The social RACI matrix

RACI matrices are intriguing for me. Here’s why: my most successful post is the one I wrote on RACI matrix  (as measured by number of times visited – note that the vast majority of people land there via search engine results). I suspect most visits are part of exam preparation for ITIL Foundation…

I believe the reason behind this “success” is people really want to clearly define who’s who, specially when many parties are involved. So they use RACI matrices. But there’s not much readily accessible literature on this.


Life on the wire, by Karunakar Rayker, Some Rights Reserved

There are variants of RACI matrix, like using more letters to further characterize roles (one example: Support is a resource allocated to the Responsible that contributes for the task execution).

I’ve seen them being used, over and over, although the use of I (Informed) and C (Collaborate) is generally not consistent . The other two letters are clear enough (the one doing it is the Responsible, the one owning it is the Accountable).

I propose this social interpretation for I and C, in search of more universal usage for RACI matrices:

  • I − Informed, means the person, role or group has to be notified about the result of task. It’s up to the target to decide what to do with it. As before, at this level we don’t care about how to inform, but there has to be some message. Things like the channel for communication and what information flows are dealt with somewhere else. It’s one way communication.
  • − Collaborate, means that for this task I may or not engage others who eventually will help me fulfill the task. A tool implementing activities would allow for specific social interaction with the assigned Cs whenever this letter is associated with a task. Social collaboration on a need basis only. It is two way communication.

I think this topic deserves more discussion, the pursuit of a powerful set of attributes capable of representing different kinds of participation in activities. Plus, it enables expressing requirements in a way that can then be implemented in a tool.


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