Stakeholder analysis is the basic stage of requirements gathering. It is the process of identifying the stakeholders of the project. Stakeholders are nothing but the people/organization who are responsible for the success or failure of the proposed IT application or project. A RACI matrix is a stakeholder analysis method which displays the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders with respect to the project. RACI matrix is generally prepared only for the key stakeholders.
RACI is an acronym that stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. The RACI matrix helps us clearly understand the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders and gives us a clear idea about whom to approach when there is an issue/ query that arises during the project life cycle.
Responsible: The stakeholder who takes the initiative for the project and does the work to complete the project.
Accountable: The stakeholder who is accountable. He makes decision and take action on the project.
Consulted: The stakeholder who is consulted and asked for opinions during the project life cycle.
Informed: The stakeholder who is notified of the outcome of project decisions.
How to prepare a RACI matrix?
Step 1: Create a table and assign each column to one stakeholder and each row to a specific task.
Step 2: For each row consider the role of a stakeholder with respect to the analyzed task (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed for that task) and fill in with one of them: R/A/C/I.
Step 3: Finally review the completeness of the matrix.
The RACI matrix may be used:
- to specify the involvement of the stakeholders in a project,
- to indicate the involvement of stakeholders in a business process,
- to indicate the persons involved in the creation, sign-off of the project.
- To identify the interest of the stakeholders in the project.
Once the RACI matrix is done, analyze the matrix as follows:
Review the matrix vertically (Roles)
Too many Rs under a single role makes a person responsible for many tasks, which might not be proper. Consider splitting the tasks.
A role with too many As may become a bottle-neck in the future. Consider delegation.
Review the matrix horizontally (Tasks)
A task with no R means no one is responsible for it. Analyze if the task is necessary, if yes, consider assigning it to someone. If the task is unnecessary, consider eliminating it.
A task with no A means no one is accountable. Every task must have one and ONLY one accountable person.
Having too many Cs linked to a task can cause confusion and slow down the progress of the work, same as having too many I’s. Consider if informing and consulting so many people is necessary.
- Clarity about stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities
- Checks whether each task has all the RACI roles assigned for further communication during the SDLC without any difficulty.