Project management & leadership | September 21, 2023

A 101 Guide to The RASCI Responsibility Matrix: RASCI Chart, Project Roles and Responsibilities & More Explained

The key to delivering complex projects is having the right people, in the right places, doing the right things, at the right times. If you line all of this up correctly, you’ll hit your deadlines, manage your risks, and ultimately deliver project success.

RASCI

But coordinating all of this is hard. To get it right, project managers need tools and techniques to help them out, and one of the most popular is RASCI. A RASCI matrix is essential to clearly define the different roles and responsibilities for everyone within the project, ensuring they’re all clear on what to do and when. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into RASCI, looking at what it is, the benefits it can deliver, and how it compares to other project team models such as RACI. Then, to finish, we’ll share 5 crucial best practices to help you maximize your chances of project success!

What is RASCI? + RASCI vs RACI & a RACI Chart Example

RASCI, also known as the RASCI Matrix, the RASCI Framework, or the RASCI Responsibility Matrix, is a tool used in project management to assign roles to individuals within a project team. 

RASCI is an acronym that breaks down individuals’ roles for specific tasks. These roles are Responsible, Accountable, Supporting, Consulted, and Informed – we’ll get into more detail on what they mean later on! You’ll also commonly come across RACI as well as RASCI – they are used interchangeably, as a RACI is a slightly leaner version of the tool that doesn’t include the Supporting role. 

Converting RASCI or RACI into a chart format gives everyone on the project complete visibility of what they should be doing, helping to avoid confusion, delays, and conflict. For example, within a software development project, different team members will be responsible for designing, developing, and testing the software, with subject matter experts consulted or supporting where required.

RASCI MATRIX template

Here’s a great example from the team at Smartsheet that demonstrates how a RACI matrix is used in practice. Here, you see the project tasks and deliverables listed on the left-hand side of the matrix and the individual job roles across the top. Through the middle of the chart, R’s, A’s, C’s, and I’s connect the dots to show who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed for each task. 

RASCI Matrix Explained – Role and Responsibilities for Project Management

Now that we know what the RASCI model is, it’s time to get into the detail of what it all means. To help you do that, let’s look at each of the roles in turn to understand exactly what they mean. 

RASCI matrix

Responsible

The responsible person is often seen as the most important for any task as they are in charge of completing it. Other terms such as task owner or task lead may be used here as the responsible role also plans the tasks and directs others to support as required.

Accountable

The accountable person verifies, signs off, and is held to account for the task being completed. In many instances, the person who is responsible and accountable for the task is the same to allow for complete ownership.

The key way to distinguish the person responsible and the person accountable is to ask yourself – Who will be in trouble if this task doesn’t get completed? Answer that question, and you’ll identify the one accountable. 

Supporting

The supporting role may not have any responsibilities, but they are still incredibly important to the project’s success. These individuals provide input and supplementary work to help the project progress. 

Rasci Chart Explained – Source

Consulted

Similar to the previous role, those who are Consulted provide input on the project. The slight difference here is that the inputs focus more on reviewing, validating, or auditing the project’s tasks rather than actively contributing to their completion. 

This similarity between Supporting and Consulted is why the simpler RACI model is often used instead of RASCI.

Informed

In any project, there will be a group of stakeholders who need to be informed about a particular task. The informed group does not actively participate in the project but may be impacted by the project’s milestones, deliverables, or outcomes. 

The Benefits of a RACI and RASCI Chart For Your Project

As we mentioned earlier, RACI and RASCI are commonly used tools to help project managers keep control of their deliveries. Here are some of the benefits you can achieve by using RASCI in your own projects:

  • Remove confusion by clearly defining the responsibilities of individuals
  • Improve team efficiency by having clear owners to complete each task
  • Improve the speed of decision-making with well-defined accountable owners
  • Clearly break down project tasks to help you better plan each part of the project lifecycle
  • Reduce conflicts between team members around ownership and responsibilities
  • Align stakeholders on what people or teams are doing and when
  • Improve morale by providing clear ownership, responsibility, and autonomy
  • Bring clarity to resource management by having a clear picture of everyone’s involvement in the project

As you can see, a RACI chart is a project management must-have to ensure everyone directly involved in the project knows what they’re doing for each task or deliverable. Get that right, and you’ll see other areas of your project improve too!

5 RASCI Best Practices to Take Away

Creating a RASCI responsibility assignment matrix is a simple task if you know how to do it right. To finish up, let’s look at some RASCI top tips to help you when you first start to create your own! 

  1. Make RASCI a collaborative process. While a RASCI chart is used to assign multiple people to each task, it shouldn’t be created by the project manager alone. To maximize the effectiveness, building a chart should be a collaborative process with the whole team. This will help you identify all the work to complete and help you get a collective opinion on the best individuals or teams for each task. 
  2. Each task can only have one Accountable person. As you build your chart, you’ll find that many tasks or deliverables will require the input of many team members. While the people responsible for each task can be shared, it’s best practice to only ever have one accountable owner. This is because ultimate leadership needs to come from one voice to avoid confusion and a lack of ownership. 
  3. Regularly review as the project progresses. Your RACI chart shouldn’t be a once-in-time document, it should evolve and update as the project progresses. Many things can change during the life of a project, including team re-structures, the project scope, and the resources assigned. As such, it’s best practice to review your RACI every 2-3 months to ensure all clearly defined roles have the right owner. 
  4. No empty boxes. A RACI chart is designed to bring certainty to your project, so leaving any boxes blank will only cause confusion. Sometimes, an individual may not need to be consulted, and no one needs to be kept in the loop. That’s okay, but make sure that every task of your RACI is marked with something, even if it’s an ‘N/A’, to show it has been actively considered and not just forgotten. 
  5. Align stakeholders to ensure buy-in. The RASCI method only works if everyone is aligned and bought into the process. Most project teams will assign their Project Sponsor as the approver of their RASCI chart to ensure it’s been aligned with a senior audience. This helps create ultimate clarity for the sponsor on who is directly responsible for each task throughout the project lifecycle.
  6. Use a project management tool to help. Like many things in project management, completing your RACI allocation is much easier with a tool that helps the process. These tools provide easy visualization of who is responsible for a task, who is the person in charge, and who needs to be involved. This is especially useful for complex projects where you may have a long list of names that need to help out. 

It’s Time to Start Creating a RASCI Matrix

A RASCI matrix is a great project management technique to clearly define who is responsible for completing tasks and deliverables within a project. Used well, it can provide clarity for the team, enable effective decision-making, and improve all-around team effectiveness. 

If your RACI is defined, but you’re still struggling to get some momentum on your project, why not contact us at Inetum to see if we can help? Inetum Consulting helps clients across the globe define the strategic target, direction, timing, and speed of their transformation plans, as well as provide operational support to implement solutions into your core business processes.

If you’d like to hear more, check out the Inteum Consulting page on our website. 

 FAQ

What does the rasci stand for in the RASCI Responsibility Matrix?

RASCI is an acronym that refers to the different roles that people involved in a project have. It stands for Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, and Informed.

What is RACI matrix and how does it compare with RASCI (RACI vs RASCI)?

RACI is a simpler version of RASCI. It stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. The additional “S” in RASCI stands for Supportive, recognizing those that provide resources to the responsible individual to complete the task.

How is the RASCI chart explained?

A RASCI chart lays out project roles and responsibilities in a well-defined matrix. You list the names of the people involved in a project along the top, and the tasks down the side. Then, for each task, you assign an ‘R’, ‘A’, ‘S’, ‘C’, or ‘I’ to each person, signaling their role in the execution of the task.

How do you use RASCI for managing projects?

Using a RASCI matrix can help clarify roles and responsibilities, ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, and prevent unnecessary duplication of effort. With your tasks and people in place, just assign the appropriate RASCI acronym to each. It’s important to make sure that each task has at least one responsible person though.

Who is the “one responsible” within the RASCI matrix?

The “one responsible” in the RASCI model is the person or role tasked to perform the execution of the task. This person carries the ultimate responsibility for its successful completion, although they may have support from “supportive” roles.

Is it possible to have more than one person responsible for a task with RASCI?

The RASCI matrix is used to avoid confusion and it is generally not recommended to have more than one person is responsible for a task, but rather have one primary accountable person and potentially many supportive roles.

What is the supportive role in RASCI?

The supportive role in RASCI refers to those who assist or provide resources to the responsible party. They play an important part in helping the one responsible perform and complete the task.

How does RASCI assist with improving project communication?

By defining and clearly communicating the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved using a RASCI matrix, it becomes clear who should be partaking in conversations and decisions about each task. This can lead to more efficient communication, better project outcomes, as well as improved team collaboration and satisfaction.

When is it beneficial to use RASCI?

RASCI is particularly beneficial for complex projects with many contributors or stakeholders. It helps to eliminate ambiguity and sets clear expectations for involvement and accountability. Using RASCI can take your projects to the next level of efficiency and success.

What is the meaning of “Consulted” and “Informed” within the RASCI?

In the RASCI matrix, “Consulted” refers to those whose opinions are sought, and with whom there is two-way communication. “Informed” refers to those who are kept up-to-date on progress and with whom there is just one-way communication. Both roles are key to ensuring clear and thorough communication throughout the project.

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