Small project teams typically communicate and collaborate constantly, which makes coordinating and approving individual tasks easy. However, as teams get larger or work in different parts of an organization, it becomes important to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each person who interacts with the project. The RASIC project management tool is easy to create, update, and filter, and is what I often use to organize roles within a project.
RASIC is an acronym, and each letter represents a designated role in a task’s completion. There are several variations of this model, including its spelling and components. But, so long as the distinctions between roles are defined clearly, they all work equally well.
I define RASIC using the following roles:
Responsible: This is the task lead – the individual who is ultimately responsible for getting the job done. There should only be one person responsible.
Approve: This is the person, or people, who will approve or deny the task once it’s complete. The person responsible can also play this role, but it can also be a technical expert or stakeholder.
Support: The individual(s) in this role actively work on the task and help the person responsible.
Inform: The individual(s) in this role need to be informed of the task’s progress and any decisions being made. These are the people who need to know when the task is complete.
Consult: People in this role offer advice or guidance but do not actively work on the task. These are often subject matter experts who offer guidance or one-time technical reviews.
Here are the steps that go into creating a RASIC:
- Create a simple matrixed table that lists the activities or tasks down the left-most column. The names of individuals or groups are listed across the top row (see Figure 1 below).
- Place a letter that corresponds with a RASIC role under each individual or group name to assign roles.
- Make sure that each task has someone designated as Responsible. It is a best practice to keep it to one person to minimize confusion and drive accountability.
- Assign other roles as needed. For example, the role of Approver does not need to be added if it would be aligned to the Responsible role. However, it can be included for clarity when approval is needed from several people.
As seen in Figure 1, Washington is responsible for both Job 1 and Job 3. Adams is supporting Job 1 and responsible for Job 4, while Jefferson supports Job 3 and is responsible for Job 2. Madison serves in a consulting role for Jobs 3 and 4, and must approve Job 1.
When a RASIC chart is completed, team members can easily see their role and how they will contribute to the success of each task. I recommend completing the RASIC in Excel so your project team can filter the table based on their assigned roles. This gives them a quick view of the tasks they need to participate in or track.
The RASIC is just one of the tools we use at Nexight to enable communication and to complete projects efficiently. Using the RASIC will not only ensure that your project ends well, but will also keep clients and staff well informed during the course of the project.
If you would like to learn more about project management, please feel free to contact me.