Difference Between DACI and RACI Frameworks

When you’re managing projects, there seems to be an unending number of tasks that need to be completed and it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to track who’s handling what, especially for large projects.

For your project to be successful, It’s important that you assign all roles and responsibilities to team members to ensure that important aspects of the project aren’t slipping through the cracks.

Assigning these roles and responsibilities gives the project team members clarity about what’s expected from each of them. However, it can be a giant headache when dealing with a myriad of tasks and team members.

To help clarify these responsibilities, two popular frameworks can be extremely beneficial to you – DACI and RACI.

This blog post is a DACI vs RACI showdown where we’ll explain the differences between these two frameworks, the benefits of each, and help you decide which one is best suited for your projects.

DACI vs RACI: Overview

What is DACI in Project Management?

DACI is a framework that’s used to clarify the roles of each team member in decision-making when working on a project for accountability.

The acronym DACI stands for Driver, Approver, Contributors, and Informed. Each team member belongs to a part of the DACI matrix.

  • Driver: This is the person who’s responsible for driving the decision-making process and ensuring that the decisions are effective and timely.
  • Approver: The approver is the person with the final say in making decisions, approves or rejects decisions depending on their alignment with the project goal, and is ultimately responsible for the outcome.
  • Contributors: The contributors are the people who provide input and expert judgment to help make informed decisions. They’re not responsible for the outcome but play a key role in the decision-making process.
  • Informed: These are people that aren’t involved in the decision-making process but are kept in the loop of decisions made.

What is RACI in Project Management?

The RACI framework is a model that enables project managers to identify who’s responsible for completing various project tasks.

The 4 components of RACI stand for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Here’s a breakdown of these roles in the RACI framework:

  • Responsible: This is the person responsible for executing and completing a task, and ensuring that it’s done correctly.
  • Accountable: The person accountable is ultimately responsible for the successful completion of the task or project and ensures that everything is done correctly and to the required standard.
  • Consulted: These people need to be consulted or involved in the decision-making process and provide valuable input, expertise, or information.
  • Informed: These are people who need to be kept informed about the progress of the project although they aren’t directly involved in the project work.

RACI vs DACI: Differences

When it comes to project management, DACI and RACI differ in their approach to decision-making. DACI is a decision-making model, while RACI is a task-management model.

DACI focuses on identifying who should make decisions, while RACI focuses on determining who’s responsible for completing tasks.

Another point of variance between these two frameworks is in the decision-making process. In DACI, The driver takes charge of the decision-making process in DACI, while the accountable person is responsible for making decisions in the RACI framework.

Key Differences:

  • Focus: RACI is primarily task-oriented, focusing on who is doing what for each task in a project. DACI, on the other hand, is decision-oriented, focusing on who is involved in making key decisions.
  • Responsibility vs. Driving: In RACI, the Responsible person is the one performing the task. In DACI, the Driver is not necessarily the one performing the task but is the one ensuring the decision-making process moves forward.
  • Accountability vs. Approver: In RACI, the Accountable person has the final sign-off, ensuring the task is completed correctly. In DACI, the Approver has the final say in the decision-making process. Both roles hold significant authority, but the context is different.

DACI vs RACI: Head-to-Head Comparison

Both RACI and DACI are excellent for clarifying roles and responsibilities, but your choice between the two will depend on whether your primary focus is on task completion (RACI) or decision-making (DACI). Here’s a head-to-head comparison between the two:

FocusPrimarily task-oriented. It’s used to identify who is doing what for each task in a project.Primarily decision-oriented. It’s used to determine who is involved in making key decisions.
Responsible/DriverThe ‘Responsible’ individual is the one performing the task. There can be multiple people responsible for a task, but they are directly doing the work.The ‘Driver’ is the person who drives the decision-making process forward. They ensure everyone knows their roles and that the process is running smoothly. They do not necessarily perform the task.
Accountable/ApproverThe ‘Accountable’ individual is the one who has the final say in task completion. They ensure the task is done correctly and thoroughly. There can only be one accountable person.The ‘Approver’ is the person who makes the final decision. They have the final say in the decision-making process, and there can only be one approver.
Consulted/ContributorThe ‘Consulted’ individuals need to provide input before the task can be completed. They actively participate in the task but do not have final sign-off.The ‘Contributors’ are those who provide input for the decision based on their expertise. They contribute to the decision but do not have the final say.
InformedThe ‘Informed’ individuals need to be updated about the task’s progress and decisions, but they do not participate actively in the task or decision.Similar to RACI, the ‘Informed’ individuals need to be updated about the decision but do not participate in the decision-making process.

Benefits of Using DACI Framework in Project Management

Using the DACI framework for your project can be extremely beneficial in lots of ways. Some of these benefits are:

1. Clearly Defined Decision-Making Roles

Throughout the project life cycle, there are going to be decisions to make at practically every turn. By using the DACI framework, for any decision to be made, there’s no gap or ambiguity as to whose call it is as everyone’s role is clearly defined.

2. Improved Communication

Communication is the backbone of project management. With the DACI framework, everyone who’s to be informed about decisions is clarified so communication is much easier.

3. Faster Decision-Making

With the roles and responsibilities for decision-making clarified with the DACI framework, there’s no delay or confusion where there are decisions to be made. Thus the process is smoother and faster.

4. Reduced Risk of Errors

Using the DACI framework ensures that the right people are involved in the decision-making process, thereby reducing the risk of errors and ensuring that decisions are made based on the expertise of the contributors.

Limitations of the DACI Framework

Now that you know the benefits of using the DACI framework in project management, there are some of its limitations that you also need to be aware of. These include:

1. Lack of Clarity on Decision Ownership

While the DACI model assigns roles to team members, it can be unclear who ultimately owns the decision. The Driver is responsible for moving the decision forward, while the Approver has the final sign-off.

However, the person that’s ultimately accountable for the decision isn’t always clear and can be a grey area with this model.

2. Overcomplication

The DACI framework can be very complex especially for large projects, making its implementation challenging as understanding the different roles and responsibilities of a large number of team members can certainly be confusing.

3. Limited Flexibility

The architecture of the DACI framework is designed in a rigid model for decision-making and this dramatically limits flexibility.

For projects that depend on flexibility such as Agile projects, the use of the DACI framework may be counterproductive.

4. Time-Consuming

Aside from being complicated especially for large teams or complex projects, the DACI framework can be time-consuming.

By trying to obtain buy-in from everyone and involve multiple stakeholders, the decision-making process can become bogged down.

Benefits of Using the RACI Framework in Project Management

These are some of the benefits of using the RACI framework for your project.

1. Clearly Defines Task Responsibilities

Using the RACI frameworks helps to clearly define task responsibilities on your project. This way, everyone who’s involved in the project who’s responsible for completing each task.

The advantage of this is there’s less confusion as everyone knows what they’re to do and this ensures that tasks can be completed on time.

2. Improves Accountability

By clarifying who’s accountable for the success of the project and each task in it, the RACI framework improves accountability.

Everyone that’s involved in the project knows what they’re responsible for, and is aware that they can be and will likely be held responsible for their actions or inactions.

3. Facilitates Communication

The RACI framework facilitates communication greatly by ensuring that everyone who needs to be informed or consulted about the project is kept in the loop at all times.

Consequently, there’s less risk of misunderstandings which can lead to conflicts and delays, as everyone is on the same page.

4. Improves Project Outcomes

The RACI framework helps to improve project outcomes by clarifying responsibilities and making sure that everyone is aware of what they need to do.

Limitations of the RACI Framework

Like other frameworks, RACI has its share of limitations including:

1. Limited Focus on Relationships

RACI can be ineffective in project situations that require building trust and relationships for success. The framework is focused on tasks and responsibilities neglecting nuances of interpersonal relationships.

2. Ineffective for Complex Projects

When it comes to complex or large projects with a multitude of stakeholders, the RACI framework may not be that effective.

Trying to define the roles and responsibilities of multiple team members and stakeholders is likely to become confusing and may result in conflicts when there are overlaps or gaps in responsibilities.

3. Could Lead to Micromanagement

At the risk of generalizing, there is no worker or project team member that wants to be micromanaged.

Using the RACI framework could lead to micromanagement if the person responsible for a task isn’t given the necessary authority to execute it.

4. May not be Adaptable to Changing Circumstances

Changes are inevitable in any project life cycle. The RACI framework which is designed to be applied at the beginning of a project may not be adaptable to changing circumstances or unexpected events during the project.

How to Create a DACI Matrix

Creating and using a DACI matrix helps to visualize the DACI framework for your project. Designing the matrix is pretty straightforward.

You can use the following steps to create one:

  1. Determine the specific decision that needs to be made and the factors that need to be considered.
  2. Identify all stakeholders who may be involved in the decision-making process.
  3. Assign roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder, based on their level of involvement in the decision-making process.
  4. Establish who has the final decision-making authority for the project, based on their role in the organization and the nature of the decision.
  5. Create a table that lists each stakeholder, along with their assigned role and decision-making authority.
  6. Review the matrix regularly to ensure it remains up-to-date and adjust roles and responsibilities as needed.


How to Create a RACI Matrix

Like the DACI matrix, a RACI matrix is a visual representation of the RACI framework. You can create one using the following steps:

  1. Determine the tasks required to complete the project.
  2. Identify all team members who will be involved in completing the project tasks.
  3. Assign each team member a specific role, such as responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed.
  4. Define the specific responsibilities associated with each role.
  5. Create a table that lists each task, along with the assigned team member’s role and associated responsibilities.
  6. Regularly review the matrix to ensure it remains up-to-date and adjust roles and responsibilities as needed.

Which One Should You Use?

DACI and RACI are helpful frameworks for project management, with their unique benefits. Which one you choose to use will depend on the specific needs of your project.

If your project involves multiple people providing input and has complex decision-making processes, the DACI framework may be more appropriate.

It helps to clarify decision-making roles and responsibilities, ensuring that the right people are involved in the decision-making process.

Alternatively, if your project involves multiple tasks that need to be completed, the RACI framework may be more appropriate as it helps to clarify task responsibilities and ensures that everyone knows what they need to do.

In some cases, a combination of both frameworks may be appropriate. For instance, you could use the DACI framework for the decision-making process and the RACI framework for task management.


Structured approaches are essential for managing large-scale projects. The DACI model helps to establish decision-making processes and clear authority, while the RACI model facilitates the assignment of responsibilities and accountability tracking throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Although the two frameworks share similarities, they result in distinct project leadership methodologies. Therefore, they can be used individually or together, depending on what works best for the project.

Ultimately, it’s up to you as a project manager to determine the appropriate solution for your specific project.


Is RACI Obsolete?

No, RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) is not obsolete. It remains a key tool in project management to clarify roles and responsibilities, especially with projects that don’t have changes, ensuring efficient task execution and cooperative teamwork. However, any tool’s effectiveness depends on its appropriate application and context.

In RACI can you be Accountable and Responsible?

Yes, in a RACI matrix, the same person can be both Accountable and Responsible for a task. The Accountable person takes ownership, while the Responsible person performs the task. Sometimes, particularly in smaller teams, these roles can overlap.

David Usifo (PSM, MBCS, PMP®)
David Usifo (PSM, MBCS, PMP®)

David Usifo is a certified project manager professional, professional Scrum Master, and a BCS certified Business Analyst with a background in product development and database management.

He enjoys using his knowledge and skills to share with aspiring and experienced project managers and product developers the core concept of value-creation through adaptive solutions.

Articles: 334

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *