RASCI Chart: The Best 3 Minutes Explanation

RASCI Chart to define responsibilities

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This guide explains everything you need to know about the RASCI chart. In short, the RASCI chart is a document that defines roles and responsibilities of people on a project. It is a more detailed variant of the RACI chart.

Let’s start with a quick definition.

A RASCI chart is a document that lists project activities and stakeholders. For each stakeholder, it defines the role she has in each given task, choosing among: Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, Informed.

What is a RASCI Chart?

The quick definition of RASCI chart says it all, but on an abstract level. What is a RASCI chart in practice? Simply put, it is a table. In this table, each project task or activity is listed as a row, and in the first column you have the name of such activities.

Then, each stakeholder has his own column, from the second onward (depending how many stakeholders you have). A stakeholder is “someone who has a stake in the project”. That is, he is someone who has some interest in it (he wants the project to succeed, or even fail, someone who will use the product the project creates etc.), or someone who is involved (works on it, has to approve some parts of the work, etc.). For the RASCI chart, a stakeholder can be a single individual, but it may also be a team, a business unit, a company, or some other abstract group of people.

This table will then have intersections between tasks and stakeholders. Each row represents a task in the project, and will have a cell in the column of each stakeholder. On the other hand, each stakeholder’s column will have a cell intersecting each and every task row.

On an intersection between a stakeholder and a task, you put the role that stakeholder has for that given task. You do that by writing a single-letter initial of one of the five roles of RASCI: R for responsible, A for accountable, S for supportive, C for consulted, and I for informed.

This is an example of RASCI chart, you can see one column per stakeholder and a list of tasks, with the roles in the intersections.
An example of RASCI chart, with one column per stakeholder (in this case, people), one row per task, and roles in the intersections.

What do these roles mean? This is the subject of the nest section in this RASCI chart guide.

What are the Roles in a RASCI chart?

We know already the RASCI chart brings five roles. These are one more than the more popular RACI chart, or matrix, which lacks the “supportive” role. Let’s see each role one by one.

Responsible (R) is the person or team doing the work. If the task is about painting the walls, this is the person who will pick up the bucket of paint and brush and start painting. If there is some work to do in a task, then there must be one (or more) responsible stakeholder. Most tasks represent work to be done and require a responsible person, but not all. Some may just be milestones or points in time where you have to make a decision, but not perform any work. Those may live without a responsible party.

Accountable (A) is the person taking the blame in case work is not done right or on time. This person can be different from the responsible, and for a good reason. We typically have this split when we outsource some work to an external company, or to a third party even within the company. The accountable person is ultimately responsible, so he is in charge of selecting the responsible and ensure he does the work up to expectation.

If we go back to the painting example, if your company hires a contractor to paint the walls, the contractor will be responsible, but there will be someone inside your company in charge of evaluating, selecting and monitoring the work of the responsible.

Each task must have exactly ONE accountable stakeholder. Diluted accountability means no accountability at all. Accountable and responsible can be the same person, in that case you mark it as AR.

Supportive (S) is the role specific to the RASCI chart. The supportive role performs work, just like the responsible, but she bears no responsibility. She is someone the responsible can turn to for additional help, but that’s it. In fact, the supportive person (or people) will stay put until engaged by the responsible.

Consulted (C) is another secondary role similar to supportive. However, while supportive provides effort and work, the consulted role does not. He provides information, knowledge, and opinions, which then responsible and accountable are free to follow (or not).

Informed (I) is the last role, and it is the most passive of all. The person in this role receives information about a task, but he is never asked for opinions, so his capability to influence the outcome of the project or task is limited. This role is important if you have some stakeholders who depend on your activity to do something else, by informing them you are done or if you have problems, you will unblock them.

Why is the RASCI Chart Important?

The RASCI chart is important because it clearly defines the responsibilities for all your stakeholders. You want to create your RASCI chart in advance, show it to all stakeholders before the project starts, and ensure everyone agrees.

This is why it is important to have roles such as consulted or informed. They explicitly communicate to people that they will not have the authority to change the course of a task or project. So, later on, when it is time to execute the task, they cannot stop everything to say “hey but this must be done differently”. Everyone will know who has the authority and who doesn’t, and the project will progress smoothly.

Of course, assigning roles is important for the opposite reason as well. If someone is accountable or responsible, you want to be sure they know this in advance and they commit to it. Having a RASCI chart will define this clearly, so that you won’t be in the proverbial situation of people saying “not my fault” or “I wasn’t supposed to do this”.

RASCI Chart in Summary

The RASCI chart, or RASCI matrix, is a table that lists tasks in rows and stakeholders (people, teams) in columns. At each intersection between a task and a stakeholder, you put a letter to indicate the role of that stakeholder for that task. Pick among these five:

  • Responsible (R) does the job
  • Accountable (A) takes the blame if things go south, assigns works to R
  • Supportive (S) helps the responsible doing some work if needed
  • Consulted (C) provides information to the responsible if needed, but does not work
  • Informed (I) receives information about the status of a task

If you are interested in this topic or you want to become a better project manager, read the Responsible-Accountable-Consulted-Informed guide, or learn more about RACI matrix alternatives that apply as well to the RASCI chart. Those are all useful information if you want to get certified by the Project Management Institute.

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Alessandro Maggio

Project manager, critical-thinker, passionate about networking & coding. I believe that time is the most precious resource we have, and that technology can help us not to waste it. I founded ICTShore.com with the same principle: I share what I learn so that you get value from it faster than I did.
Picture of Alessandro Maggio

Alessandro Maggio

Project manager, critical-thinker, passionate about networking & coding. I believe that time is the most precious resource we have, and that technology can help us not to waste it. I founded ICTShore.com with the same principle: I share what I learn so that you get value from it faster than I did.

Alessandro Maggio


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