In modern IT Operations world tasks are spread over multiple teams from multiple partners, making roles and responsibilities a focus point in contracting and in escalations when issues occur.
Classically the RACI-responsibility assignment matrix is used to describe roles and responsibilities, documenting what team or person has the role of Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
Accountable ensures the right action is completed, and the consulted ones are the ones whose opinions are sought, typically subject-matter experts; and with whom there is two-way communication.
The challenge comes with the Responsible role. Wikipedia defines it as “Those who do the work to complete the task. There is at least one role with a participation type of responsible, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required”
How would that “be delegated to assist” work in reality? In my experience it works poorly in IT operations, both in contract definitions and in daily issue handling, especially if these responsible staff members work in different teams or organizations and cost occur for living the responsibilities.
A better model is the RASCI model, where the S stands for Supporting, i.e. an obligation to help the responsible to complete the task. This allows the responsible to focus on approving what is done, a role typically at the host company/team, where the Supporting resources are with other teams or subcontractors.
What model do you use successfully?