds me of when companies are executing projects. Even with a solid communication plan and project charter, knowing who’s on the team, what role they play, and how a task will get completed is a common circus act AV companies struggle with all the time.

AV companies get very excited when that big client finally comes in and grants them the project. They assign a Project Manager and throw any and every resource at it. Because so much pressure is put on the PM and Account Manager to be successful, they start down the rabbit hole of having MORE:

  • Meetings
  • Calls
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Reports

While hoping this will lead to a smooth and successful project, it just leads to more CONFUSION!

Ready to end the chaos of project roles, responsibilities, and tasks? Then it’s time to start using RACI charts.

What is RACI

RACI helps you identify the roles and responsibilities against the task in the project.

Responsible: These are the individuals doing the work to complete the task.

Accountable: When the work doesn’t get done, this person is where the buck stops as they have ultimate decision-making power.

Consulted: These individuals get consulted by the responsible party before any actions and decisions.

Informed: These individuals receive one-way communication with updates/status reports of the project task from the responsible party.

How To Build A RACI Chart

It is best to create your RACI chart at the beginning of the project. In a spreadsheet or table-based document, start listing the activities or tasks that need to happen in the first column. Then, list the titles, roles, or people involved in the project in the next columns. 

Once complete, start to outline which role or individual is an R, A, C, or I.

Click here to download the RACI Chart Template I use

Note whenever you’re creating a RACI Chart, there can only be one A assigned for each task. Assigning multiple individuals to be accountable will create confusion in deciphering who is the ultimate decision-maker.

The Benefits of Using RACI

While it seems simple, building RACI charts takes a lot of effort and attention to detail, and in some cases, it can cause more confusion or slow down the pace of projects in the beginning as each task is analyzed.

Once complete, though, a RACI has several huge benefits:

  1. Define clear responsibilities for each role and individual in the project.
  2. Be more efficient by reducing redundancy in a task and efforts to completion.
  3. Improve communication amongst the project team.
  4. Ability to balance resource workload based on task and responsibility assignments
  5. Transparency amongst the project team.

Using the right tools on a project always makes the job easier. Start using RACI charts today to give your team clear visibility of project roles and tasks, and to improve team communication.