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.
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.
This person oversees the task to ensure it is carried out correctly.
They are ultimately accountable for any work performed.
Who can support the implementation of a task, service, or process?
Describing stakeholders who give valuable input while the work is in progress.
They are actively engaged in the project.
Informed stakeholders are those who have no direct involvement in the project but require regular updates.
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.
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.
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.
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
Compared to RASCI, the RAPID framework has the following advantages:
- 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.
Whereas, in a DACI model, the Driver and Approver have similar functions of the Responsible and Accountable of the RACI model.
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.
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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Read Also: RAPID Framework, RACI Matrix, 3×3 Sales Matrix, Value/effort Matrix, SFA matrix, Value/Risk Matrix, Reframing Matrix, Kepner-Tregoe Matrix.
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