Whenever I work with leaders going through The Field Model™ or helping communication teams get their strategy in place, I often use the RASCI framework. It’s an important tool that helps break down tasks, roles and responsibilities.
I used the RASCI model in my roles within organisations and found it extremely helpful when there was ambiguity or a lack of understanding of roles or ownership.
Quite often, I’m working with communication teams to help them elevate their function and empower individuals or teams to become a more strategic partner. To do this, we must be clear on how we support the organisation and other functions and also where we have ownership.
What is RASCI?
RASCI helps us clearly identify who is working on each task and subtask and what their role is. The components of RASCI are:
Responsible (the doer) – this is the person doing the work. There can only be one person in this box for the project or the task.
Accountable (the buck stops here) – the person who has overall accountability for the delivery of the task or the project. Like Responsible, there can only be one name here.
Support (helper) – often more than one person and can be a whole team. These are the people who will help complete the task or project.
Consult (in the loop) – these people need to be kept updated about what’s going on. To determine the role of consult for projects, ask if their comments/approval is required. If they are in consult, that is likely to be the case. They have a voice that needs to be heard to complete the project or task.
Inform (notify me) – these are the people who need to be notified. This could be the people who need to be kept up to date with what is happening, but it is all about informing them of the task or project.
RASCI or RACI?
You might be more familiar with the RACI model, but the addition of the S (Support) allows for an important stakeholder role to be used. This is especially helpful if you work in an HR or communications function where you have several stakeholders involved in change or the project. However, it can be applied to any organisational function and scaled depending on the project.
How does RASCI work in practice?
You can use it in whatever format works for you. I always start with an Excel spreadsheet listing the projects or tasks in the A column and then a column for each RASCI. With the teams I work with, we create it together; discussing who should be in each role, the reality of the projects and who needs to be involved.
There are three main benefits to using the RASCI model. Firstly, it helps to avoid team friction, a common cause of chaos. Secondly, it means that the team can work more efficiently – there’s no doubling up because everyone knows what they are doing. Finally, with a clear agreement on roles and responsibility, it ensures no one is carrying too much of the workload.
It’s simple and effective tool when you’re trying to find a way out of the chaos and into calm so I hope it helps you!