How financial institutions can benefit from a RACI matrix

Kevin Wareman
Publish date

Most of the time, the applications we build for institutional clients are a means and not the goal. The goal often involves a bigger transition for our clients, meaning changes to existing processes, roles, and responsibilities. Assigning responsibilities and creating a sense of ownership can be a challenging process. That’s why, in my line of work as a Solution Engineer, I like to combine process workflows with a RACI matrix.

What is a RACI matrix?
Simply put, it’s a responsibility assignment chart. We like to combine RACI matrices with a process workflow. This helps to identify the steps in a process while specifying who is responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed - hence RACI - with each of these steps.

Why do we use RACI matrices?
The Solution Engineers of our Strategy & Consultancy team use process workflows with RACI matrices to:

  1. determine the impact of a change on (non-)existing processes;
  2. align with all of the relevant roles and stakeholders;
  3. govern their responsibilities by formalizing their involvement;
  4. and identify potential gaps that need to be addressed.

What’s in it for the client?
Among others, we’ve signaled these three major benefits for our clients:

  1. The insights gained from these process flows and RACI matrices help our clients decide on the best way forward. It makes abstract processes more visual, meaning clients can have more in-depth conversations and discuss the processes with us;
  2. It helps them to identify gaps that need to be addressed before implementing a change into their companies;
  3. Lastly, it helps us as Solution Engineers to learn more about the context of our clients, making it possible to serve as their technical eyes and ears and advise on the best way forward;

Putting RACI matrices into practice
We use RACI matrices when we’re deeper into a project. We like to involve stakeholders and departments in the starting phase, but we use the matrices to really facilitate a sense of ownership later on.

Take a project we’re working on at the moment, for instance. We’re helping an asset manager with its transition from end-user computing to a more robust application. Among other things, we need the application to be in compliance with the GDPR and it needs to be approved by departments such as IT. As explained before, the RACI matrix helps us identify who will be responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed in these specific processes.

By making it visual, departments and individuals can see if they’re responsible or not and if it matches their expectations. If it doesn’t, then we know that there’s a gap that needs to be tackled in order for responsibilities to be owned, and for the transition to run smoothly.

Why clients love it
Clients love RACI matrices combined with process workflows because it helps them get to a point of consensus on a goal and the way to approach it. In large institutions that is hard as is, but even more so in a transition.

For us, the biggest compliment is when clients have come to embrace the matrices we make for them, by using them for their onboarding experience for new employees, for example. They’re a great means to show new employees how processes work and where their role fits in. Personally, that is exactly what I love about my work: really making a difference for our clients.

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