What is the RACI model and how can it help make decisions

Editor’s Word: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the former COO of eBay, will provide candid, sensible, and generally stunning recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at [email protected].

Q. Our firm is tripling in measurement and I’m on the lookout for recommendation on how to revise our management workforce and decide if we must always create a separate management physique now that we’re larger. Additionally, what sort of decision-making constructions ought to we make use of to adapt to our subsequent stage of progress? 

-Founding father of a Sequence C firm


Expensive Founder, 

Congrats on being on this place. It appears the flywheel is spinning. Good for you for excited about all these items. 

First, let’s discuss the thought of making a separate management physique. As you develop, it is smart to contemplate this variation. It can be unwieldy and even ineffective when exec groups grow to be too huge. It’s comprehensible you need to break them down into smaller teams. I recommend these entities be not more than 20 individuals. Once I was at eBay, we had two of those teams, one known as “government workers” and one known as “senior workers.” Each quarter we nominated somebody on the senior workers to go to the exec workers conferences and report again. 

Whereas there’s good motive for dividing management entities, you can’t simply say, “Poof there’s one other physique!” and suppose that can resolve the points. Each entity has to have a objective, guidelines and tips. Ask your self, “What is its objective of this new management physique and what are you going to make use of them for?” “What will you carry to them?” You even have to find out who is in cost and create agendas so that everybody is aware of what to work on.

Now, let’s get into choice making. It’s nice to have fashions and tips for how individuals make on a regular basis decisions. I take advantage of the RACI (Accountable, Approves, Consulted, Knowledgeable) model, which clearly articulates who does what. I discussed RACI in one other Expensive Founder letter, and I’ll get into extra element right here to deal with your scenario. I’ve used this matrix for a few years at huge corporations, the place it helped make clear roles and duties in cross-functional groups and tasks. We use it immediately at the Webb Funding Community to find out all the things from who owns the closing choice on investments, to our PR technique. It’s grow to be such part of all the things we do this it’s now shorthand.

Step one on this model is to make clear what the choice is and when it must be made. Write it down. Then, you use RACI, an acronym that delineates the crucial stakeholders in a choice. This outlines the one who is:

  • Accountable. Who is the proprietor? Who units the technique? Who will resolve? Ideally this needs to be one individual, however it can be two. Bear in mind, decision-making must be pushed all the way down to the lowest competent degree. If that’s not achieved, it means you aren’t delegating sufficient. Worse, it means that you could be be operating a monarchy.
  • Approves. Who will ratify or veto? This is the one who delegates the work to the “R”. 
  • Consulted. Who will likely be affected? These individuals don’t have the proper to make the choice, however you’ve got the obligation to get their enter earlier than the choice is made, and you need to know what they need to say.
  • Knowledgeable: Who must be knowledgeable about the choice? All the time err on the facet of informing too many individuals reasonably than too few.

This model can help to make decisions sooner and implement them extra successfully as a result of it helps to place apart inner bickering (which is usually attributable to uncertainty about who owns what) and get on with the process of choice making. This model helps present position readability, which can usually be a supply of rigidity. It is going to eradicate complicated debates and help codify roles with out having emotional battles.


As you scale, it’s additionally vital to do not forget that the greatest decisions don’t come from a majority vote or from a single authoritative voice. They’re the results of one thing extra balanced. The RACI model permits decisions to be made collaboratively, with the enter of a number of voices and all the crucial information—however in the end the reply is decided by a single choice maker who was tasked with this duty. 

Finally, profitable decision-making isn’t nearly pace or end result—it’s about empowering others to make the greatest decisions. As you proceed you develop you’ll have to have a look at delegation and decide when it is best to let go extra. You and exec workers ought to have a look at each choice and ask if you happen to ought to have made the choice or may another person make it. It feels good to make decisions, however it’s much more rewarding—and extra sustainable and scalable—to produce other individuals able to making the proper decisions for workforce.