RACI Model | The Cornerstone Business Analysis Technique for Stakeholder Analysis

The RACI Model – The Cornerstone Business Analysis Technique when performing Stakeholder Analysis

What is the RACI Model?
The RACI Model describes the different levels of involvement a particular stakeholder has in your project. For example, if you are working on a Payroll Project then the Payroll Manager will most likely be very involved in your project and may even be the one who is ultimately your project’s decision maker. Using the RACI Model you will assign different levels of involvement in your project to the different relevant stakeholders.
Let’s stop talking in an abstract way and lets look at the nuts and bolts of the RACI Model.  The term RACI Model is just an acronym used to describe the different levels of a stakeholder’s involvement in your Business Analysis or Project Deliverables. It goes like this:
RACI ModelR – Responsible – this level of involvement is usually assigned to the project team who will be doing the actual work to implement the project outcomes.  You can also include any business stakeholders that may play an active role in your project such as people who performs a certain task within a subject matter expertise area in the business or technical teams assigned to assist with certain parts of your project. It is important to realize that this level of involvement is people who do the actual work on the project.
A – Accountable – this level of involvement is the person or group that is ultimately accountable for the successful delivery of the project. This role will be the key decision maker/s and is often assigned to the Project Sponsor or Steering Group of the project.
C – Consulted – the reviewers of your documentation or products usually represent this level of involvement by providing input to the project. You should always ensure you have a wide and representative selection of people who can provide input to your project through every stage of the project lifecycle.
I – Information – the final level of involvement is represented by those people or groups who need to know what is going on with your project but they don’t provide active input or feedback. It is important to also select a representative group of people when you decide who will be in this role for the project because it ensures that people feel engaged. When people feel that you have engaged them, they are likely to be a positive advocate for your project.

3 Reasons why it is important to allocate stakeholders with the RACI Model early in the project.

It is a great idea for the Business Analyst to work out early on who the people are to engage with during the life of any project and at what level to engage. This is because of the following 3 key reasons:

REASON 1: Early engagement, means early success

Have you ever as a Business Analyst been on a project where someone says that they have not been engaged from the start? This is a very common mistake made by project managers and business analysts simply because they didn’t do a proper RACI Model when they considered the stakeholders to involve.  By identifying stakeholders early in the project and allocating them to the RACI Model, you know whom to engage at every step of the project. This enables you to be consistent with your engagement and in the process the stakeholders will support your efforts and steer you towards success.

REASON 2: Right people, means the right information

As a Business Analyst, when you start identifying the stakeholders to include in your RACI Model, you should consider all the business functions, which your project will have some impact on. For example: If you are a Business Analyst on a Project that will be implementing a new Payroll System, you should not only involve the Payroll Department but also consider the Employee (as an end user receiving a pay slip), the Finance Department who has to manage all the financial reporting and perhaps Recruitment Agency that has to interface with the new Payroll System. By identifying all relevant individuals and groups you can be confident that you will receive all the relevant input and feedback as you progress with your project.

REASON 3: People love to feel important

The last key point to note is that in some cases it is worth involving a specific individual or group in your RACI Model simply because you know they like to feel included. They may only be included in an “Information” level role according to the RACI Model but by doing this they may add a lot of value by simply being positive and supportive of your project within the wider organization.  As a Business Analyst it is worth using your intuition or politically savvy talents to make sure everyone is on the project’s RACI Model that will make a positive contribution.