Developing a RACI model for your UX project can be useful when the number of members becomes so large it becomes difficult to keep track of who’s up to date on information, on time with their work output, and who’s in charge of who. RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed- these descriptive words are used in your model to help you label each member of the group in order to manage the collective opinions, set communication expectations and prevent role confusion and conflict during the ongoing project. The RACI document should be frequently updated as the project is worked on, as roles can shift depending on new product needs.
The typical RACI model depicts the expected deliverables on the left hand y axis, while the team members are listed above on the x axis. Those who are in charge of doing the work needed to achieve the deliverable are considered responsible, while those who delegate all of the responsibilities in order to ensure the completed deliverable are considered accountable. For each deliverable or task, you should only have one person listed as accountable. People who are typically the experts in the subject matter of the deliverable and are available to answer questions are listed as consult, while those who are kept up-to-date on progress through one-way communication are informed. Once you have labeled every person during each deliverable, you can then facilitate conversation for feedback using regularly scheduled feedback meetings.
If you’re someone leaning more towards the UX design of things rather than the project management business like me, you might think these tools aren’t relevant to you- project managers can make the RACI matrix for you and assign the work you’re supposed to do. This kind of thinking can quickly lead to a project becoming overwhelming for you. It’s important to understand why the model exists and how it benefits you in order to give feedback on potential ways to improve it. The RACI model lets you know who to directly go to with questions regarding certain subjects, rather than funneling a one way communication to your manager, who then asks your project manager, who then asks the subject-expert and so on. It also helps you define your expectations and refuse work that is not within your assignment. Being in charge of your limitations and having a proven documentation of what’s expected of you is important when it comes to workload management and accountability! If you’ve ever worked on any sort of design project, you’ll know that all sorts of people will love to jump in at the last minute and add some random design request to the board- everyone’s collective involvement in the RACI model can help to prevent any disruptions that could occur and puts everyone on the same page to successfully complete projects.
Example RACI from current group project
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