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  • Writer's pictureForest Zafran Consulting

What are RATCIs and why do you want to use them?

Updated: 6 days ago

What is a RATCI?


A RATCI is our preferred version of the more commonly known RACI. Like a RACI, a RATCI is a project roles document. A project roles document outlines the key functions of the project, team, or organization and each person's role for these functions.  Note- this is not simply a to do list; functions are not tasks. Rather they are workstreams or core elements of work that must happen. For example: A task for the week of April 1 may be to draft the newsletter that will be send out on April 8. The larger function this task fits into is drafting newsletter. The function, drafting newsletter, not the specific task, would go into the RATCI.


In a RATCI, there are five different roles a person can be assigned for a function.



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Typically, you only will have one person identified for the R and the A (this may be the same person or two different people, one for R and one for the A). For the T, C, and I there may be multiple people for each role. And yes, sometimes people may play more than one role (i.e. be the R and the T).


Each role is accountable for something different within the function.

Role

Accountable for...

Responsible (R)

Making the plan(s) to complete the work, directing its implementation and intervening if the work gets off track or roadblocks are encountered; ensuring Cs, Is, and Ts, are enabled in their roles.

Authorizer (A)

Ensuring the R knows expectations for the work; making timely decisions and approvals for the work; enabling the resources to complete the work.

Task Owner (T)

Doing the work in a timely, high quality manner; engaging Cs and Is as identified by the RATCI.

Consulted (C)

Providing input, feedback, and expertise when invited to do so. This may occur via meetings, emails, or document review.

Informed (I)

 Reading emails, documents and memos and listening to updates to ensure they are aware of the work, are equipped to share about the work with others and to identify potential areas of concern, overlap, or synergy.


A RATCI can be formatted in a variety of ways, but typically it is a matrix or spreadsheet that lists functions (or workstreams) on one axis and team members' names or roles on another axis. Then, the chart is filled in with the RATCI letter for each person who is working on the project.



Project Roles_ Example 1 - EXAMPLE_ Student Programming
.pdf
Download PDF • 56KB

Ready to create a RATCI? Download our editable templates!



 

Why should you use a RATCI?


1. It's a way to put your equity values into action.

No matter how much we believe in equity, it is impossible for us to get rid of all of our implicit biases. Systems and structures, such as utilizing project role charts, within an organization, can help mitigate implicit biases from impacting how we and our teams work and make decisions. RATCIs clarify and make transparent who is supposed to do what work which allows leaders and team members to:

  • Assign work and tasks based on who is responsible for that work vs. who they instinctually may ask to do the work. When we go off instincts or proximity (i.e. who we are communicating with most frequently, who we feel closest to) our implicit biases are more likely to creep in.

  • Clarify expectations for their own, and others, work on a project. This ensures that everyone on a team, regardless of their professional background, cultural background or workstyle knows what is expected of them.

  • Increase awareness around how work is distributed, increasing transparency about workload.

  • Intentionally think through who needs to be consulted and informed about functions. This fosters inclusion and helps ensure multiple perspectives are brought into decisions and projects.

2. A RATCI helps you proactively identify areas where role clarity is needed.

One of the most enlightening aspects of utilizing a RATCI is looking at it once it is drafted. A few questions to ask once you've completed the first draft of your RATCI:

  • Are there functions where the R or A are blank? Without a clearly identified R and A work will not happen, or it will happen based on who steps in to do it rather than based on whose job it is.

  • Are there functions where multiple people are taking on the R or A? If this is the case, discussion and clarification is needed about the singular person who should serve as the R or A. Perhaps someone has historically or informally been serving as an R or A but in actuality should be a C or I. Creating a RATCI can help reset this person to their proper role and create space and clarity for the actual R or A to do their job effectively.

  • Are there specific people who have too many roles across too many workstreams and therefore an unmanageable workload?

3. Managing up and laterally is hard. A RATCI can help.

While RATCIs are helpful in all situations, they can be particularly powerful in situations where the person responsible for the project or function (the R) does not have formal supervision relationship(s) with other people on the project- as is often the case on cross functional projects. A RATCI provides this person with an objective way to delegate and follow up on items, especially if the A (Authorizer) has approved the RATCI. For this reason, we always recommend getting the Authorizer to sign off the RATCI publicly (either via email, an announcement at a meeting, etc.) when it is put into place.


 

We love providing customized support and training on all aspects of project management, including making a RATCI. Please reach out to us if you want to discuss what may be possible!






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