Responsibility Matrix – RASI

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

Author: Gary Rush

Gary Rush, IAF CPF is Founder & CEO of MGR Consulting since 1985 becoming a leading facilitator and facilitator trainer creating his own facilitation technique - FAST revolutionizing it with FoCuSeD™ - a unique approach to structured facilitation transforming the facilitation industry. He has trained thousands of people from more than 18 countries, and has delivered his structured facilitation class in 8 countries within North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. His students have gone on to become CEOs and CIOs, crediting their success to the people and process skills gained in his facilitator training classes. He has written numerous “how to” books covering facilitation, collaborative leadership, strategic planning, data modeling, etc. During a hiatus from consulting, Gary owned and was "Chef" of a highly acclaimed restaurant in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico – MG Rush dba Mirácles Restaurant. Gary has facilitated significant workshops including the first strategic plan for the combined EDS/GM organization. He facilitated Star Alliance where they identified that in-flight Wi-Fi was possible – a critical service offering on airlines today. He facilitated and trained Texas Joint Military Forces in Strategic Planning, creating their 2035 Strategic Plan. Reviewing this 4-page plan, the length of the U.S. Constitution, is now part of their monthly meetings – something they were unable to do previously. He is an IAF CPF Assessor and former IAF Chair. Gary also formed and led the IAF Chicago Chapter, the second IAF chapter to be established in the U.S. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He holds a BS from Excelsior College.

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