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.

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.

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.

The five elements of the RAPID framework comprise:


Some of the best practices of the RAPID framework comprise:

Other Brainstorming Frameworks

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciate Inquiry (AI) is an organizational change methodology that focuses on strengths and not on weaknesses. Appreciate Inquiry was created by management professors David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva in the 1980s. The Appreciate Inquiry is also known as the 5-D Cycle, an iterative cycle describing five distinct phases, made of define, discover, dream, design, and destiny.

Round-robin Brainstorming

Round-robin brainstorming is a collective and iterative approach to brainstorming. Brainstorming is an effective way of generating fresh ideas for an organization. Round-robin brainstorming is a balanced approach, employing an iterative, circular process that builds on the previous contribution of each participant.

Constructive Controversy

Constructive controversy is a theory arguing that controversial discussions create a good starting point for understanding complex problems. A constructive controversy discussion is performed by following six steps: organize information and derive conclusions; presenting and advocating decisions; being challenged by opposing views; conceptual conflict and uncertainty; epistemic curiosity and perspective-taking; and reconceptualization, synthesis, and integration.

Affinity Grouping

Affinity grouping is a collaborative prioritization process where group participants brainstorm ideas and opportunities according to their similarities. Affinity grouping is a broad and versatile process based on simple but highly effective ideas. It helps teams generate and then organize teams according to their similarity or likeness.

The Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone Diagram is a diagram-based technique used in brainstorming to identify potential causes for a problem, thus it is a visual representation of cause and effect. The problem or effect serves as the head of the fish. Possible causes of the problem are listed on the individual “bones” of the fish. This encourages problem-solving teams to consider a wide range of alternatives.


Rolestorming as a term was first mentioned by personal development guru Rick Griggs in the 1980s.  Rolestorming is a brainstorming technique where participants pretend they are other people when sharing their thoughts and ideas.

Reverse Brainstorming

Reverse brainstorming takes advantage of the natural human tendency to more easily see problems than solutions. What’s more, many individuals when placed in a traditional brainstorming environment will find it difficult to become creative on command. Reverse brainstorming is an approach where individuals brainstorm the various ways a plan could fail. 

Lotus Diagram

A lotus diagram is a creative tool for ideation and brainstorming. The diagram identifies the key concepts from a broad topic for simple analysis or prioritization.

Futures Wheel

The futures wheel was invented in 1971 by Jerome C. Glenn while he was studying at the Antioch Graduate School of Education.  The futures wheel is a brainstorming framework for visualizing the future consequences of a particular trend or event.

Read Next: Business AnalysisCompetitor Analysis, Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

Read Also: RACI Matrix, 3×3 Sales Matrix, Value/effort Matrix, SFA matrix, Value/Risk Matrix, Reframing Matrix, Kepner-Tregoe Matrix.

Main Free Guides:

Scroll to Top