Responsibility problems, RACI it

Have issues around who is responsible for completing certain critical site tasks, who should have created the order, who should have approved it and who should have called it off? RACI could be your simple yet powerful solution.

RACI, as an acronym has been around for a while and is widely used in business. It is however not that widely used in Construction especially on site. RACI is the most common form of a Responsibility Assignment Matrix derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used:

R = Responsible

A = Accountable

C = Consulted

I = Informed

This may seem basic but starts to become a very powerful tool when well defined and understood by your team. Once you have set the RACI for a specific task, you can also use it to ensure the right people are invited to meetings and that the outcomes of decisions are communicated to the correct people.

The recommended and more detailed definition of the RACI is as follows:

Responsible

  • “The doer(s)”
  • The position(s) that actually completes the task(s) and is responsible for action/ implementation within the delegated authorities
  • Responsibility can be shared (i.e. more than one R’s possible). The degree of responsibility is determined by the function/position holder with the ‘A’.
  • Will be held accountable for the consequences of decisions made
  • Provides guidance/expert advice to others and also seeks guidance/expert advice from others
  • May delegate components of the accountability to others (e.g. direct reports) but is still accountable for ensuring that it is done and for the outcome.

Accountable

  • “The buck stops here”
  • The position which is ultimately responsible
  • Delegates the development of the accountability/project and provides context and purpose
  • Sets parameters and provides appropriate authority for delegated decision making.
  • Approves the project outcome/approach (i.e. includes a yes/no authority and a veto power).
  • Only one A can be assigned per accountability

Consult

  • “In the loop”
  • The position(s) which need to be consulted prior to a final decision/action. The advice offered must be robust, well thought through and implementable
  • They are not responsible for preparing the strategy, or developing I implementing the accountability/project, however, should be consulted to ensure engagement.
  • Typically these positions would have some particular subject matter expertise or experience which needs to be drawn on and they are likely to shape the outcomes.
  • This incorporates two-way communication

Inform

  • “Keep in the picture”
  • The position(s) which need to be informed after a decision or action is taken
  • Context and purpose should be for information only
  • Can be internal as well as external
  • A strong component of relationship management
  • This incorporates one-way communication

The above might suddenly make a simple solution sound quite complex but once you start using it you will realize it is straightforward to use.

When creating your first RACI here are some useful guidelines

  • Eliminate “checkers checking checkers”
  • Encourage teamwork
  • 100% accuracy not always required
  • Place accountability ( A ) and responsibility ( R ) at the level closest to the action or knowledge
  • There can only be one accountability per activity
  • Authority must accompany accountability
  • Minimise the number of consults ( C ) and informs ( I )
  • All roles, accountabilities and authorities must be documented and communicated

So if you have issues around who is responsible for completing certain critical site tasks, RACI it.

Andre Montauban

For over 15 years I have gained diverse experience serving in multiple roles on large Commercial and Infrastructure Projects from the ground up. I have genuine commitment to improve the industry while working in a challenging and dynamic environment.