What is RASCI?
In Project Management circles, you'll hear a lot of acronyms. One of the most useful and common ones is RASCI, and it's a key tool in your project management toolbox. When you're managing a project, you need to know who the stakeholders are, what their roles and responsibilities are, and who they are reporting to. Every person involved with a project will likely wear many hats, and RASCI will help you clearly identify them.
What does RASCI mean?
RASCI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, and Informed. Let’s break down what those mean:
[R]esponsible – This person manages the day-to-day work to make sure goals, requirements, and/or quality standards are met
[A]ccountable – This person is often the project owner. They are ultimately the one who folks look to when inquiring about a project's progress. They control the project resources, report to leadership on progress toward goals / success factors.
[S]upportive – These people are assigned to the project team to complete tasks or activities based on subject matter expertise (SME). Supportive people are able to provide resources to the responsible project team members, and they are actively involved in working with the Responsible person to see the project through to completion.
[C]onsulted – These people give advice on an as-needed basis. People who are consulted have information, opinions, or experience needed for completion of the project. Their job is to support the responsible and accountable parties.
[I]nformed – These people need to be kept in the loop during a project. They may be executive leadership, or otherwise be an important stakeholder who needs to be kept informed throughout the project. They receive regular communication on progress to facilitate buy-in/adoption.
How is RASCI used?
The beauty of RASCI lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. It helps the project manager see who is working directly on the project and what their roles are, as well as who is connected to the project but not involved in the day-to-day activities. When assigning roles for a project, consider using the RASCI matrix. Make a list of everyone on the project, and decide who is responsible, accountable, supporting, consulted, and informed for every single deliverable.
Why do I need it?
The RASCI matrix will provide clarity on roles and responsibilities, therefore promoting efficiency and forward progress. Projects only stay on track when responsibilities are clear. It's clear who a team member needs to go to for help when there's a clear outline in place.
A family has hired a contractor to build them a house. The team includes a foreman, a build crew, architect, town inspector, and the homeowners.
Who is ultimately responsible for completion of the project? Foreman
Who is accountable to the project owner? Contractor
Who needs to be consulted? Architect, Homeowners
Who will be supportive? Builders, Inspector
Who needs to be informed about progress? Homeowners, Inspector
As you can see, everyone plays a critical role in this project, and with RASCI those roles are clear. When roles aren't clearly defined, things fall through the cracks and projects (and teams) suffer.
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