Here’s a simple tool to use in your department, project or any time two or more people work together. It helps agree on who’s doing what.
R = Responsible or Resource
A = Accountable
C = Consulted
I = Informed
“Accountable” means ultimately responsible; the person who has this as his/her responsibility towards the outside world, or “where the buck stops.”
“Responsible” or “Resource” means the person having to deliver the task.
“Consulted” – person(s) who will be asked for opinions, checked with and generally involved in decisions.
“Informed” – persons who must be informed of progress, decisions
First, list all the tasks and/or responsibilities along the side and all the persons involved across the top. Not department names or groups. People.
Now, start a conversation: Go through the list of tasks and ask: “Who is accountable for this task – who is responsible, who MUST be consulted and who needs to be informed?”
Expect disagreements if you do this for the first time. It is simple, but not always easy to agree on this. The process of doing this is in itself useful. You may find overlaps and gaps between the responsibilities in your group.
Every Task must have an “A” and an “R” attached to it – it can, of course, be the same person.
Once the form starts to be filled out, it can give lots of information at a glance.
Look at the figure.
“Task 2 will not be done” since nobody is Accountable.
“Why does Fred have to be consulted in all these matters?”
“Who is doing Task 5?”
“What is John doing?”
“Who is REALLY in charge of Task 3?"
Once you start getting practise in doing this, you will never NOT set up a RACI diagram for your work, and your life will become easier.