Project Management

What Is a RACI Chart? How to Use RACI to Assign Project Roles

Brett Harned
January 17, 2024
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It’s a fact: Complex projects make it easy for teams to lose track of tasks.

You might have an air-tight project plan and a stellar team to back it up. But if you’re not crystal clear about assignments—or even involvement—on a task level, confusion, crankiness, and even demotivation will creep into your project team.

Lucky for you, avoiding those issues is as simple as creating a RACI chart. 

In this article, we’ll explain what RACI stands for and how it’s used in project management. We’ll also share a few practical examples so you can see how to apply the RACI model to different types of projects.

What is a RACI chart?

A RACI chart—also known as a responsibility assignment matrix—is a diagram used in project management to define team roles across 4 categories: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. It helps clarify who does the work, who calls the shots, whose opinion matters, and who needs to stay in the loop for each task, milestone, or decision.

A RACI chart enables you to visualize roles and responsibilities at a more granular level than simple resource assignments. That way team members and stakeholders know what’s expected of them so confusion doesn’t get in the way of project success.

Example of a simple RACI chart
Example of a simple RACI chart

RACI definitions explained

RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Each letter in the acronym represents the level of ownership each person involved in a project will have on an individual deliverable. 

This simple chart gives you an at-a-glance view of RACI meanings and how many people to assign to each role in your RACI matrix.

RACI definitions matrix with meanings for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed
RACI definitions explained. Image description.

R = Responsible

This team member does the work to complete the task. Every task needs at least one Responsible party, but it’s okay to assign more.

Examples of people you might assign to the Responsible role:

  • Content writer
  • Graphic designer
  • UI/UX designer
  • Software developer
  • Business analyst
  • QA specialist

A = Accountable

This person delegates work and is the last one to review the task or deliverable before it’s deemed complete. On some tasks, the Responsible party may also serve as the Accountable one. Just be sure you only have one Accountable person assigned to each task or deliverable. (Note: It might not be your project manager!)

Examples of people you might assign to the Accountable role:

  • Project manager
  • Product manager
  • Department head
  • Team lead

C = Consulted

Every deliverable is strengthened by review and consultation from more than one team member. Consulted parties are typically the people who provide input based on either how it will impact their future project work or their domain of expertise on the deliverable itself.‍

Examples of people you might assign to the Consulted role:

  • Sales team
  • Software architect
  • Content editor
  • Creative director
  • QA manager
  • Compliance officer
  • Security specialist
  • Legal counsel

I = Informed

Informed stakeholders simply need to be kept in the loop on project progress, rather than roped into the details of every deliverable.

Examples of people you might assign to the Informed role:

  • Executive leadership
  • External clients
  • Team members assigned to dependent tasks
  • Customer support team
  • Administrative staff

Responsible vs Accountable meanings in RACI

The same person can be both Responsible and Accountable for a task in RACI—including a project manager. But they’re not one and the same. So what’s the difference?

  • Responsible is a task-oriented designation that applies to the person (or people) actually completing the work. A whole team can be responsible for the execution of one task.
  • Accountable is an outcome-oriented designation that applies to a single person who reports on the work, whether in status updates or upon delivery. Being Accountable means you must answer for and/or sign off on the deliverable and deal with the consequences if it falls short of goals.
Side-by-side comparison of responsible vs accountable in RACI
Differences between Responsible vs Accountable in RACI. Image description.

Benefits of the RACI model in project management

At its core, the RACI model helps you set clear expectations about project roles and responsibilities. That way you don’t have multiple people working on the same task or against one another because tasks weren’t clearly defined on the front end.

A RACI chart also encourages team members to take responsibility for their work—or defer to someone else when needed. Essentially, you’ll remove personal judgment and politics from your process and focus on your team’s ability to act responsibly within a framework you’ve created. Sounds pretty sweet, huh?

How to make a RACI chart

Building a RACI chart for your project is a relatively simple task. The hardest part is thinking through all the people involved in your project and what role makes the most sense for individuals at each stage of work.

You’ll want to map out a RACI chart for your project during the planning stage. This ensures responsibilities are clearly defined before work begins and gives you time to adjust to avoid any gaps or overlaps in assignments.

Here are the basic steps for making a RACI chart:

  1. List key project phases, tasks, and/or milestones in a column down the left side of your chart. You can get as detailed as you want, depending on the complexity of your project (and attention-span of your project team and stakeholders). 
  2. Enter the people involved in your project across the top row of your chart. Each individual should serve as the header of a single column. You can use names or job roles—whatever makes sense for your team and project.
  3. Go line by line down the chart, and assign each person across the row an R, A, C, or I to indicate the role they’ll play on that particular task.

Once your RACI chart is good to go, you can create a communication plan that aligns with the roles you’ve outlined for project teams and stakeholders.

Want to save time? Download our free RACI Excel template, or see how TeamGantt's built-in RACI feature works.

RACI rules and best practices

Using a RACI chart is a whole lot easier when you follow a few simple rules. Once your RACI chart is complete, review it to be sure it meets these criteria:

  • Every task has at least one Responsible person.
  • There’s one (and only one!) Accountable party assigned to each task to allow for clear decision-making.
  • No team members are overloaded with too many Responsible tasks. You can use TeamGantt’s Workloads report to check availability across all your active projects.
  • Every team member has a role on each task. (It’s not uncommon for some folks to be Informed on most tasks.)

These best practices can help you get the most out of RACI:

  • Focus on project tasks, milestones, and decisions in the RACI chart. Avoid generic or administrative to-dos like team meetings or status reports.
  • Align the tasks in your RACI chart with your project plan so there’s no confusion about details and due dates. (TeamGantt does this work for you by tying your RACI chart directly to your plan!)
  • Keep RACI definitions close by because they can be tough to remember sometimes!
  • Assign the Responsible team members to tasks in TeamGantt.
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RACI chart examples: Practical application in the real world

Let’s take a closer look at how you might put the RACI model to work on real-life projects. 

Producing a marketing handout

We’ll start with a simple example. Imagine you’re creating a RACI chart for a handout your marketing manager will distribute at an industry conference. 

Basic tasks for this project might include:

  • Write project brief
  • Create content
  • Design handout
  • Review first draft
  • Update handout
  • Approve final
  • Send to printer

In this project example, we’ve assigned RACI roles to 7 key team members:

  • Project manager
  • CMO
  • Marketing manager
  • Editorial director
  • Content writer
  • Creative director
  • Designer
Sample RACI chart for the production of a marketing handout.
Sample RACI chart for the production of a marketing handout. Image description.

Let’s zoom in on the RACI roles we mapped out for the Create content task example so you understand the why behind these assignments. 

  • Responsible: The content writer is listed as Responsible for this task, so that’s who will actively work on content creation.
  • Accountable: The editorial director is listed as Accountable for this task because that’s who is ultimately on the line for content quality and accuracy. Once the content is written, she’s the one who will review it to ensure it meets their company’s editorial standards.
  • Consulted: The marketing manager is listed as Consulted. Since the marketing manager is the subject matter expert for the presentation, the writer can go to them for input or help filling in content gaps along the way.
  • Informed: Several people have been assigned to the Informed role, though for different reasons. Since the Design handout task depends on this one, we want to make sure the writer keeps the creative director and designer informed on the status of content creation. The project manager and CMO are listed as Informed simply because they want to be kept in the loop about how work is progressing.

Developing a new software product

Now let’s look at a more complex project example. 

Developers who use an Agile workflow to tackle the job likely know what they need to do because there’s a constant stream of communication. But cross-functional departments and senior leaders might need more clarity. 

Here’s how you might map RACI roles to major tasks in a software development project, broken down by key tasks and RACI roles. (For the Informed assignments, we only listed people who need detailed progress updates to keep our example easier to read.)

Market Research

  • Responsible: Business Analyst, Marketing Manager
  • Accountable: Product Manager
  • Consulted: Sales Representative, Customer Support
  • Informed: Project Manager, Software Developers

Requirement Gathering

  • Responsible: Business analyst
  • Accountable: Product manager
  • Consulted: UI/UX Designer, Software Architect
  • Informed: Project manager, QA analysts

Design and Prototyping

  • Responsible: UI/UX Designer
  • Accountable: Product manager
  • Consulted: Business analyst, software developers
  • Informed: Marketing manager, QA analysts

Software Development

  • Responsible: Software Developers/Engineers
  • Accountable: Software Architect
  • Consulted: Product Manager, QA Analysts
  • Informed: Project Manager, Technical Writer


  • Responsible: QA Analysts/Engineers
  • Accountable: Project manager
  • Consulted: Software Developers, DevOps Engineer
  • Informed: Product Manager, Technical Writer


  • Responsible: DevOps Engineer
  • Accountable: Project Manager
  • Consulted: Software Developers, QA Analysts
  • Informed: Product Manager, Customer Support


  • Responsible: DevOps Engineer, Software Developers
  • Accountable: Project manager
  • Consulted: QA Analysts, Technical Writer
  • Informed: Product Manager, Customer Support


  • Responsible: DevOps Engineer, QA Analysts
  • Accountable: Project manager
  • Consulted: Software Developers, Technical Writer
  • Informed: Product Manager, Customer Support

Marketing and Sales

  • Responsible: Marketing Manager, Sales Representative
  • Accountable: Marketing Manager
  • Consulted: Product Manager, Customer Support
  • Informed: Project Manager, Software Developers

User Training

  • Responsible: Customer Support Specialist
  • Accountable: Product Manager
  • Consulted: Technical Writer, UI/UX Designer
  • Informed: All project team members

When to use or skip a RACI chart for your project

A RACI chart serves just about every project well. But it’s especially helpful when tasks require multiple resources, run concurrently, or depend on other tasks.

Here are a few scenarios when the RACI model is useful:

  • The decision-making or approval process could hold up the project.
  • There’s conflict about task ownership or decision-making.
  • The project workload feels like it’s not distributed evenly.
  • You experience turnover on a team and need to onboard someone quickly to a new role.

Of course, not all teams and projects are created equally. You might work with a team who just happens to communicate really well and stays on top of their own work. (Lucky you!) Or maybe your project is small enough that it would be silly to take the time to go through this exercise. 

In cases like these, don’t worry about taking the extra step of creating a RACI chart. Just be sure you have a clear plan in place to guide your team and project.

Further reading: How to Create a Realistic Project Plan: Templates & Examples

Common RACI pitfalls and how to avoid them

Now let’s walk through a few common mistakes that could hinder your RACI chart’s effectiveness.

Failing to get buy-in from your team and stakeholders

Creating a RACI chart in a vacuum is never a good idea. In a best-case scenario, you’d sit down with your team and stakeholders to walk through the role assignments on each task. But let’s be real: That’s not always possible.

Just be sure everyone represented has acknowledged and agreed to the roles and responsibilities you’ve laid out. More importantly, you want to check that your chart eliminates any further project confusion.

Setting it and forgetting it

It’s easy to build a RACI chart at the start of a project, then let it collect dust once the real work begins. But remember: This chart will defend you against mishaps that arise when you have too many cooks in the kitchen or a team member who thinks someone else is handling the work.

That’s why it’s important to keep these roles top of mind throughout a project’s life cycle. You can do this by reviewing RACI assignments for upcoming tasks in weekly status update meetings and making sure everyone involved in a project has easy access to the RACI chart. 

In TeamGantt, you can assign RACI roles directly in your project plan so they’re clearly visible as team members work their way to the finish line.

Overcomplicating stakeholder communication

If you have a lot of Consulted and Informed roles on your chart, make sure you have an easy and lightweight way to keep them informed. It could be as simple as making sure department heads and senior leaders have access to your project plan so they can follow progress along the way. 

Managing a project with external clients or stakeholders? Sharing a view-only link to your project in TeamGantt is a great option for looping in folks outside your organization.

Further reading: A Project Manager’s Guide to Effective Stakeholder Management

Keep teams in sync—and accountable—with TeamGantt

A RACI chart is a simple tool that makes projects easier to manage by creating less confusion and more accountability. But you’ve got more than roles and responsibilities to keep straight.

TeamGantt makes it easy to build a project plan your whole team can contribute to and collaborate on. Everything happens online, so you can stay on top of deadlines and monitor progress in real time.

Use our built-in RACI chart to assign roles and keep them visible from project start to finish, so everyone knows how they contribute to success.

Try TeamGantt’s Pro Manager plan free for 30 days!