rasci-matrix

RASCI Matrix In A Nutshell

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:

  1. Responsible (R) – who are the stakeholders doing the work to complete a task? Responsible stakeholders are the creators of deliverables and have decision-making power.
  2. Accountable (A) – this person oversees the task to ensure it is carried out correctly. They are ultimately accountable for any work performed.
  3. Support (S) – who can support the implementation of a task, service, or process?
  4. Consulted (C) – describing stakeholders who give valuable input while the work is in progress. They are actively engaged in the project.
  5. Informed (I) – 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Then, identify every task associated with completing a project and list each on the left-hand side in a single column.
  3. 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?
  • Multiple As – there should be only one accountable person for each task. Multiple accountable persons slow decision-making and encourage conflict.
  • Multiple Cs – 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.
  • UI/UX.
  • Analysts.
  • Subject matter experts.
  • Web developers.
  • System administrators.
  • Testers, and
  • Users.

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.

Tasks include:

  • Planning and analysis.
  • Designing and prototyping.
  • Coding.
  • Reviewing and testing.
  • Deployment, and
  • Maintenance.

Defining responsibility

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:

  1. Managing director.
  2. CFO.
  3. Project lead.
  4. Project team.
  5. Travel agency.
  6. Experienced peers.
  7. 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).

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.

RACI
A RACI matrix is used to assign and then display the various roles and responsibilities in a project, service, or process. It is similar to the RASCI Responsibility Matrix, yet it misses the “S,” which is the support function. This might be useful in less complex organizations, where it’s more important to establish the people responsible and accountable for the projects and where the support function is less relevant.

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.

RASCI Matrix vs. RAPID

rapid-framework
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.”

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

daci-decision-making-framework
Software company Intuit in the 1980s developed the DACI Decision-Making Framework. The DACI Decision-Making Framework assigns and then displays the responsibilities of the individual when making a decision. DACI stands for driver, approver, contributor, and informed.

As we saw, the RACI is a variation of the RASCI framework.

RACI
A RACI matrix is used to assign and then display the various roles and responsibilities in a project, service, or process. It is similar to the RASCI Responsibility Matrix, yet it misses the “S,” which is the support function. This might be useful in less complex organizations, where it’s more important to establish the people responsible and accountable for the projects and where the support function is less relevant.

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.

Key takeaways:

  • 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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