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RAPID vs RACI

by Aug 31, 2019

RACI vs. RAPID Responsibility Matrix

 

Large-scale organizations often find it hard to clarify the task-execution and decision-making roles. Due to this ambiguity, it becomes harder to run a project because of the overhead time of intercommunication.  Small companies also often fail to create a leveled resource allocation according to their relevant skillsets resulting in overloaded and under-loaded resources in terms of responsibilities.

To resolve these problems, it is important not only to clearly define the core responsibilities but also the overall scope of each role while maintaining transparency between the resources.

Fortunately, the best project management practices provide several responsibility delegationtechniques to overcome the unnecessary time costs in a project. The most popular and widely used matrix isRACI and its well-known variations like RACI-VS, RACIO, RASCI.  Much less widely adoptedmethod is RAPID, while seen as an opponent to RACI; RAPID’s purpose is slightly different.  To understand what and when to use each one, let’s first clarify their meaning and core purpose.

 

What is RACI?

Concept and Purpose

It is the linear responsibility matrix which simply structures the raw information of the tasks and roles of a project in a way that all the project stakeholders know who is doing what and whom to ask about a certain task.  The full form of this acronym is quite self-explanatory:

R:Responsible

Who is/are going to implement the task.

A: Accountable

The authoritativeand the answerable one, who will be making the decisions. This rolewill be questioned by the higher authorities and will face direct consequences of the failure of the tasks.Although technically the responsible roles will automatically be accountable toothey may notnecessarily have any high stakes. It is vital to keep just one A for each task to avoid any decisional conflicts.

C: Consulted

These are usually the knowledge sources whose collaboration is necessary to reach the task and project goals. They often are substantially opinionating on different subtasks.

I: Informed

These can and cannot belong to the core task force and can be acting as a “Responsible” in any other correlated task of the project. They are given all the latest task updates on a regular basis.

How to make a RACI chart?

 

The concerned role draws a table, puts all the tasks horizontally and the roles vertically. After which the team determines the RACI values for each cell to complete the matrix. Ideally, there should be one and only one “A” against one task, one or more but not all “Rs” and a good number of “Cs” and “Is” to ensure communication.

Variations of RACI

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RACI-VS

RACI-VS offers two extra indicators i.e. Verification (V) and Sign-Off (S). In core RACI, there is a chance of missing out any completion details against any task. To overcome any possible deficiencies in any task, RACI-VS allows marking those roles as “V” who will scrutinize the quality and correctness of a given specific task. And to supervise both “V” and “R” | “A” roles, there will be a role “S”-Sign-off who will provide the task completion verdict by approving it.

RACIO (Or CAIRO)

RACIO offers an extra participation type “O” which often means “Omitted” or “Out of the Loop”. It just allows explicit mentioning of the roles excluded from the scope of a certain task. This helps in clarifying the engaged and unengaged resources in a task/project.

RASCI

“S” which stands for “Support” is a participation type which is similar to “Consult” in terms of the kind of involvement e.g. providing knowledge and resources to a task/project, but differs in the involvement duration and end goals. “Support” roles seek the completion of the task and remains actively involved throughout the task/project timeline. Whereas, the Consultancy roles do not have any such aims.

Other Variations

There can be as many derivatives of the existing matrix as needed. Some of those are as follows:

  • DRASCI: it is just like RASCI but has a “D-Driver” who centrally delegates the responsibilities.
  • DACI: It Replaces “D-Driver” with “R-Responsible” in RACI
  • RATSI: It’s a further derivation of RASCI which highlights the actual “T-Task” performers which can further help in detailed Resource evaluation.

What is RAPID?

RAPID is quite different from RACI. It focuses on assigning decision-making responsibilities between different roles, unlike RACI which is purely task-driven. The need for RAPID originated with the growth of continuously evolving and collaborating hierarchies of one or more companies or teams where there are multi-level managerial and leadership roles against any single decision.

RAPID has the participants who:

  • R: Make Recommendation
  • A: Establish Agreement
  • P: Perform and Execute
  • I: Provide Necessary Inputs
  • D: Make centralized Decisions and enforce them

RACI vs RAPID- How to choose?

If you are looking forward to choosing between two major morphs of the matrices you can make a pros-cons chart to see which one will possibly suit more in your case.

None of the matrices can be labeled as good or bad. The effectiveness of each depends completely upon the relevance of the matrix with respect to the nature of the project, tasks and work body’s hierarchy.

Another important heuristic to understand the applicability is to calculate the overall costs of adoption of a certain matrix and compare it to your process models to see if it is affordable in terms of time and money and can do more good than bad.

RACI is practically more beneficial because usually, the organizational size is rarely this huge or variable which could possibly need a whole structure for its decision-makers. The small to medium-sized corporations are mostly concerned with task completion and rarely make any significant amendments in the hierarchy.

RAPID works better only when a certain level of experience and expertise to take its full advantage. Otherwise, it can become a burden and result in huge overhead costs.

Best Practice Recommendation:

It is best to avoid adopting two or more completely different matrices at once. Practitioners usually go for simpler options so that all the team members can easily understand the bigger picture

RACI is the most feasible of all the options and it makes it easier for the leaders to start from scratch and improvise to find the best-fitted variation, however, it has shortcomings within real-world situations.  Hence, our recommendation is to adopt the RASCI & RACI VS extensions as part of your responsibility assignment program.