Responsibility Matrix – RASI

The Responsibility Matrix – Responsible, Authorize/Approve, Support, and Informed (RASI) process is useful when defining areas of responsibility.  I present it here because I have listened to people struggle with a different version – Responsible, Accountable, Consult, and Informed (RACI).  The “C” and the “S” are used the same way.  The difference is in how the “A” is defined.  With RACI, it is defined as “Accountable“.  This confuses people because they don’t understand the difference between Responsible and Accountable – in life, if you are responsible, you are also held accountable, so it is confusing.  I define them as “Responsible” and “Authorize/Approve” because if I’m responsible I need to know who authorizes or approves my work (i.e., who signs off) making the roles and responsibilities clearer.  Let me know how it works for you.

Purpose

Responsibility Matrix (RASI) – is used to define four areas of responsibility and who is responsible for each task. It enables Participants to document who is Responsible, who Authorizes/Approves, who Supports, and who must be Informed. This process is used for any planning activity as well as documenting the current organizational responsibilities for review when restructuring an organization or set of processes.

Process

Do the following:

  • Define each of the four areas of responsibility – note that each implies all that follow:
    • R – Responsible – is held responsible for the success and completion of a given task.
    • A – Authorizes/Approves – (authorize before and approve after) signs off on the method or results of a given task.
    • S – Supports – provides assistance, information, etc., for a given task – if requested.
    • I – Informed – must to be kept informed of the progress or results of a given task.
  • Draw a matrix on a white board, or large roll of paper with the tasks listed across the top – “what” – and the names of the people – “who” – listed down the left side (see illustration below).
  • Ask, “Who will be responsible for this task?”   Write an R, with a red colored marker so it stands out, in the box under the task by their name. (You must have one and only one person responsible for every given task – otherwise it doesn’t get done.)
  • Ask, “Who authorizes or approves the work?”   Write an A in the box(es) under the given task by their name. (You may have more than one person.)
  • Ask, “Who will help?” Write an S in the box(es) under the task by their name. (Not every given task will have someone to help and others may have more than one person.)
  • Ask, “Who must be informed?” Write an I in the box(es) under the task by their name. (Not every given task will have someone to inform and others may have more than one person.)
  • Continue until all responsibilities are assigned. Review the matrix with the Participants to see that the assigned responsibilities are clear. Adjust if necessary.

rasi - responsibility matrix

Rules to follow:

  • One and only one R per task
  • At least one A who is not the R – may be more than one
  • S only if help is requested – may be more than one
  • I only if MUST be kept informed – may be more than one
  • Implications are:
    • R implies A, S, I
    • A implies S, I
    • S implies I

Challenge Paradigms – Be Creative – “Best of… Worst of…”

“Best of…, Worst of…” is an Improv exercise that enables people to tap into their experiences in a creative, playful, non-threatening manner.  This PET enables you to develop a list of examples from people’s experiences when new ideas, etc., are needed or an issue needs to be resolved.  This PET is from Author Izzy Gesell.

Purpose:
This PET is an Improv game that is designed to enable people to tap into their experiences to list out examples, e.g., people, problems, processes, etc., in a playful manner.
 

Objectives:

  • To list out examples from people’s experiences.
  • To immediately classify the examples listed.
Do the following:
    • Ask for 4 volunteers – make it safe for them to volunteer but don’t reveal what they are volunteering for.
    • Bring the 4 volunteers up to the front of the room and ask them to stand in a row, in no particular order.
    • Explain the rules:
      • Give them the topic you want them to list out – e.g., “The worst participant I ever facilitated was… (no names, just descriptions)”.
      • Explain that when they have an example, they are to take one step forward and speak out the Best or the Worst (pick one).  Then step back.
      • When someone else is speaking, listen.
      • If two of you step forward at the same time, one of you steps back and waits for the other person to step back before stepping forward.
      • Set a time limit – e.g., 5 minutes.
    • While the volunteers are speaking, on a flip chart, capture what they say – capture as accurately as possible. Note: Keep up with the speakers.
  • Call time when time is up.  Thank the volunteers and ask them to return to their seats.

Debriefing Questions

  • How did you feel as a volunteer?
  • How did you feel as the audience?
  • How might this help with the issue?