Use The RASCI Matrix To Manage Responsibility On A Project

Use the RASCI Matrix to Manage Responsibility On a Project

Running a project is complicated. If you have a large group of people with poorly defined roles, work can quickly grind to a standstill. Instead, manage who should be doing what with a RASCI matrix. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

As business blog Inc. explains, a RASCI matrix allows you to chart who is responsible for which aspect of a task on a project. For each task a person can have one of five roles, which break down as follows:

  • Responsible: This is the person who does the work to complete the task.
  • Accountable: This is the person responsible for overseeing that the task is done, and done correctly.
  • Consulted: This person may be used to weigh in on the task, but is not necessarily responsible for doing the work on it.
  • Support: This person is assigned to help the Responsible person. Like Consulted, but provides additional work.
  • Informed: People who are neither responsible for doing the work, nor responsible for overseeing its completion, but who should be kept up-to-date on its progress.

This matrix boils down to simply highlighting clearly what role each person has to play on each task. It avoid the all-too-common "I thought you were taking care of that" mistakes that hold up larger projects.

5 Surprising Habits of Unicorn CEOs [Inc.]


Comments

    The RASCI is a big improvement on its more commonly known sibling, the RACI. Some other rules I find critical in using a RASCI successfully are:
    1. There can only be one person Responsible and 1 person Accountable (S, C & I can have multiple entries). If you are struggling to define 1 person for each of these roles then I suggest you need to break the task down further. Having more than 1 person for R or A is a recipe for inaction (ie "But I thought YOU were doing that")
    2. Responsibility and Accountability can be delegated but must be changed on the plan
    3. Responsibility and Accountability are mandatory. All others optional

    The key to an effective RASCI is to do some legwork and not just assume you know all of the people to be listed in it. In particular, people to be Informed often leaves critical people out of the loop, which leads to problems down the line.

    Spend the time to find out which people/departments will have downward impacts from your project to save pain later on.

    One of the ways I managed this was to keep a living 'stakeholders' matrix, which listed all of the key people and departments and the systems/processes they used or relied on. Then when you need to complete your RASCI, go back to these people, confirm if they should be in your RASCI, and ask them if you've left anyone out.

    In my experience doing this always lead to discovering one new team or department within the organisation that I had never even heard of, but if left out would have caused big headaches.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now