Getting Your People in the Right Seats on the Bus with RASCIs

In his book “Good To Great”, Jim Collins taught us that one of the principal reasons why great companies achieve such greatness is because they have the right people on the bus. No matter how great a leader is, he/she can’t do it alone. No matter how great a company’s product or service may be, companies don’t just make great products or deliver great services. It takes great people to be great.

Well, I would offer that in addition to having the right people on the bus great companies successfully put those right people into the right seats on the bus. I’ve consulted to and supported countless companies – for profit, not for profit, large, and small –  over the years, and one thing is a constant no matter where I go or who I work with. Every company has at least a few of those top-performer A-players who will go the extra mile pouring their own sweat equity and individual perseverance into their work. Unfortunately, having a few A players rarely makes a championship-caliber team. It might win you a few games, but more often than not that’s about it. 

One of the simplest management tools I’ve ever used to help companies  put their people in the right seats is called a RACIs chart – and we often enhance it with an S in the middle making it RASCIs. A RASCIs chart defines individual roles and responsibilities such that work becomes more predictable, everybody is clear on what to do, and maybe more importantly everybody knows what everyone else is supposed to do! RASCI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, and Informed.

  • Responsible – This is the person (and you really want to have just one for each discrete work task or things tend to slip through the cracks…) who performs the necessary actions to complete a process step.
  • Accountable – This is the person (again, one is best!) who ultimately owns any outcomes or results produced by the process, and therefore any problems that might occur or decisions that need to be escalated.
  • Supportive – This person or persons assist the Responsible party in completing the task.
  • Consulted – These people often provide recommendations or individual insights throughout the process and especially before an action is taken. Note their opinions are considered, but those Consulted do not mandate decisions as an Accountable party might.
  • Informed – These individuals need to be notified of ongoing activities throughout the process and especially after action is taken.

If you’ve got the right people on your bus, it’s time to get them into the right seats with a RASCIs chart. Your people will appreciate having their roles more clearly defined. Beyond that, they’ll really like knowing who has to be involved in making which decisions and who to hand off their downstream activities to. Together, you too will be able to move from good to great by getting the right people in the right seats on the bus!

Posted in Good to Great, Jim Collins, Leadership, Organizational Alignment, Organizational Performance, Performance Improvement, RACIs, RASCIs

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