A few years ago, a pastor I worked with in my previous church introduced me to the RACI matrix for use in Project Management. I’ve gone back to it again and again as I’ve found it to make all the difference in keeping teams moving forward.  What I’ve found again and again is that people just need to know what their role is on a team. If you think you are just a Consultant, but your boss believes he’s given you some Responsibility, balls will drop. If you get upset when you are Informed of a decision that was made without you, it may be that you misunderstood your role on the team, thinking that you were Accountable. If the project fails and you were surprised that your head rolled, perhaps you didn’t get that you were the one who was Responsible.

Sometimes, when I’m creating a new team for a particular project, I’ll pull out the RACI matrix and use this language while we determine who does what. It really helps to say “So, Peter, you are Responsible for this part of the project, run your decisions through me as the one who is Accountable, and I will keep our Lead Pastor Informed. Be sure to Consult with the Kids Ministry director before getting too far down the road.” If you use the language enough, it will become second nature to you and your team. Right now, it’s second nature to me, and I’m still teaching my team. I’m in the “repeat” phase. I keep a couple images of the charts handy in an Evernote file to pull out during meetings anywhere I am, offices, coffee shops, etc. “Let’s take a look at the RACI matrix to remind you of what your role is on this project/team.”

Here are a couple of images I found online. You can do your own image search of the RACI matrix to find more.

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Written by Phil Taylor
My name is Phil. I spent 20 years as an Executive Pastor and now I serve churches all over through consulting and coaching. I wrote "Defining The Executive Pastor Role" and "Eldership Development-From Application to Affirmation". My greatest passion is helping others bring vision into reality. I've been married for 25 years, and we have three kids and one grandchild.