Business Enterprise Mapping had been building process maps for 25 years using our own Perigon Method. Because process mapping is a means to an end, we ultimately produce Perigon Playbooks, which include a process scorecard, an executive-level map, a full process map, and additional process knowledge and analysis. The Perigon Playbook is a complete process manual, containing all a Company knows about a process. A RACI Analysis is a key component of process knowledge.
What is a RACI Analysis?
RACI defines responsibilities of each party in an organization relative to tasks within a business process. At BEM, we define RACI in the following way.
Responsible - This role bears primary responsibility for the task and is accountable for its completion (Task Owner). This role does the work to complete the task
Approver - This role is responsible to approve the product or service produced by the task. This role must have the authority to approve or disapprove the output.
Consulted - This role consults with the Task Owner to support the completion of the task. The role must have the capability to offer the knowledge/information needed to complete the task.
Informed – This role is informed of task results or outcomes. This role needs to know a result, decision or action taken, typically through a one-way communication.
The RACI Analysis defines accountability and participation for all activities within the process. When combined with Value Analysis, RACI Analysis gives visibility to resource consumption of tasks, whether they be value added, limited value or non-value added. Traditional RACI definitions typically use Accountable instead of Approver for the “A”. AT BEM, we have found that Approver is far more useful than Accountable when performing a RACI analysis. By analyzing Approvals, an organization can quickly assess the level of trust and unnecessary waste due to excess reviews within in the organization.
What does RACI Analysis tell us about an organization?
RACI can be a very valuable analytical tool within any organization. This is especially true when the organization is large or is structured in a matrix type format, where business units are blended with functional subject matter expertise. Useful learnings from a RACI Analysis are summarized following.
1. RACI definitions tend to be more structured in Operations and less so in departments such as Sales, Marketing and Human Resources. Product Development, in particular, is a department where RACI responsibilities are usually undefined and problematic.
2. In white-collar environments, we have found reviews and approvals to be as high as 33% of total tasks in a process. This indicates a lack of trust in the organization, where quality breakdowns in the past have been addressed with increasing layers of reviews and approvals. These additional steps only serve to worsen the problem, as layering additional non value-added tasks does not improve the quality of a process.
3. Organizations often feel the need to inform everyone about everything. This results in an overwhelming amount of work to be processed in inboxes with often little interest in the actual task or outcome. While the intention is noble, it is unproductive to inform everyone of everything.
4. Ultimately the goal in a best practice process is for a task owner and process owner to be solely responsible for the execution of their specific responsibilities. In addition, the goal is to place the useful, necessary knowledge at the task level such that the requirement for consultation is lessened.
RACI is a simple but valuable analysis tool.
The exercise of performing a RACI Analysis greatly benefits most organizations. They often have not formally assessed responsibilities for tasks, processes, and outcomes. RACI brings a valuable dialogue in accountability and responsibility, while starting the process of matching up workflow with organization structure. For such a simple tool, RACI is one of the most valuable analytical tools one can use. Once completed, the analyst should broadly distribute the RACI Analysis and make it readily available to anyone in need.
Further Reading: THE PERIGON METHOD