What Is a RACI Chart?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A RACI chart is a useful tool to clarify roles and responsibilities. Learn what RACI stands for and what details to include in each section of the chart.

[Featured image] A project management team discusses the RACI chart for an upcoming project.

On a project with multiple tasks, multiple people, and multiple phases, it is important to keep track of who is responsible for all the tasks and deliverables. This is where a RACI chart, also known as a responsibility assignment matrix, proves useful. A RACI chart helps you keep track of team member and stakeholder roles and responsibilities by mapping them out in one place.  

RACI is an acronym for:

  • Responsible

  • Accountable

  • Consulted

  • Informed

Using a RACI chart helps with decision-making and reduces hold-ups when waiting for approvals. It is particularly useful if you have team members or stakeholders with multiple roles to keep track of. For example, one member might be responsible for a specific task as well as consulting on a different task. 

Sections of a RACI chart

Let’s take a look at the elements of a RACI chart in detail:

Responsible: This refers to the decision-maker who is ultimately responsible for the overall project or task. This section should ideally have only one person listed per task to avoid confusion so that everyone knows who to go to for updates and information. 

Accountable: The person listed here is responsible for reviewing and overseeing work. They may or may not be the person doing the work. In some cases, the project manager who is also listed in the “responsible” category is accountable, but it can equally be someone else in a senior role. For each element of a project, there could be someone different who is accountable, but only one person should be accountable for a single task.

Consulted: The people listed here are generally subject matter experts or stakeholders. Their knowledge or position is needed to complete and sign off tasks, and dialogue is ongoing between them and the person responsible. There might be multiple people in this part of the chart for different tasks. 

Informed: These can be multiple people or groups who receive updates about project progress and completion. They are not necessarily a part of the team working on the project but need to be updated regularly. If your consulted section is too large, you might be able to move some people into the informed section if you feel it’s appropriate, such as some stakeholders who need to know what is going on but don’t necessarily need to be consulted.

Related terms

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