Choosing The Right RACI Template

Steven Penland   March 23, 2015   Comments Off on Choosing The Right RACI Template

The RACI system is one of the best ways to assign roles within a group to ensure that a project will actually get completed. It takes some time to understand but once you do you can draw up a RACI chart with a piece of paper, a pen and a few minutes. But there’s a difference between doing the bare minimum and making sure you and your workers have the best resources available. That’s why there are all sorts of RACI templates out there you can use to quickly draw up RACI charts on your computer.  If you’re having trouble deciding between the many templates out there then this article is for you.

To start out with you should know that there are essentially three types of RACI templates. There are the kind you create yourself, the free kind that you buy online and the templates that you have to pay for. Creating your own template may seem difficult if you’re having trouble understanding the system or if you’re not great with computers but in cases where a high level of customization is needed it might be the right path, though making such a chart may require a sizable time investment. On the other end of the spectrum there’s buying a template. This may not seem like a great idea given the variety of free options available but if you want a chart that may have a professional interface or the ability to handle complex processes with minimal input you might want to check these choices out. But in the end the most popular options are the many free templates available online.

The most basic thing one of these templates needs to customize RACI matrix. You need to be able to add tasks and team members relatively easily. Then you will need to be able to assign each team member a role with regards to each task. Here the difference between different template options becomes apparent,  some templates aren’t made for changes or expansions so it can be a timely process while others make it as easy as pushing a few buttons. You can make either work but generally speaking the more you are thinking about changing and updating the chart the more simple you want the process to be.

The next thing you want from your template is a clear visual layout. Oftentimes people think that things like these are frivolous but making a chart easier to read makes it more likely to actually be used. That’s why the it’s worth find a RACI services with colour-coding so you can tell who has what role with just a glance. Once again, in many cases you can modify templates to change the look if you see fit but there are options that automate the process if you want to be as efficient as possible.

Once you are done filling out your template what comes next? This depends on you and your work environment. In some cases you’ll want to print off copies to hand out and in others you’ll want to share the files with the other members of your organization. If you are going to be using the file it’s worth getting a template that works with the programs you use at your office. For example, some templates are meant to work with Microsoft programs while others will work with some of the more popular Mac programs. You don’t want to get the wrong one and watch your files fail to open or become unreadable messes.

If you can find a template that’s the right place, easy to customize, good looking and compatible with your workflow then you might as well get it and start putting it to work. After all, the technology you use to make your RACI chart is helpful but in the end what really matters is that you actually use it to delegate.