RAPID decision-making: Its roles, benefits & examples

what is RAPID decision making


Successful organizations consistently make decisions in the right direction. It does not happen in a vacuum. They have the standard methodologies to help them guide through sensible decision-making. RAPID decision-making is one such methodology for making decisions. 

Just to clear a common misinterpretation, there is nothing rapid about RAPID decision-making. Instead, it involves a thoughtful and multi-step decision-making process where each decision-maker is assigned a role. However, it produces rapid results through well-thought-out decision-making.

A RAPID framework is often used by stakeholders for making high-stakes decisions in an organization. Additionally, in this post, we will look at the ins and outs of RAPID decision-making.

What is RAPID decision-making?

RAPID decision-making is a model for organizational decision-making developed by Bain & Company. It involves assigning roles to decision-makers for making decisions. 

The acronym RAPID stands for five roles: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, only 20 percent of respondents say their organizations excel at decision-making. Further, a majority used the time taken in decision-making ineffectively. 

The purpose of using the RAPID decision-making is to ensure that key organizational decisions are made collaboratively, not in silos. In this way, all the key stakeholders distribute the responsibility of decision-making, and each stakeholder’s expertise is utilized in decision-making.

RAPID decision-making roles

The RAPID framework covers key roles in the decision-making process. Here is the explanation of each role and what it does:


1. Recommend 

The ‘recommend role’ is the one who makes recommendations about what needs to be done. Essentially, you can say 80% of the decision-making process happens here. Additionally, a recommender collects the inputs from all the stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, brainstorms, and defines the vision.

Only one recommender is assigned for each decision. The recommender must have the decider’s trust because they develop recommendations for the decider. 

2. Agree

The recommender has recommended what to do but it is the responsibility of the ‘agree role’ to define whether or not it is feasible to work on the recommendations. The agreer’s approval is required before passing the final recommendations to the decider.

Multiple stakeholders can be assigned the agreed role. However, it is not necessary to have an agreed role for each decision.

3. Perform 

The ‘perform role’ executes the final decision made by the decider. Furthermore, a performer should be able to understand the intent and context of the decision. Additionally, a perform role can be assigned to an individual or team.

In most cases, the performer is also assigned the input role to gather insights. For example, a project manager’s role is to execute the plan, but they can also help during the input stage with a cost-benefit analysis of an initiative. 

4. Input 

The ‘input role’ provides expertise, insights, and information that shape the recommendation. Additionally, it usually includes all the stakeholders who will be affected by the decision or involved in execution. It helps collect all information and advice to consider throughout the decision-making process. However, not every idea presented in the input needs to be included in the final decision.

5. Decision

The decider is the one who has the final say on everything. He makes the final decision based on the recommendation from the recommender and commits the performer to the action. The decider reviews all relevant data objectively before committing action to recommendations.

Flow chart of RAPID decision-making 

Flow chart of RAPID decision-making 

The RAPID framework does not define the order of the decision-making process. It follows the regular order of a decision-making process. The recommendations move from input to perform through recommend, agree, and decide stage.

Here is the workflow of RAPID decision-making:

  • First inputs are gathered
  • A recommender makes recommendations based on the inputs
  • The agreer approves the recommendations
  • The agreed recommendations are shared with the decision-maker
  • After the final say, the decider passes the recommendations to the performer.

How to implement RAPID framework?

Implementing the RAPID framework is primarily a three-step process. Have a look at the step-by-step process.

1. Identify situations to apply RAPID

You cannot apply the RAPID decision-making process to every situation. However, not every situation demands such detailed, collaborative, and high-stake decision-making. Therefore, identify whether the situation requires the involvement of key stakeholders in decision-making. If yes, go for the RAPID approach.

2. Assign roles and responsibilities

Once you identify the situation and all the stakeholders involved in decision-making, assign the roles and responsibilities using the RAPID framework. 

Assign RAPID roles using task management in ProofHub
Assign RAPID roles using task management in ProofHub

Here is how to assign roles using the RAPID framework:

  • Recommend (R): It defines who will analyze the situation and propose the best course of action. This role is often reserved for subject matter experts.
  • Agree (A): It defines who has the authority to approve or reject the recommendation. Moreover, this role might be for the heads of the departments who are concerned with decision impact.
  • Perform (P): It defines who will take ownership of implementing the decision. This could be an individual or a team with the necessary skills.
  • Input (I): It defines who can provide valuable insights and perspectives to inform the decision. Additionally, this might include experienced team members or stakeholders.
  • Decide (D): It defines who will ultimately have the final say in the recommendations. This role should have the authority and accountability for the final decision.

Read more: A simple guide to effective task allocation in project management

3. Promote open communication

Implementing a RAPID framework requires effective communication between the RAPID team. Therefore, establishing open channels of communication to encourage seamless communication among the team members is crucial. It helps ensure that every team member’s increased buy-in and expertise can be utilized effectively.

4. Use a collaborative tool

The RAPID model only suggests how to outline each role’s responsibilities. But to implement the framework for a project, you need a collaboration tool.

A Harvard Business Review study found that 85% of employees cited collaboration tools as one of the most critical areas of focus.

Use a project management software like ProofHub to collaborate with a team. It will help you bring all the people, information, and ideas to a single centralized and transparent place.

Collaborate with team members in ProofHub’s Discussion for improved decision making
Collaborate with team members in ProofHub’s Discussion

Here is how you can use ProofHub to implement the RAPID framework:

Explore ProofHub’s extensive features to learn how you can implement the RAPID framework for decision-making when managing teams and projects.

When to use RAPID decision-making model?

Many readers often end up confusing RAPID decision-making with hasty decision-making, but it is the complete opposite of it. It is a gradual and multi-step process that requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders. 

Additionally, a stakeholder can have multiple roles in the RAPID framework or one role can have multiple stakeholders for decision making. Thus, it takes time to collaborate and come to a final mutually agreed decision. 

The model of RAPID decision-making focuses on the execution of the strategy at pace. It figures out the ifs and buts of a decision before execution so that there are no challenges due to poor decision-making.   

I’ve seen successful RAPID implementations and assigned the “Recommend” role to subject matter experts within teams in ProofHub. For instance, “Our marketing team lead might recommend the best strategy for a new campaign launch after analyzing market trends and customer data.”

If you want to make quick decisions and seek complete authority, definitely it is not an approach for you. On the other hand, if you are making a high-stakes decision that can impact the company’s offerings, profit, pricing, public image, and culture, RAPID decision-making is the right approach for you. 

What is an example of RAPID decision-making?

Take an example of a design overhaul of a company’s website for marketing. Here is what the RAPID framework will look like:

  • Recommend: The Marketing Operations Head plays the role of recommender. Furthermore, they will carry out the research and define what changes need to be made.
  • Agree: The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the UI/UX Design Head, and the Head of Legal Compliance act as agreed. It is because they want to ensure that proposed recommendations are profitable, technically feasible, and do not cause any disputes with competitors.     
  • Perform: The UI/UX manager plays the role of performer. They will plan how to work on the website design overhaul. 
  • Input: The UI/UX design team, marketing manager, sales manager, and customer success manager will take the role of input. Consequently, they provide different perspectives on what can be included in the design overhaul process. 
  • Decision: The CEO or the CMO acts as a decider. Additionally, they will approve the final plan of the design overhaul of the website and commit to the action.   

This is a RAPID decision example of how collaborative decisions are taken using the RAPID framework. 

Benefits of RAPID decision-making

RAPID decision-making provides a standard framework for transparent, collaborative, and streamlined decision-making. Have a look at some of the most important RAPID decision-making benefits.

1. More buy-in from all stakeholders 

RAPID decision-making increases the buy-in of stakeholders in the initiative. It is because now they are part of the initiative and they do not want to fail. 

Also, when everyone is involved in decision-making, they feel more engaged with the work. Resulting in high-quality work on an initiative that achieves the organizational objectives.

2. More expertise and less chance of failure 

Having more experts on decision-making teams means involving different perspectives. Consequently, different perspectives lead to spotting more opportunities, planning better for risks, unbiased decisions, and successfully dealing with challenges.

This increases the chances of the success of your decision because now it is covered from all angles. With RAPID decision-making, you put your best foot forward.

3. Increased transparency, enhanced accountability, and fewer conflicts 

RAPID decision-making clearly defines everyone’s role. Thus, there is no conflict on ‘who is responsible for what’. This results in increased accountability, streamlined operations, and reduced conflicts. Because now everyone has clarity on their roles and responsibilities. 

Above all, as they are part of the decision, everyone understands the context and intent of the decision which helps in organization-wide alignment to the objectives.    

ProofHub gantt chart for Increasing transparency and acountability for RAPID decision making
ProofHub Gantt chart for Increasing transparency and accountability

Read more: What is conflict management in the workplace? 

Challenges in using RAPID decision-making framework

RAPID decision-making comes with a set of challenges. Have a look at them.

  • Lack of trust: If you are in a leadership position and running a one-man company, then it is difficult to make decisions using this framework because RAPID distributes the power. The decider has the final say but it is for supporting the decision, not for complete disagreements. The decider must have trust in all the people in RAPID roles.
  • Collaborative process: RAPID decision-making is a collaborative, multi-step, and consensus decision-making process. However, you cannot make decisions single-handedly and instantly. Your decision-making team has to be good at collaboration to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Involve all the key stakeholders: You need to involve all the key stakeholders. Otherwise, you will miss key insights and expertise which leads to poor decision-making. To successfully implement the RAPID framework, you need strong problem-solving skills and communication skills.     

Read more: Master stakeholder management: Your guide to project success 

RAPID vs RACI: Choosing the right framework

RAPID and RACI are two different frameworks for work management. While RACI is an acronym for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed, for every task, action, or event, RACI specifies who is responsible, who is accountable, who should be consulted, and who should be informed. This ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, and every action is properly executed.

Comparing the RAPID vs. RACI approach, RAPID talks about what to do and assigns roles for an individual in the decision-making process, while RACI talks about key responsibilities and how to execute final decisions made in the RAPID framework.

In simple words, 

  • RAPID takes care of the planning part while RACI takes care of the execution part
  • RAPID is at the organizational level while RACI is at the project level
  • RAPID talks about decision-making while RACI talks about an action plan.

You need both frameworks for organizational decision-making and execution.


Organizations can become more efficient and productive when they improve their decision-making processes. The RAPID decision-making model provides you with a framework to make high-stakes decisions sensibly. Moreover, it helps you streamline your decision-making process, making it collaborative and transparent.

When organizations apply the RAPID decision-making using the right project management skills, the decision-making process becomes easier to understand, streamlined, and more efficient.

With tools like ProofHub, you can collaboratively make decisions, convert them into tasks, track the progress from one central point, and make successful decisions. 

Take a 14 -day free trial to see how ProofHub can help you make project decisions.

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Frequently asked questions

How does RAPID decision-making differ from traditional decision-making processes?

RAPID decision-making is different from traditional decision-making in terms of clarity of roles and responsibilities. It helps you make decisions quickly because everyone knows what is expected of them. Additionally, it distributes power among stakeholders, leading to collaborative decision-making.

How does the RAPID method improve clarity for decisions and outcomes?

RAPID clearly defines the roles using the acronym RAPID: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide. Consequently, everyone gains clarity about their role and its impact on decision-making.

How does the RAPID approach help teams make quality decisions?

RAPID makes the decision-making process collaborative, transparent, and streamlined. Furthermore, every key stakeholder shares their expertise, and a decision is made after considering various perspectives.

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