RACIS Matrix Framework

Overview

The RACIS Matrix framework was first introduced in the 1950s and is a powerful tool for defining and clarifying roles and responsibilities for every task within a business process.  This is particularly valuable when a process involves multiple departments and functions.   A RACIS (pronounced “ray-see”) matrix is a versatile tool used to improve inter-departmental collaboration, communication, and teamwork as well as highlight opportunities for increasing efficiencies, decreasing cycle times, and establishing performance expectations.

Although primarily used by large companies, the RACIS matrix is entirely applicable to and beneficial for smaller companies.  When roles and responsibilities are not clear, tasks go undone, time and money is wasted and resentment between individuals and departments build.  Often seen as interpersonal conflict, the underlying cause may be rooted in gaps in communication or misunderstandings about who is responsible for what.

RACIS is an acronym for five distinct roles within a process.  The role can be either a position or a department.  If a department, a RACIS within the department should be created to define the roles and responsibilities of the positions.

  • Responsible – assigned to do the work.
  • Approver – has ultimate authority and owns the decision or outcome. There can only be ONE Approver of a task or deliverable.
  • Consulted – must be communicated with before a decision is made, or an action is taken.
  • Informed – must be notified that a decision has been made or an action has been taken.
  • Support – must support the assigned work.

Framework Basics

In a RACIS matrix, the tasks of a process are listed in the rows and the positions or departments are listed in the columns.  That is consistent with how a company operates.  Processes run horizontally while departments are organized vertically.

When deconstructing a process into its constituent components…