managing project responsibility

Approaches for managing the role each stakeholder has to play on a project.

A RASCI matrix is one of my preferred ways to keep track of each person's involvement with the deliverables for a project:

A RASCI matrix allows you to chart who is responsible for which aspect of a task on a project. For each task, a person can have one of five roles, which break down as follows:

  • Responsible: This is the person who does the work to complete the task.

  • Accountable: This is the person responsible for overseeing that the task is done, and done correctly.

  • Consulted: This person may be used to weigh in on the task, but is not necessarily responsible for doing the work on it.

  • Support: This person is assigned to help the Responsible person. Like Consulted, but provides additional work.

  • Informed: People who are neither responsible for doing the work, nor responsible for overseeing its completion, but who should be kept up-to-date on its progress. source

An alternative matrix is CARS:

  • Communicate – a catch all for both consult and inform to identify anyone who should be communicated with regarding a task, typically an end client

  • Approve – as a PM how do I know this piece of work has been completed to the right level of quality? Maybe I trust the person identified as Responsible, if they tell me its complete then I’m happy. Maybe I need to approve that piece of work myself or perhaps a formal approval from a quality inspector, senior manager or group of people is required.

  • Responsible – just as in RACI above, this is the person doing the work. As a PM I want a single person marked down as R…who is my point person, who has responsibility for this task?

  • Support – often work is not undertaken by just one team member but they might be supported by others. This clarifies the role of other team members as assisting with the task, but not being the named individual who has overall responsibility source