RASCI Diagrams

The RASCI Diagram can be used to clarify the roles and responsibilities in cross functional processes and projects. It helps determine who is Accountable, Responsible, Supporting, Consulted, or Informed.

The RASCI Diagram splits activities down to five types of roles that make up the acronym RASCI:

R = Responsible: the person(s) who performs the activity
A = Accountable: the person held accountable for completion of activity
S = Supporting: the person(s) that provide support for the work
C = Consulted: the person(s) consulted before performing the activity
I = Informed: the person(s) informed after performing the activity

The Accountable person is answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the activity. Each activity can have only one person with ultimate accountability and authority. Therefore, only one A is listed for each activity in the diagram. The A is assigned to the lowest level of accountability and is implied at the higher levels. Accountability cannot be delegated.

The Responsible person(s) performs the activity. The individual(s) assigned the R is responsible for implementation and action. The degree of responsibility is defined by the Accountable person. Responsibility can be shared and delegated.

The Supporting person(s) is a resource allocated to the Responsible person(s). Unlike Consulted, who may aid in the task, Supporting may be tasked with work.

The opinion of the Consulted person(s) is sought before a final decision or action is taken. Two-way communication is involved.

The Informed person(s) is kept up-to-date on progress, decisions, and actions. One-way communication is involved.

The RASCI Diagram identifies activities within a process or project as the rows of a table. The columns identify the involved individuals. Each row identifies one A and one or more of R, S, C, and I. You can see a table example at this Wikipedia page.

The RASCI Diagram is especially useful when everyone thinks they are responsible and accountable, resulting in duplicate effort and in-fighting. And, its use is also helpful in the reverse situation when no one seems to be responsible and some activities are not “owned”.

In some cases, people may think they need to be consulted, when in reality, they just need to be told after the fact, i.e., kept informed. Or, some people really do need to be consulted, and are not. Without clear roles, there will be poor communication and unsatisfactory results.

For more information, see the article by Steven Bonacorsi at EzineArticles.