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Using a RACI or RASCI Chart to Efficiently Manage Communication

I’m on a bit of a communications kick – last post was about communicating around meetings to reduce the overall number of meetings you get sucked into.  Building on that, and looking at communication more broadly, a RACI chart is a good tool to use to manage your overall communication plan.

When I started in project management, this was one of the first tools that I learned.  Over the years, I haven’t changed the tool much at all (I have a habit of learning a tool then changing it to fit me and my crazy head), although I have opted to use the expanded “RASCI” chart as a norm (a RACI chart ignores the “Support” people and they would be lumped in with Responsible or Consult).

It’s pretty simple at its core, which is probably why it hasn’t needed much changing.

RASCI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Support, Consult, Inform.  It’s also sometimes referred to as a RAM (Responsibility Assignment Matrix) or an LRC (Linear Responsibility Chart).

A RASCI chart typically lists major tasks or groups of tasks on the left and names of people (or roles) across the top.  In each cross section, a letter R, A, S, C, or I can appear, indicating a relationship between the task and the person/role.  It is also possible that the space is blank, indicating no relationship.

Responsible – Anyone with an R is responsible for doing the actual work needed to complete the task.

Accountable – This person (only 1) is ultimately accountable that the task is completed to the specifications needed.

Support – Anyone with an S will work in a support role, providing assistance when needed to those that are responsible for task completion.

Consult – These folks are individuals that have knowledge or expertise, and will be asked for their opinions.

Inform – These people are made aware of what’s happening.  You can think of Consult being a 2 way dialog between people where inform is a 1 way dialog.

The RASCI chart, once completed, becomes a tool to ensure you are communicating with the right people about the right topics.  Keeping everyone properly involved with your project will reduce extra meetings, emails, and phone calls, saving time for you and your project team.

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