RAPID Framework In A Nutshell

The RAPID framework is a tool used to help businesses make important decisions. The RAPID framework was developed by global consultancy firm Bain & Company, which noted that “high-quality decision making and strong performance go hand in hand.

Concept OverviewThe RAPID Framework is a decision-making and responsibility assignment model used to clarify roles and responsibilities in organizations, particularly for decision-making processes. It ensures that individuals involved in a decision understand their roles and levels of participation, enhancing decision quality and efficiency.
R – Recommend“R” stands for Recommend, and it refers to individuals who recommend a specific decision or course of action. These individuals provide input and analysis to inform the decision-making process. They evaluate options and propose a recommended choice.
A – Agree“A” represents Agree, and it pertains to those who must agree to and support the decision. Their role is to express support for the recommended decision, and they may have veto power if necessary. Their agreement is crucial for moving forward with the decision.
P – Perform“P” denotes Perform, and it involves individuals responsible for executing and implementing the decision. They are tasked with putting the decision into action and ensuring that the chosen course is executed effectively and efficiently.
I – Input“I” represents Input, and it refers to stakeholders who should be consulted before making the decision. Their role is to provide valuable insights, information, or feedback that can influence the recommendation or final decision. Their input is considered in the decision-making process.
D – Decide“D” stands for Decide, and it represents the individual or group with the authority to make the final decision. They have the ultimate responsibility for choosing the course of action based on recommendations, agreements, and input from others.
ImplicationsThe RAPID Framework has significant implications for decision-making processes within organizations. It helps: – Clarify roles: Clearly define who does what in the decision-making process. – Speed up decisions: Streamline decision-making by assigning responsibilities. – Improve accountability: Ensure accountability for outcomes. – Enhance transparency: Make decision processes more transparent and inclusive. – Reduce conflicts: Minimize conflicts arising from unclear roles.
Benefits– Clarity: Ensures clarity regarding who is responsible for what in the decision-making process. – Efficiency: Streamlines decision-making by assigning roles and responsibilities. – Accountability: Enhances accountability for decisions and their outcomes. – Inclusivity: Encourages input and participation from relevant stakeholders. – Conflict Resolution: Helps resolve conflicts that may arise due to unclear roles.
Drawbacks– Complexity: In complex organizations, assigning roles can be challenging and may lead to confusion. – Time-Consuming: Implementing the RAPID Framework may require time and effort. – Resistance: Team members may resist changes to established decision-making processes. – Rigidity: It may not be suitable for all types of decisions or organizations and could be seen as overly prescriptive.
Use CasesThe RAPID Framework is applied in various organizational contexts to improve decision-making processes. It is particularly valuable: – In large organizations with complex decision-making structures. – When there is a need to reduce decision-making bottlenecks. – When roles and responsibilities are unclear, leading to inefficiencies. – When transparency and accountability are critical for decision outcomes. – In cross-functional teams and projects requiring collaboration.

Understanding the RAPID framework

Nevertheless, clear and well-defined decision-making processes in many organizations are impeded by uncertainty over roles or responsibilities.

This causes wasted time, confusion, frustration, and ultimately, failure.

To address this issue, Bain & Company developed a tool to help clarify decision-making accountability.

It is loosely based on the acronym RAPID which is based on five key roles that must be assumed when making any decision:

Recommend (R) the decision or action

Who is the person or group of people responsible for recommending an action as part of an expected outcome?

Agree (A) to the decision or action

Who is the person or group of people tasked with agreeing to a decision?

This might include customers, suppliers, stakeholders, department heads, or key executives.

If a decision is not fully supported, this should be reflected in the final proposal.

Perform (P) the action item

This role encompasses those tasked with carrying out the action.

This role must be staffed with relevant knowledge and expertise.

Input (I) Who will provide factual input

To a recommendation to generate support from employees?

Depending on the ease of implementation and chance of success, this input may or may not be reflected in the final proposal.

Decide (D) to make the decision

Importantly, the decision must be made by a single person – referred to as the decision owner.

If a business feels the need to involve multiple people in a decision, then it may benefit from splitting a project into smaller parts.

RAPID framework best practices

If nothing else, the RAPID framework requires patience, discipline, and practice. It also requires discerning judgment since not every decision will be suited to a rigorous evaluation process.

With that said, here are a few tips for using the framework:

Key roles must be filled before a decision is required

If key personnel identify that the RAPID framework is applicable, each of the five key roles must be filled before a decision is required.

These people must then be notified of their responsibilities as a matter of priority.

Inputs and agreements are clearly defined

Ensure recommendations, inputs, and agreements are clearly defined.

To help avoid confusion, clarify the level of input each role is providing and also the context it is provided in.

Useful for larger organizations and more complex projects

While the RAPID framework is useful for larger organizations or projects with added complexity, businesses must avoid using it for every single decision.

Overuse can cause efficiency problems the framework was trying to solve in the first place.

Benefits of the RAPID framework 

Some of the benefits of the RAPID framework include:

Thoughtful decision-making

Many decision-makers benefit from a systematic and logical decision-making process.

It forces them to slow down and give greater accountability to those most deserving of it.

With the most qualified people involved, the less qualified are excluded as a natural consequence.

Increased buy-in

Many assume excluded staff are somehow less invested in the decision as a result.

However, the reverse is true when there is some degree of transparency.

As staff understand who is involved in making the decision and what the process entails, they become more engaged and supportive. 

High-quality recruiting

The increase in clarity also has ramifications for the recruitment process.

The RAPID framework allows recruiters to clearly define the authority and responsibility an interviewee would have in the company if successful.

This allays concerns regarding decision-making scope and the pre-existing chain of command.

Higher impact decisions

Perhaps an obvious benefit, but one that is worth mentioning.

Businesses that make better decisions generally make higher impact decisions that help them achieve their goals more effectively.


A RACI matrix is used to assign and then display the various roles and responsibilities in a project, service, or process. It is similar to the RASCI Responsibility Matrix, yet it misses the “S” which is the support function. This might be useful in less complex organizations, where it’s more important to establish the people responsible and accountable for the projects and where the support function is less relevant.

Whereas the RAPID framework is primarily a tool for decision-making within organizations.

The RACI framework is a tool to define responsibilities and accountability over internal projects within the organization to make those projects more effective through four elements:

Case Studies

New Product Development:

  • Recommend (R): The product development team recommends new product features and enhancements.
  • Agree (A): Key stakeholders, including marketing, sales, and finance, must agree on the proposed changes.
  • Perform (P): Developers and designers are responsible for implementing the recommended features.
  • Input (I): Customer feedback and market research provide valuable input into feature recommendations.
  • Decide (D): The product manager serves as the decision owner, making the final call on feature implementation.

Strategic Expansion:

  • Recommend (R): The strategy team recommends entering a new market or launching a new business unit.
  • Agree (A): Top executives and the board of directors must agree to the strategic expansion plan.
  • Perform (P): Operations and marketing teams execute the expansion strategy.
  • Input (I): Market research, competitive analysis, and financial projections provide input into the recommendation.
  • Decide (D): The CEO or chief strategy officer serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on strategic expansion.

IT System Upgrade:

  • Recommend (R): The IT department recommends upgrading the organization’s core software systems.
  • Agree (A): Department heads and end-users need to agree to the upgrade plan.
  • Perform (P): IT professionals perform the software upgrade tasks.
  • Input (I): User feedback and IT assessments provide input into the upgrade recommendation.
  • Decide (D): The CIO or IT director serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on the upgrade.

Marketing Campaign Launch:

  • Recommend (R): The marketing team recommends launching a new advertising campaign.
  • Agree (A): The campaign plan must be agreed upon by marketing, sales, and executive leadership.
  • Perform (P): Marketers and creative teams execute the campaign.
  • Input (I): Customer insights, market trends, and competitive analysis provide input into campaign recommendations.
  • Decide (D): The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on the campaign.

HR Policy Change:

  • Recommend (R): The HR department recommends changing a company policy.
  • Agree (A): The HR policy change must be agreed upon by HR leadership, legal, and employees.
  • Perform (P): HR professionals implement the policy change.
  • Input (I): Employee feedback, legal considerations, and industry best practices provide input into policy recommendations.
  • Decide (D): The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on the policy change.

Software Development Project:

  • Recommend (R): The software development team recommends adopting a new programming language for a project.
  • Agree (A): Key stakeholders, including project managers, developers, and architects, must agree to the language choice.
  • Perform (P): Developers with expertise in the chosen language are responsible for coding.
  • Input (I): Technical experts provide input based on language capabilities and project requirements.
  • Decide (D): The project manager serves as the decision owner, making the final call on the language selection.

Cybersecurity Response Plan:

  • Recommend (R): The cybersecurity team recommends implementing a new incident response plan.
  • Agree (A): IT leadership, legal, and compliance teams must agree to the plan.
  • Perform (P): The cybersecurity team is responsible for executing the incident response plan.
  • Input (I): Threat intelligence, risk assessments, and regulatory guidelines provide input into the plan.
  • Decide (D): The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on the plan.

Product Roadmap Prioritization:

  • Recommend (R): Product managers recommend the priority order of features in the product roadmap.
  • Agree (A): Cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, and marketing, must agree on the feature priorities.
  • Perform (P): Development and design teams implement the chosen features.
  • Input (I): User feedback, market analysis, and technical constraints provide input into feature prioritization.
  • Decide (D): The Head of Product serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on the roadmap.

Cloud Migration Strategy:

  • Recommend (R): IT infrastructure teams recommend a strategy for migrating on-premises servers to the cloud.
  • Agree (A): IT leadership, finance, and compliance teams must agree to the migration plan.
  • Perform (P): Cloud architects and IT teams execute the migration.
  • Input (I): Cost-benefit analysis, security assessments, and scalability considerations provide input into the migration strategy.
  • Decide (D): The Chief Information Officer (CIO) serves as the decision owner, making the final decision on the migration approach.

Product Launch Go/No-Go Decision:

  • Recommend (R): The product team recommends whether to proceed with a scheduled product launch.
  • Agree (A): Marketing, sales, and executive leadership must agree on the launch decision.
  • Perform (P): Marketing and sales teams execute the launch plan or hold off.
  • Input (I): Market research, competitive analysis, and pre-launch customer feedback provide input into the recommendation.
  • Decide (D): The CEO or Chief Product Officer (CPO) serves as the decision owner, making the final launch decision.

Key takeaways

  • The RAPID framework is a tool used by businesses to help them make better decisions. It was developed by consultancy firm Bain & Company.
  • The RAPID framework is based on an acronym of five key decision-making roles. Each role may be assigned to an individual or group of people.
  • The systemic nature of the RAPID framework forces decision-making to slow down and become more insightful. It also increases employee buy-in for those not directly involved in the process. Lastly, the framework encourages high-impact decision-making enabling goals to be achieved more quickly.

Key Highlights

  • RAPID Framework Overview: The RAPID framework, developed by Bain & Company, aids businesses in making effective decisions by clarifying decision-making roles and responsibilities.
  • Addressing Decision-Making Challenges: Many organizations face challenges in decision-making due to unclear roles. This leads to wasted time and failures. The RAPID framework helps clarify accountability.
  • Five Key Decision-Making Roles (RAPID):
    • Recommend (R): Individuals or groups suggesting a decision or action.
    • Agree (A): Parties who must agree to the decision, such as customers, stakeholders, or executives.
    • Perform (P): Those responsible for executing the decision, possessing relevant expertise.
    • Input (I): Providers of factual input to support recommendations.
    • Decide (D): A single decision owner responsible for making the final decision.
  • Best Practices for RAPID Framework:
    • Assign key roles before decision-making is required.
    • Clearly define recommendations, inputs, and agreements.
    • Utilize the framework for larger organizations and complex projects.
    • Avoid overuse to maintain efficiency.
  • Benefits of the RAPID Framework:
    • Thoughtful Decision-Making: Encourages systematic, accountable, and qualified decision-making.
    • Increased Buy-In: Transparency about decision roles fosters engagement and support.
    • High-Quality Recruiting: Clearly defines authority and responsibility for potential hires.
    • Higher Impact Decisions: Improved decision-making leads to more impactful outcomes.
  • RAPID vs. RACI:
    • RAPID Framework: Primarily for decision-making, assigning roles like Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide.
    • RACI Matrix: Assigns roles and responsibilities (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) for projects, services, or processes.
  • Key Takeaways:
    • The RAPID framework enhances decision-making by clarifying roles.
    • RAPID roles include Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide.
    • RAPID leads to thoughtful decisions, increased buy-in, better recruiting, and higher-impact decisions.

What are the five elements of the RAPID Framework?

What are the best practices for the RAPID Framework?

What are the benefits of the RAPID Framework?

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