A RASCI matrix is used to assign and then display the various roles and responsibilities in a project, service, or process. It is sometimes called a RASCI Responsibility Matrix. The RASCI matrix is essentially a project management tool that provides important clarification for organizations involved in complex projects.
|Responsible (R)||Identify the person or team responsible for the task.||Determine the key person who ensures the task is completed correctly.||Clarify roles and eliminate confusion regarding task ownership.||In a software development project, the developer codes a new feature.|
|Accountable (A)||Identify the person or role accountable for the task’s success.||Define the ultimate decision-maker or the one who signs off on the task.||Ensure clear accountability and prevent task-related bottlenecks.||In the same software project, the product manager is accountable for feature delivery.|
|Supportive (S)||Recognize individuals or teams providing support for the task.||Determine who provides resources or assistance to the task owner.||Ensure necessary resources are available to complete the task.||The quality assurance team supports the testing phase of the software project.|
|Consulted (C)||Identify individuals or roles to be consulted for input or expertise.||Determine who needs to be consulted for valuable insights during the task.||Avoid overlooking critical perspectives and gather relevant input.||The UX designer is consulted during the design phase of the software project.|
|Informed (I)||Recognize those who need to be informed about the task’s progress.||Determine who should be kept up-to-date but aren’t directly involved.||Ensure transparency and effective communication within the team.||Regular project updates are provided to stakeholders in the software project.|
Understanding a RASCI matrix
When used correctly, the matrix facilitates a shared understanding of participant roles and responsibilities supported by accessible and explicit documentation.
As a result, the matrix can be used to help projects plagued by inefficiencies move forward.
Stakeholder roles and responsibilities are divided into five categories which comprise the RASCI acronym:
Who are the stakeholders doing the work to complete a task?
Responsible stakeholders are the creators of deliverables and have decision-making power.
Responsibility implies ownership and authority over the task to achieve a desired outcome, but this role, in most cases, is not performed in isolation.
Responsible individuals in the RASCI matrix ensure the work is completed on time, within budget, and to the required standard.
As hinted at earlier, they may need to coordinate with other team members or stakeholders and manage resources or make critical decisions.
This person oversees the task to ensure it is carried out correctly.
They are ultimately accountable for any work performed.
The accountable stakeholder is typically a senior executive or manager who possesses the authority to make decisions and allocate resources.
While these stakeholders hold ultimate decision-making power and are accountable for task outcomes, they are often not directly involved with the day-to-day minutiae.
Who can support the implementation of a task, service, or process?
These are the individuals or teams who provide resources, information, or mentorship that enable the responsible stakeholders to successfully complete the task.
IT and human resources personnel are two of the most common examples, but support stakeholders may also include legal counsel and various other subject matter experts.
Describing stakeholders who give valuable input while the work is in progress.
They are actively engaged in the project and tend to possess relevant knowledge or expertise that can contribute to the project’s success.
Examples include business partners, subject matter experts, external consultants, and key customers or suppliers.
Informed stakeholders are those who have no direct involvement in the project but require regular updates.
This may include roles such as:
- Project manager – the person responsible for delivering certain outcomes.
- Project sponsor – the person, team, or entity that funds the project and/or has a vested interest in its success.
- Business analysts – who analyze and document a project’s business requirements.
- Auditors – who are responsible for reviewing and assessing the project’s compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards, and
Creating a RASCI matrix
Creating a RASCI matrix is simple. It is a matter of following these steps:
Draft the matrix
On a matrix, start by listing each of the stakeholders in a row across the top.
These may be listed by job titles such as Project Manager. Alternatively, list the names of the people involved.
Identify every task
Then, identify every task associated with completing a project and list each on the left-hand side in a single column.
The column may also be used to list milestones, decisions, and deliverables, and if the company so desires, it can organize tasks by category or project phase with headers for each section.
This will ultimately depend on the project plan and the company’s preferred way of operating.
Complete the matrix
Complete each cell in the RASCI matrix by assigning responsible, accountable, supporting, consulting, and informed stakeholders.
This can be done by marking each cell with the first letter of each role in capitals.
Some companies create a separate tab to define each of the roles in more detail.
Inform the team
Role transparency and accountability are vital to the project’s success, so once the RASCI matrix has been completed, it is important to inform the relevant stakeholders of their responsibilities and ensure that each is capable of carrying them out.
In this way, the RASCI matrix can also be used as a communication tool used to facilitate discussion, collaboration, and decision-making.
RASCI matrix best practices
When completing the matrix, it’s important to make sure the theoretical assigning of roles and responsibilities will work in practice.
This helps project teams avoid conflicts and ambiguities before they have a chance to evolve.
To help with this process, consider the following common scenarios:
Too many Rs for a single stakeholder
Does one stakeholder have too much work assigned to them? Reduce their workload if necessary.
Too many Rs for a single task
Do some tasks have more than one responsible person? To avoid power struggles, ensure only one person is responsible for each task.
No empty cells
It is important for businesses to objectively assess whether every stakeholder needs to be involved in every project task.
Can responsible stakeholders be changed to consulted stakeholders? Can consulted stakeholders become informed?
There should be only one accountable person for each task.
Multiple accountable persons slow decision-making and encourage conflict.
Too many consulted stakeholders can also slow down a project.
Only stakeholders with valuable expertise should be consulted regularly.
Most consultants should be kept informed but only asked for advice in extenuating circumstances.
Alternatives to the RASCI matrix
If a RASCI matrix is not the best fit for a company, there are a couple of alternatives:
- DACI chart – a variation of the RASCI matrix and an acronym for Driver, Approver, Contributor, and Informed. DACI charts are useful for complex projects where a clear delineation of responsibility is required and where multiple parties are involved.
- RAPID responsibility matrix – RAPID is an acronym for Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide. This model clarifies decision-making responsibility between different roles and is useful in hierachies where multiple levels of managers and leaders may exist.
RASCI matrix examples
Now we will conclude with two hypothetical RASCI matrix examples.
Example 1 – Software development
Consider a software development company whose team is tasked with the delivery of a versatile and expensive web-based application to a client.
The first step is to note down the individuals/stakeholders who will be involved in the delivery. In the context of software development, these include:
- Project manager.
- Subject matter experts.
- Web developers.
- System administrators.
- Testers, and
These are then listed across the top of the RASCI matrix across a single row.
Defining tasks or process steps
With the stakeholders identified, the company then clarifies the tasks or process steps inherent to software development and lists them in a column on the left-hand side of the matrix.
- Planning and analysis.
- Designing and prototyping.
- Reviewing and testing.
- Deployment, and
With row and column values now defined, the company must assign responsibilities to each cell in the matrix.
Stakeholders are assigned to tasks in the following way:
- Responsible – analysts (planning and analysis), UI/UX (designing and prototyping), web developers (coding), testers (reviewing and testing), system administrators (deployment, maintenance).
- Accountable – project manager (all tasks).
- Supportive – analyst (designing and prototyping), UI/UX (maintenance), web developers (deployment, maintenance), testers (deployment, maintenance).
- Consulted – subject matter experts (planning and analysis), users (planning and analysis, designing and prototyping, reviewing and testing, maintenance).
- Informed – web developers (planning and analysis, designing and prototyping), system administrators (coding, reviewing and testing), users (all tasks).
Example 2 – Summit preparation
In the second example, we have a pharmaceutical company tasked with organizing its annual summit.
The summit, held in a different country each year, allows employees to build connections and become better familiarised with others in a fun and collaborative environment.
Much work must be performed behind the scenes to plan the summit since employees will be arriving from 15 different countries. Primary tasks include:
- Agree on a host country.
- Verify whether travel restrictions exist.
- Determine the total number of participants.
- Organize transportation for participants and their families.
- Source suitable accommodation.
- Create an event schedule with various activities to suit all tastes.
- Estimate and approve the summit budget.
The company then defines seven different stakeholders:
- Managing director.
- Project lead.
- Project team.
- Travel agency.
- Experienced peers.
- Summit attendees (users).
With the above in mind, here is what a RASCI matrix may look like for the pharma company.
- Responsible – project lead (decide on destination, create schedule, estimate and approve budget), project team (organize transportation).
- Accountable – managing director (agree on host country, create schedule), CFO (estimate and approve budget), project lead (verify travel restrictions, determine total number of participants, organize transportation, source accommodation).
- Supportive – external travel agency (verify travel restrictions, organize transportation, source accommodation, create schedule, estimate and approve budget).
- Consulted – external travel agency (decide on destination), experienced peers (decide on destination, source accommodation, create schedule), summit attendees (decide on destination).
- Informed – managing director (verify travel restrictions), CFO (all tasks except estimate and approve budget), summit attendees (verify travel restrictions).
Example 3 – Developing a user management feature
For this real-world RASCI matrix example, consider Mailtrap – a product that facilitates safe email testing in development and staging environments.
As the tool became more popular, the team was requested a user management feature more often.
In the past, users were able to provide access to some parts of the system manually which worked for individual users or teams of two to three people.
However, for agencies with many more system users, the manual user management process was inefficient.
To increase value for its corporate clients, Mailtrap decided to move forward with developing a user management feature that was easier to work with.
Defining project stakeholders
Mailtrap identified these key stakeholders which were listed in the top row of its RASCI matrix:
- Managing director.
- Mailtrap product manager.
- Product manager.
- Team – which consisted of one content writer to work on UI text, one backend developer, and one frontend developer.
- External design agency – who were contacted to assist with the UI/UX feature when the company’s own designers were busy, and
- Mailtrap users.
Defining tasks and process steps
In the left-hand column of the matrix, the company listed the tasks and process steps necessary to create this new feature:
- Create user stories.
- Estimate scope of the work.
- Develop backend component of the feature.
- Develop frontend component of the feature.
- Design the feature.
- Write content for the feature UX.
- Test the feature with real end users.
With stakeholders, tasks, and process steps defined, the Mailtrack team could move on to the process of defining responsibility according to the RASCI matrix.
Below is how key stakeholders were assigned to tasks/process steps:
- Responsible – product manager (all tasks).
- Accountable – Mailtrap product manager (create user stories, estimate scope, develop backend, develop frontend, design the feature, write content for feature UX, test the feature with users), managing director (design the feature).
- Support – none.
- Consulted – external design agency (create user stories, estimate scope, design the feature, Mailtrap product manager (design the feature).
- Informed – managing director (all tasks except design the feature), external design agency (develop backend, develop frontend, test the feature with users), team (test the feature with users).
Note that in this example, the company also added the following proprietary roles as part of what it calls the “RAtSCNIuo” matrix:
- Team (t) – a specialist who works on a project on a recurrent basis. They tend to be project managers, engineers, copywriters, QA engineers, and HTML/CSS experts. Mailtrap assigned this role to all tasks except for testing the feature with real users.
- If no one else (N) – these are people who are asked for help only as a last resort. As we noted earlier, the external design agency was sometimes required to assist with designing the new feature if the in-house staff was occupied.
- User (u) – the user denotes an individual who uses the system or project under development and requires updates on topics related to usage. The company classified Mailtrap users who tested the feature and shared feedback under this role.
- Occasional user (o) – a user similar to the one described above that only requires sporadic or occasional project updates relevant to them. There were none of these roles in Mailtrap’s RASCI matrix.
RASCI vs. RACI
A variation of the RASCI framework is without an “S,” thus representing a simplified version of the RASCI, where results on a project can be achieved without the support function.
Indeed, in this specific case, the RACI determines who’s responsible and accountable for a project.
Thus, the project’s success might be skewed toward the person or people identified as responsible and accountable for a project’s success.
Without necessarily having a support function. The support function might be required in more complex organizations, where group dynamics can help projects succeed.
Imagine the case of large organizations employing the RASCI method; this might be more helpful, as more complex projects might require a strong support function for them to succeed.
In smaller organizations, where keeping things simpler and requiring less people in the loop might help instead make projects successful through the use of RACI.
Below is an example of RACI matrix in action.
RASCI Matrix vs. RAPID
- Thoughtful decision-making.
- Increased buy-in.
- High-quality recruiting.
- Higher impact decisions.
Thus, where RASCI matrix displays the various roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in a project, service, process, or task.
A RAPID framework is a tool businesses use to help them make better decisions. It was developed by the consultancy firm Bain & Company.
Five key decision-making roles. Each role may be assigned to an individual or group of people.
RASCI vs. DACI
As we saw, the RACI is a variation of the RASCI framework.
In a RACI model, the person in charge of the completion of the task/project is the “responsible” who also will delegate to make the project successful.
While at the same time, there is a supporting role, for the proper execution of the task and a person accountable for the completion of the same.
Yet, eventually, the responsibility for it lies in the responsibility of the project.
RACI vs. GANNT
- The RASCI matrix displays the various roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in a project, service, process, or task.
- The RASCI matrix is an acronym for five critical categories of stakeholders: responsible, accountable, support, consulted, and informed.
- The RASCI matrix is simple to complete, but it must make sense in practical terms. Businesses must follow a few best practices to ensure the matrix guides streamlined project management.
Key Highlights of RASCI Matrix:
- Definition and Purpose: A RASCI matrix, also known as a Responsibility Matrix, is a project management tool used to assign and display roles and responsibilities in a project, service, or process.
- Role Clarification: It provides clarity on who is responsible, accountable, provides support, should be consulted, and needs to be informed in a project.
- Five Key Categories: The RASCI acronym represents five stakeholder categories: Responsible (R), Accountable (A), Support (S), Consulted (C), and Informed (I).
- Responsibilities: Responsible stakeholders perform the work, while Accountable stakeholders oversee and have decision-making authority.
- Support and Consultation: Support stakeholders provide resources and assistance, while Consulted stakeholders offer valuable input during the project.
- Informed Stakeholders: Informed stakeholders require updates but have no direct involvement in the project.
- Creating a RASCI Matrix: To create a RASCI matrix, list stakeholders, identify tasks, and assign roles by marking cells with appropriate letters.
- Role Transparency: Role transparency and accountability are crucial for project success and effective communication.
- Best Practices: Avoid conflicts and ambiguities by following best practices such as balancing responsibilities, having a single accountable person per task, and minimizing consulted stakeholders.
- Alternatives: If RASCI is not suitable, alternatives like DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributor, Informed) or RAPID (Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide) can be considered.
- Examples: Illustrated RASCI matrix examples for software development, summit preparation, and a user management feature development.
- RACI vs. RASCI: RACI simplifies RASCI by omitting the “S” for support, suitable for simpler organizations or projects.
- RAPID vs. RASCI: RAPID is a decision-making framework, while RASCI focuses on roles and responsibilities in a project.
- DACI vs. RASCI: DACI is another decision-making framework similar to RACI, with slight variations in roles.
- RASCI vs. GANNT: RASCI is a role and responsibility matrix, while Gantt charts are used for project scheduling and timelines.
- Key Takeaways: The RASCI matrix helps organizations streamline project management, clarify roles, and ensure effective communication.
What is the RASCI stand for?
RASCI is an acronym for Responsible (R), Accountable (A), Support (S), Consulted (C), and Informed (I).
What is difference between RACI and RASCI?
The RACI is a variation of the RASCI framework without an “S,” thus representing a simplified version of the RASCI, where results on a project can be achieved without the support function.
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