The RASCI matrix

The RASCI matrix is a useful tool for defining the roles and to determine the tasks, responsibilities and authority of the development group members. The names or functional roles of the development group members are listed along the horizontal axis of the matrix and the deliverables, activities or processes along the vertical axis. The letters R, A, S, C and I each constitute a combination of a name/role and result/process/task. The letters stand for the following terms:

R (responsible): those who do the work and are responsible for the result. They report directly to the person accountable.

A (accountable): the one ultimately responsible and authorised to hold accountable those responsible.

S (supportive): those who provide support and assistance to those responsible for the result.

C (consulted): those whose opinions are sought before decisions or steps are taken to achieve the result (two-way communication).

I (informed): those who are informed after decisions have been made or results have been achieved. They have no influence over the result.

A basic RASCI matrix for a guideline development group could look like the following. Naturally, guideline development groups can make additions to the matrix and provide further detail for specific situations.

Commissioner Chair of develop­ment group Project leader Develop­ment group member Implementation specialist Patient representative
1. Specify roles, tasks, responsibilities and authority of development group members
2. Determine topic, objective and target group
3. Outline the interests of the different parties
4. Identify relevant professional and patient organisations
5. Preparation for filling chair position
6. Preparation for filling project leader role
7. Selecting and profiling the other development group members
8. Involvement of representatives of healthcare user
9. Determine/coordinate methodology for guideline development
10. Determine evaluation periods
11. Introduction of development group members
12. Making agreements about course of events during development group meetings
13. Drafting the agenda for development group meetings
14. Stimulating/motivating development group members
15. Approach to stagnation/conflicts
16. Evaluation of group process
17. Attending/participating in development group meetings
18. Analysis of clinical care gaps
19. Drafting the review questions
20. Summary of the literature
21. Presentation of recommendations
22. Writing the guideline
23. Description of the knowledge gaps
24. Delivery of products
25. Commentary round
26. Authorisation
27. Revision of procedure
28. Implementation
29. Final evaluation and conclusion of group

The advantages of using the RASCI matrix are:

  • The roles and responsibilities of all parties are clarified. This is particularly important regarding the position of the chair of the guideline development group and who can hold the chair accountable when things are not running smoothly.
  • It helps clarify which roles may be missing.
  • It helps clarify who should be cooperating and coordinating with whom.
  • Support is increased by liaising and coordinating.
  • Teamwork is encouraged; duplication of activities can be prevented. The completed RASCI matrix provides a reference for if responsibilities become unclear among group members: agreements at the start prevent discussions later.
  • Roles are associated with processes/activities rather than results.