RASCI: What It Is and How To Use It for Project Management
Updated December 6, 2022
When undertaking complex projects, it's important for companies to assign definite roles and tasks. The RASCI matrix is a useful tool that many businesses use to create a clearly-defined set of roles for all the employees involved in a given project. If you work in project management, it might be helpful to learn more about the RASCI matrix and its benefits.
In this article, we explain what RASCI is, list some of its benefits, describe how it differs from RACI and discuss how you can use it for business projects.
What is RASCI?
The RASCI Matrix, also known as the RASCI Responsibility Matrix, is a project management tool that businesses can use to assign roles to individuals and teams during a project. Companies use the matrix to avoid confusion about roles and ensure that qualified individuals are in place to manage every step of their projects.
RASCI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Supporting, Consulted and Informed. It's important to remember that one person could be more than one part of the RASCI Matrix on different tasks within a single project.
For example, within the same project, one person might be an R on email creation and also an A on networking. Similarly, for larger projects that are especially labor-intensive, it's common for more than one person from the same branch of the RASCI to handle the same task. For instance, there could be two S's assisting one R depending on the task they need to complete.
Here are the categories of the RASCI matrix:
This is the person who is in charge of completing the assigned task. Another name for this individual is the task owner. Their responsibilities include planning the task and directing other personnel involved in completing it.
This person is accountable for verifying and signing off on the results of the completed task. In some cases, this individual may be the same as the person responsible for task completion. This is almost always a single individual who manages resources and delegates duties to other employees.
The S in the RASCI acronym stands for supporting. This refers to the employees who provide input and supplementary work. Unlike the two categories above, this can consist of many individuals or teams.
The fourth party in the RASCI matrix comprises consultants and advisors. They provide vital input to employees and team leaders before a project begins or while it's in progress. Project members may consult these professionals for feedback and other helpful information, depending on their needs.
The final category in the RASCI matrix is the informed category. Like the professionals in the consulted category, people in the informed group don't directly participate in the project. These individuals receive notifications when the project finishes and usually not before.
What is the difference between RASCI and RACI?
RASCI and RACI are similar approaches to project management. The only difference between them is the addition of the S in RASCI. This refers to the supportive role, which performs research, finds necessary information or helps with various other parts of a project as needed or requested.
Many businesses use RACI interchangeably with RASCI while still having a support person or group available to assist with projects. Sometimes, the person in the supporting role is also responsible for performing the task, and so the R and S of RASCI may be the same person. Other times, this person only has the job of supporting, and they may assist the R person instead.
What are the benefits of RASCI?
Using RASCI can facilitate business projects by creating a smoother workflow and a clearer division of labor. Here are some of the many benefits of using RASCI:
Improves the speed of decision-making processes
Allows for a team to accomplish more work more efficiently
Helps the team avoid confusion about everyone's duties
Makes it easier for team members to be aware of their assignments
Ensures team members know what everyone else is doing
Makes it easier to manage the work that everyone is doing
Offers a clear breakdown of project tasks
Lets everyone know who is responsible for the project
Helps reduce conflicts about unrealistic expectations
Helps keep work divided evenly among team members
Avoids having more than one person doing the same task
Helps keep lines of communication open for the team
Allows for any necessary staffing changes
How to use RASCI
There are several steps involved in using the RASCI Matrix so that the company can make the best of it. These steps are:
Figure out which employees have project responsibilities, your R's, and who will be accountable for the results, your A's.
Create a spreadsheet that includes all the various tasks associated with the project.
Assign project tasks to your R's and A's and confirm that they know their assignments upfront.
Allocate tasks to your S's, C's, and I's. These are your support, consulted and informed people.
Look over the completed RASCI Matrix with all team members and make any necessary adjustments.
Ensure that the RASCI remains accessible to all project team members. You can use a shared document or drive to do this.
Refer to the RASCI document during the project to verify your team is following the proper steps and completing their tasks.
Tips for using RASCI
Here are some tips for using the RASCI matrix effectively:
Assign roles according to abilities. Consider giving roles to team members who have the skills to perform well in them. For example, you could assign the accountable role to someone with high standards and leadership characteristics.
Only assign tasks if it's necessary. You might not need an S, C, or I person for every task within a project. Consider delegating smaller tasks to another team member who manages their time well.
Discuss assigning R and A roles first. Some people thrive in roles with considerable responsibility, while others may prefer not to be in those roles. It's important to talk to your team first to help you determine who may do well in which roles.
Consider dividing tasks if needed. Sometimes there may be too much work for one person to handle, which means you can consider dividing up some of their tasks to make sure the team still reaches its goal.
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