RASCI vs. RACI in Project Management (With Meaning and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 12, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A core aspect of project management includes breaking up tasks and assigning them to the team members while setting expectations and deadlines. As a project manager, you may use tools such as the responsible, accountable, supporting, consulted, and informed (RASCI) and responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed (RACI) matrices to simplify the process. Understanding the importance of these matrices in project management can help you optimize the process and achieve greater efficiency. In this article, we discuss RASCI vs. RACI, including their definition, components, and benefits, and list tips to consider when using both matrices.

RASCI vs. RACI

Here are some of the similarities and differences when considering RASCI vs. RACI:

Definition

RASCI is a project management tool that organizations use to determine the roles and responsibilities of team members during a project. Employees also use the RASCI matrix to avoid confusion regarding which employee is handling what task. As a project leader, you may also use this matrix to ensure that you've listed and allocated all the possible tasks for a project. You may also use the RASCI matrix to plan update meetings, as you know who to ask for updates on certain tasks or aspects of the project.

RACI is a project management framework that's similar to RASCI. It's a responsibility assignment chart or matrix that visually represents the major stakeholders in a project process. The term is an acronym representing the different levels of responsibility for the employees in the project team. It also determines how team members make future decisions for the project. Here, project managers list tasks and responsibilities for the project and write employees' names next to the task. The left side of the matrix outlines all the necessary steps for the process, while the top contains a list of roles.

Related: What Is a Project Schedule Template? (And Its Benefits)

Benefits

The RASCI matrix is a useful project management tool that can facilitate, allowing a clear division of labour and a smoother workflow. When stakeholders work with the RASCI matrix, it's easier to make decisions, as everyone understands the project goals and their role. It also allows team members to complete tasks more efficiently as project expectations and dependencies are clear. In addition, team members know what everyone else is doing and who to ask for clarification on different tasks. As a project manager, you can optimize human resources better as you only have the necessary people working on a task.

The RACI matrix allows a project manager to assign tasks based on capabilities and skills in a team. For instance, you may use this framework to assign copywriting tasks to a copywriter or content creator while providing checks through the process. This strategy ensures that you allocate human resources properly and that people work on tasks that match their skill set. Additionally, RACI charts help stakeholders visualize the project, aiding them in understanding the process better. It also ensures that each team member takes full responsibility for their tasks and delivers within the expected timeline.

Related: The Value of Business Analysis Tools (With Popular Examples)

Elements

When you break down the term, RASCI stands for responsible, accountable, supporting, consulted, and informed. Responsible identifies the employee responsible for executing a particular task. Accountable connotes that an employee is accountable for confirming and signing off on the results of their tasks. Supporting involves employees that support the individual responsible for the task by performing research and offering assistance in executing the task.

Consulted involves employees that project members may consult for their input, useful information, and feedback depending on the project and team needs. Every employee on the team makes the informed individual aware of project updates and development, including any information related to the project. In contrast, the different components in a RACI matrix are:

  • Responsible: These employees are primarily responsible for completing tasks for the project. It may be a single employee or several collaborators.

  • Accountable: Here, the team member is responsible for verifying updates on the completed task to the project owner and ensuring success as they determine changes. They also sign off on decisions and objectives concerning the project.

  • Consulted: The team members responsible for a task may consult with this employee to review and give feedback on the completed task. Major stakeholders also provide input before team members can complete the project.

  • Informed: This employee is usually the highest point of the project process, as the team members report to this professional on relevant information. While this participant may not provide input, the team members update them on the project process.

Related: A Guide to Project Management Leadership Styles (With Tips)

Tips for creating a RASCI matrix

Some tips you may consider when creating a RASCI matrix are:

Discuss R and A roles first

Under the RASCI matrix, the R and A roles begin the process. They're also granular tasks that may require clarification and explanation so that everyone understands the goal of the task. Generally, these roles have more responsibility and may require more time to execute. So, first, discuss with the employees better suited for the task and assign them to be responsible and accountable for the project. Then, you may build on their duties when assigning other employees to the rest of the roles.

Related: 11 Free Project Management Software Tools and Their Benefits

Divide tasks if necessary

Sometimes, a singular task may be challenging for one employee to perform immediately. This instance may lead to inefficiency or take more time than the team can afford. You can break up the task for different employees to handle at the same level. In addition, you can make them co-collaborators to work simultaneously in delivering results.

Related: Tools of Project Management You Can Use as a Project Manager

Assign roles only when necessary

While the RASCI matrix comprises five roles, you may not require all five roles for every task in a project. For example, you may consider removing the S, C, and I roles if they aren't necessary or may lead to redundancy. You can also consider delegating smaller tasks to other team members with great time management skills.

Related: What Is a Project Management Plan? With Tips and Examples

Communicate the chart with the team

The RASCI matrix is a guiding document for all relevant team members and stakeholders. Ensure that you share and communicate the document properly to team members. You may also accept reviews from team members on how you can optimize the matrix for more productivity. Moreover, you may make occasional changes depending on the project goal and availability of resources. In these instances, ensure you communicate the changes to the team members and explain the underlying reason.

Tips for creating a RACI matrix

Here are some tips you can consider when creating a RACI matrix:

Clarify the meaning of each role

When drafting a RACI matrix, ensure you clarify the meaning of each role such that each team member understands their respective job. You may create additional information outside the matrix to explain unclear tags. You may also include definitions for the responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed positions, so stakeholders know what to expect.

Related: Understanding Project Management Methodology (With Examples)

Detail only major tasks or milestones

While the RACI matrix informs stakeholders about the people responsible for each role, it's important that you keep it simple. The primary purpose of the RACI matrix is to record milestones and not daily tasks. You can limit the information in the matrix to ensure it looks clean and allows others to spot relevant roles. For instance, you may exclude routine activities like weekly meetings.

Repeat terms from the project plan

A good practice when creating a RACI matrix is replicating the exact terms you included in the project plan. Repeating these terms and names makes it easy for stakeholders to identify projects and milestones while confirming their due dates. Stakeholders may find it easier to gather necessary resources for completing tasks and identifying collaborators.

Assign fewer stakeholders

While assigning enough people to different aspects of a task or project is advisable, it may make the process more lengthy than necessary. When planning the RACI matrix, ensure you assign as few stakeholders as necessary to complete the task adequately. You may consider the complexity of each task and use your discretion to assign stakeholders.

Analyze patterns

Ensure that a matrix reflects some space for a role to avoid overburdening the team members. For example, you can consider informing instead of consulting stakeholders for roles involving extensive and high-level responsibilities. Also, if some roles are predominantly accountable for most tasks, you may consider if other departments can take on more high-level responsibility.

Ensure that responsibilities match qualifications

When assigning employees to a role on the matrix, ensure they have the right experience and qualifications to perform optimally. For instance, you may assign senior employees to fill the informed or consultant roles while leaving the task responsibility to junior staff. In addition, assign less senior-level employees to execute a single lower-level assignment.

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