6 RACI Matrix Alternatives to Help Define Project Roles

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Clear visualization of which team members are responsible for given deliverables is critical to project success. Check out these six RACI matrix alternatives as you begin to plan. Which fits your project best?

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RACI Recap

A RACI chart, or RACI matrix, is a responsibility assignment tool that visually defines roles and responsibilities within a project lifecycle.

Colorful table RACI matrix with definitions of RACI roles.

The vertical axis of the chart represents individual tasks or aspects of the project, whereas the horizontal axis represents individuals. Each square within the chart is filled based on the responsibilities of each party relative to specific tasks: responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed.

Project managers rely on a wide range of tools to support project needs, and the RACI matrix is one of the most common project management tools. Yet, you might find that it falls short when it comes to defining roles, responsibilities, project scope, or other essential details and tasks.


Read more: What is a RACI Matrix?


RASCI 

Responsible • Accountable • Support • Consulted • Informed

One of the top choices in RACI alternatives is a RASCI matrix, a work responsibility chart that’s built in the in the same way as a RACI chart is, but with the added category of “support”.

While it may not seem like much of a difference, the additional category adds another layer of engagement for teams who may be working with multiple departments across the organization or external supporting contractors.

Example of a RASCI chart, with category labels to support “responsible,” “accountable,” “support,” “consulted,” and “informed.”
Example of a RASCI chart, with category labels to support “responsible,” “accountable,” “support,” “consulted,” and “informed.”

DACI

Driver • Approver • Consulted • Informed

The DACI model is designed as an alternative to the RACI model that provides teams insights about roles and responsibilities while placing more emphasis on drivers and decision-makers in the team dynamic.

This model works especially well for teams that have multiple leaders within the project dynamic, such as a portfolio manager, program manager, and project manager or teams working with numerous external stakeholders.

A breakdown of the DACI model: “driver,” “approver,” “consulted,” and “informed.”
A breakdown of the DACI model: “driver,” “approver,” “consulted,” and “informed.”

RAPID

Recommend • Agree • Perform • Input • Decide

The RAPID model, unlike the previous alternatives, is designed as a decision-making tool rather than a responsibility-focused one.

RAPID is helpful for teams that need to come to a consensus about project decisions. In this model, instead of assigning roles or responsibilities, teams work through a prescribed decision-making process to reach a consensus: recommend, agree, perform, input, and decide.

A description of the RAPID decision-making model.
A description of the RAPID decision-making model.

Gantt Chart

One of the most notable alternatives to RACI is a Gantt chart. While both charts enable teams to visualize responsibilities, a Gantt chart ties individuals to direct tasks and deliverables while highlighting task dependencies and timelines. Gantt charts are a useful tool for teams that need to visualize multiple project metrics in one chart.

Interested in trying a Gantt chart software?

Example of a Gantt chart within TeamGantt.
Example of a Gantt chart within TeamGantt.

Work Breakdown Structure

A work breakdown structure is a diagram that helps teams break down large, task-heavy projects into smaller portions of work to keep things organized and ensure that all essential tasks are completed. While this type of diagram does not tie the tasks to any specific team member, it makes it easier to digest the totality of work that will be completed throughout the project lifecycle.


Read more: Work Breakdown Structure Basics


Project Dashboard

Project dashboards are a powerful tool typically included in project management software that provides analytical overviews of one or more projects. Where a RACI matrix provides information about team responsibilities, a project dashboard gives teams information about the project itself in an unbiased manner, from detailed stats on remaining work to budget tracking. What’s more, this data is highly customizable, making it a flexible tool for teams of all shapes and sizes. 

Interested in trying out dashboard capabilities in a project management solution? Give ClickUp a try.

Example of a project dashboard from ClickUp.
Source: ClickUp, accessed March 2024.

Read more: RACI vs DACI


FAQs

While ultimately, only you can decide which tools are a strong fit for your project needs, it’s important to remember that each of these tools can be customized. Moreover, you should feel free to utilize multiple tools, as all of the recommended tools in this article can be used concurrently.

A RACI matrix is a great tool for streamlining team communication, maximizing resource allocation, and aligning stakeholder and team expectations. Because RACI charts easily display roles, they’re often used for teams of all sizes to familiarize themselves with others in the project team, or external stakeholders, whose role in the project should be considered.

While RACI charts can be a helpful project tool, it shouldn’t be the sole tool your team relies on to complete a project. RACI charts have numerous downfalls, including their complexity, inability to highlight all aspects of the project, and limited interpretations of what each role represents within the scope of actual work.

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