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What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) in Project Management?
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A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management, also known as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, details all the necessary stakeholders and clarifies responsibilities amongst cross-functional teams and their involvement level in a project. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed and each letter corresponds to a team member.
A RAM in project management should be referred to by all parties throughout a project because it helps plan an individual’s roles and responsibilities before work begins. A RACI matrix ensures all stakeholders know who is responsible for completing a task or getting feedback on deliverables.
The four roles are broken down as follows:
- Responsible: The person(s) completing the task
- Accountable: The team member coordinating the actions, making decisions, and delegating to those responsible for the task
- Consulted: The person(s) who will be communicated with regarding decisions and tasks
- Informed: The person(s) who will be updated during the project and upon completion
Responsibility Assignment Matrix template
A common RAM template looks like the example below. Notice how all stakeholders can have more than one role:
What is a RACI Chart?
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- PMP® Exam Tip: The Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
It is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes. RACI is an acronym derived from the four key responsibilities most typically used:
Very often the role that is Accountable for a task or deliverable may also be Responsible for completing it (indicated on the matrix by the task or deliverable having a role Accountable for it, but no role Responsible for its completion, i.e. it is implied).
A grid that shows the project resources assigned to each work package. PMBOK® Guide
Outside of this exception, it is generally recommended that each role in the project or process for each task receive, at most, just one of the participation types. Where more than one participation type is shown, this generally implies that participation has not yet been fully resolved, which can impede the value of this technique in clarifying the participation of each role on each task.
Furthermore, there is a distinction between a role and individually identified persons: a role is a descriptor of an associated set of tasks, which may be performed by many persons, and one person can perform many roles.
For example, an organisation may have 10 persons who can perform the role of project manager, although traditionally each project only has one project manager at any one time; and a person who is able to perform the role of project manager may also be able to perform the role of business analyst and tester.
On larger projects, RAMs can be developed at various levels. For example, a high-level RAM can define which a project group or unit is responsible for major phases of the project, while lower level RAMs are used within the group to designate roles, responsibilities and levels of authority for specific activities.
A common type of RAM that uses responsible, accountable, consult and inform statuses to define the involvement of stakeholders in project activities. PMBOK® Guide
The matrix format shows all activities associated with one person and all people associated with one activity. This also ensures that there is only one person accountable for any one task to avoid confusion.
The PMBOK® Guide also states that one example of a RAM is the RACI chart, showing the work to be done in the left column as activities. The assigned resources can be shown as individual or groups. The RACI is just one type of RAM; the project manager can select other options such as "lead" and "resource" designation or others as appropriate for the project. The RACI is particularly important when the team consists of internal and external resources to ensure clear divisions of roles and expectations.
It is recommended that the project manager involves team members when developing the responsibility assignment matrix. While the PM can develop an initial, rough draft, it is impossible for him or her to know exactly how tasks should be performed in each area of expertise. Involving the team therefore not only leads to a more precise matrix, but in addition the team members will also feel greater ownership of assignments, leading to greater commitment and participation.
PMP® Exam Sample Questions
Test your understanding of the RAM with this sample question from the PMP® Exam Simulator:
- Sample Question
- Answer and Explanation
Which type of tool will you use to depict the relationship between work to be done and project team members?
A) Matrix-based B) Hierarchical C) Text-oriented D) Gantt chart
Correct Answer: A) Matrix-based.
Explanation: A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a grid that shows the project resources assigned to each work package.
Reference: PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 262
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What is a RACI Matrix?
A RACI Matrix is a document project management teams use to identify which individuals or groups are responsible for a project’s successful completion, and level of influence each will have during the project.
Because successful project management depends on a team-wide understanding of roles and responsibilities, using a RACI matrix (sometimes called a responsibility assignment matrix) to assign the positions sets the project up for success. In short, the RACI matrix can be the project manager’s first project win or first project mistake.
In a hurry? Jump straight to How to Create a RACI Matrix
Defining job roles and responsibilities ensures everyone knows the degree of involvement that is required from them and sets the stage for ensuring project awareness. Additionally, laying out job roles and responsibilities assists in driving the communication plan, governance, and more.
Some of the biggest project challenges are found in statements such as, “I didn’t know you needed to be involved in this topic,” “I didn’t realize you should have been a part of the decision-making,” or “I didn’t know I was responsible for creating this.”
When the lines blur on responsibility, the line blurs on whether or not the given task is completed and completed properly. This is role confusion.
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Originated in the 1950s and originally called a decision rights matrix, A RACI Matrix clarifies roles and responsibilities for each team member for the duration of a given project. It is also referred to as a RACI matrix, RACI model, RACI diagram, or simply just RACI.
A RACI matrix is created by the project manager at the start of the project as a key part in establishing the initial human resources planning for the project. RACI charts are typically created for complex projects; however, role confusion can happen even on simple projects, and thus, implementing a RACI chart even for small projects can be beneficial.
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The acronym RACI stands for the different responsibility types: responsible , accountable , consulted , and informed . In a RACI matrix, the initials R, A, C, and I are assigned next to the person or job title with each level of responsibility for each task or deliverable.
Within a RACI, individuals will play different roles depending on the task or deliverable but not multiple roles.
A challenge of the RACI approach is to ensure the definitions of the roles are clear. If you are not using a template that provides a brief definition, consider including one in the margin or a link to the definitions to maintain clarity and minimize confusion.
The individual(s) with responsibility for the task or deliverable is typically responsible for developing the deliverable or completing the activity. The persons responsible are typically working-level project team members, such as the project manager, business analyst, developers, or those who create marketing material and technical documentation, for example. These are the doers.
Drawback: A RACI doesn’t distinguish the primary “doer” versus another team member participating in completing the task.
The accountable party is typically the person or group responsible for ensuring the work is complete and suitable. This is usually someone with signature authority or the decision-maker. The accountable parties are typically the business owner, business sponsor, steering committee, key stakeholders, information security or governance bodies, or the manager of the key responsible party.
Drawback: While there should only be one person accountable, that is not always the case. Having more than one person listed as accountable can cause confusion. Try to have just one when possible. Also accountable doesn’t mean that the person is signing off on the work or reviewing for quality.
Consulted individuals are those from whom feedback and input should be solicited. Consulted parties could be legal, information security, compliance, and subject matter experts (SMEs) from other departments in the organization that could be impacted. If you are working on new product development, this could essentially be the entire organization.
Consulted individuals or groups should be consulted prior to starting a task or deliverable to understand the requirements, constraints, and risks as well as after completion to ensure every angle has been considered in the results.
Informed persons are those you simply want to keep in the loop. These individuals do not have to be consulted or be a part of the decision making. Keep this group on your cc list for awareness of topics, decisions, and progress. Also, invite this group as optional attendees for kickoff meetings and project demos.
Drawback: Knowing the difference between who needs to be consulted versus informed could be a challenge due to organizational ambiguity and sometimes organizational maturity and reorganizations.
The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) has a section for RACI under matrix-based charts. The PMBOK uses RACI as an example of RAM. A RAM serves the purpose of showing which activities belong to project members. For more information about the PMBOK Guide, we wrote an article for you .
How to Create a RACI Matrix
A RACI matrix begins as a simple chart that identifies the work to be done, the members of the team, and which RACI role they’ll hold for each work phase or activity. Below, we’ve created a simple example.
Creating a RACI for each project is a best practice. The below four-step process is an approach that can be followed by the project manager to implement this useful strategy. The biggest challenge with creating a RACI is to avoid ambiguity and ensure optimal clarity.
1. Determine the list of key activities and deliverables
Working with the business owner, sponsor, and other stakeholders, as well as reviewing historical information on past similar projects, start a list of the key activities and deliverables. This will essentially be the basis for your work breakdown structure, so this list should align closely with your project schedule. After multiple reviews, finalize the list, and use that as the basis for a RACI.
2. Determine who is needed to be a part of the project or initiative
This is not limited to the project team. This includes the project team (project manager, business owner, product manager, developers, testers, etc.), the leadership team or steering committee members, impacted departments within the enterprise or at least representation from those bodies, the change management lead, and any other organizational stakeholders with a vested interest in the initiative.
Initially, you may only have names of departments or roles, but if possible, attempt to obtain the actual representatives that will support from each group. If you have already created the organizational chart, you will be able to pull this information from the org chart.
Tip: Determining the group needed for consulting will require a bit of organizational investigation. Try mapping the new product, initiative, or system to determine which functions or groups it touches. Then, determine the key leader for each of those groups—perhaps director’s level—and request that individual to define a consultative point of contact (POC) for their area of the business. Do this in writing to ensure you have documentation of the request and the response.
3. Determine the project roles and responsible job titles and persons for each activity and deliverable
Once you have determined the what (tasks) and the who (responsible persons), it is now time to assign the groups to the activity. This will be an iterative task. As the project manager, take a first cut based on input from your business owner and documentation from similar and organizational artifacts.
Similar to step one, a review of historical documents from similar projects can also help to determine who is needed. older project charters, kickoff decks, organizational charts, project schedules, and milestone plans. Also, try interviewing business owners or project managers from past similar projects to get insight on the roles that participated as well as lessons learned.
Tip: Best practice is to list the names of people along with their project roles. While people may change, having names listed helps to avoid ambiguity, while having the title listed will support future updates as roles change.
When assigning the responsible role, try to limit this to one person, or make a clarifying note if more than one person is listed to avoid ambiguity. Additionally, have a separate person listed for accountability from the person responsible for creation. This ensures clear sign-offs and approvals.
4. Hold review sessions with key members of the team for alignment
Once the initial RACI draft is completed, hold a review session with the team to review the key activities and deliverables and the human resources responsible for each. Share the draft via email, and then, schedule time to review.
Tip: Document the outcomes of the review session, and distribute meeting notes. Let the team know before the meeting that the notes will follow the meeting. This will also help to ensure the key members are paying full attention and are being thoughtful and focused during the review.
What if the project has already started?
It is never too late to step back and ensure clarity. If a project has started, the project manager can use the existing project schedule to create a draft RACI, use the activities defined in Steps 2 and 3 to ensure the right groups are engaged and assigned, and then hold a review session (or sessions) and achieve acknowledgment from the team.
The creation of a RACI and getting the roles as accurate as possible will be key in determining the usefulness of supporting the success of the project.
Implementing a RACI
Email alone will not lead to the effective implementation of a RACI matrix. This key document should be reviewed during a meeting early in the project timeline with all members and stakeholders present — ideally during your project kickoff meeting. Make this a standard part of your project kickoff meeting.
Additionally, send the document around to the meeting distribution as read-ahead material, requesting feedback if there are any major concerns. Obtaining this early feedback will allow for the majority of modifications and discussions to be held in advance of the meeting, leading to a smooth communication of the final RACI.
During the meeting, conduct a review of the tasks and responsible parties. Do not rush through this review, but rather ensure enough time in your project kickoff for this important aspect. Skimming the surface of this review could be dangerous later. Also be certain to clarify the definitions of RACI to avoid ambiguity. This way, all parties are clear on what they are agreeing to.
After the meeting, send out the notes documenting acceptance or updates to the RACI. In addition to sending out the notes, request any changes within a reasonable yet defined timeframe, stating that if no changes are requested, each person is acknowledging their responsibility and committing to the project tasks as outlined.
Consider a quick review each quarter or every six months for longer projects to ensure it remains up-to-date and not simply another document in the repository but a relied-upon artifact.
The Benefits of a RACI
A completed and aligned RACI will be the foundation for other key documents and project planning tasks and will support the development of the following subsequent documents.
Detailed project plan and Gantt chart
The RACI chart will be a good foundation to build your project schedule and Gantt chart on in terms of tasks and responsible roles. It will also be the foundation for your project timeline and/or milestone plan. With a RACI pre-aligned during the kickoff, the project plan finalization should be more focused on time frames and dependencies.
Governance body structure
Now that you have determined the key impacted departments and the key accountable persons, this is a great start to develop a list of candidates for the governing body or steering committee of key stakeholders. Of course, this is not the final determinant, but it provides you a great starting place from which to make suggestions to your business owner and/or business sponsor.
Documentation and activity signature authority (sign-offs)
For each key task and deliverable, including documentation, there should be someone responsible for the project that is responsible for reading, reviewing, and signing off on key tasks and deliverables.
Oftentimes during projects, the project manager is placed in the uncomfortable place of being the project manager and also drafting documentation and reviewing to give feedback that should be given by the signature authority. Having this type of documentation and keeping it up to date will also lessen communications from other teams about who needs to review and sign off on things like requirements, user stories, validations, and documentation.
Communications and meeting planning
A RACI matrix should be used to develop the communications plan. It can tell you what level of participation is needed from which persons or groups on each topic. RACI matrices can help to drive meeting effectiveness by helping to determine who should be in which meetings based upon topic.
It will also help to drive the distinction of who is critical for meetings versus which attendees should be invited as optional. Additionally, RACI matrices also help to determine which parties simply receive a copy of the notes from the meetings.
Being able to distinguish who is really needed in communications will support having the needed participation, as the team will understand that if they were invited in the “To” line of a meeting invite, then they are needed as opposed to being there as a passive listener.
RACI matrices assist in email management. Everyone gets too many emails only adding to team capacity and bandwidth issues. Knowing who needs to be key on which pieces of information versus who belongs on the cc line of emails is important; it helps teams manage their emails and their time by knowing where to focus their attention and work prioritization.
Limitations of RACIs
While a RACI matrix can help to solve challenges associated with project role ambiguity, it has its limitations; however, even many of these can be solved by adding your own variation to the chart.
There are different types of responsibility matrices similar to a RACI which focus on different or enhanced responsibility types. These alternative matrices seek to close some of the earlier identified gaps. For instance, the RASCI, includes the S for supporting members. This version distinguishes the key responsible doer from supporting team members. Supporting members are different from consulting members, as they provide input in the form of work into the doing, yet they are not the primary doer. Their input is not merely consultative feedback but action.
Another gap in a RACI is the determination of who is responsible for verifier and signatory. In this case, you should consider a RACI-VS responsibilities matrix,as the verifier and signer may not be the same party as the individual accountable. Additionally, a RACIQ considers a responsible party for quality, and a RACIO also includes an O for out of the loop, as not everyone has a responsible role for each task. Those designated out of the loop can help manage where there is no role needed, which supports the team’s ability to manage their capacity. When everyone is involved in everything, it can overwhelm the team and distract them from their actual work and support tasks.
In addition to a RACI, RACIO, RACIQ, RASCI and RACI-VS, there are countless others. You can even create your own. There is no limit to which roles you include in your RACI version, find the balance of those that support your team and the work.
Additionally, while a RACI matrix can provide an overview of who is responsible for different tasks, it will not state what needs to be done.
Organizational information, reach back, and past documentation can assist in supporting this limitation. Try to make your task detail clear—focusing on not just the activity but the output. If your organization has a deliverable list by project type or gating items, include them. Add a comment field if helpful.
Not aligned to the agile mindset
While a RACI matrix has been a well-adopted tool for waterfall project managers, project managers using an agile methodology like scrum may find it redundant since the accountability, ownership, and ongoing communication is built into the scrum framework (i.e., product owner, scrum master, and daily standups with the team).
Additionally, agile focuses on team-based delivery and accountability, while the RACI framework and alternatives focus on individual responsibility and autonomous accountability. For agile engagements, consider using teams instead of just roles or a name for certain tasks and roles.
Top RACI Matrix Project Management Tools
Using project management software is one of the best methods to ensure each team member knows their role according to your RACI matrix and has a clear understanding of the work ahead. Your project management platform will allow teams to track each step of the project and see exactly what responsibilities fall to each team member, when they are supposed to be completed, and when they were actually completed.
That’s because project management software typically has built-in collaboration tools that allow team members can quickly consult and update each other regarding project steps. Teams can effectively act and communicate throughout each installment of the project.
We’ve listed five of the best PM tools below. They clearly assign and define tasks to eliminate confusion and promote successful projects.
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
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Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.
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Rocketlane is purpose-built to run customer facing projects. It uniquely ties project management, document collaboration, and communication to help teams hit their project goals, accelerate time-to-value, and elevate the customer experience.
Learn more about Rocketlane
WorkOtter is the #1 ranked SaaS project, resource, and portfolio management solution. WorkOtter is disrupting PPM with features, world class support, and visual dashboards that make your PMOs look brilliant.
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monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
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More Sample RACI Charts
Below are a few sample RACI charts you can emulate to ensure clear roles and responsibilities on your next project. Consider making one or two of them a part of your standard project documentation as an easy-to-follow template.
Good templates and samples can also be found on the Project Management Institute’s website .
3 RACI Videos You Need to Watch
These first two videos provide you with a short snippet of how RACI can work for you. Looking for a longer explanation? Watch video three.
Video 1: The Basics of RACI
This five-minute video from The RACI & RACI Project Channel covers some of the basics of RACI and how the program can benefit your organization.
Video 2: How to Make Your Own RACI Chart
Make a RACI chart in just 11 minutes with this video from Excel Training 101:
Video 3: How RACI Will Help You Manage
Take it even further with this video from the RACI & RACI Project Channel. This 20-minute video will walk you through how RACI will help you manage matters related to efficiency, accountability, and role clarification. After you answer questions relating to your organization, this RACI video takes you through a hypothetical situation about what it would look like if no one completed a task, and how RACI can manage it.
RACI Matrix Recap
The goal of using a framework like RACI is to ensure clarity. As you go about implementing projects and programs, you may determine a preference for one of the RACI variations, or you may even come up with a new variation that solves another challenge. Project management is an evolutionary science and art. Select the version that best suits your project, team, and the needs of your organization.
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A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation of various organizations, people, and their roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project. It’s used by the Program Manager (PM) in clarifying roles and responsibilities in a cross-functional team , projects, and processes. A Request for Proposal (RFP) might request a RAM from a contractor.
Definition: A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the role and responsibilities of various people and/or organizations in completing specific tasks for a project.
Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) Matrix
Responsibility assignment matrix (ram) template, template: responsibility assignment matrix (ram) template (excel), responsibility assignment matrix (ram) goal in project management, responsibility assignment matrix (ram) tutorial, responsibility assignment matrix (ram) standard format.
A RAM is displayed as a chart that illustrates the interaction between work packages that need to be done and project team members. Typically, the list of objectives is on the left-hand column with the project team member names across the top. Each work package will be assigned to the appropriate project team member. The chart aids in communication amongst the project team members.
6 Steps to Developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
Below is a list of the 6 (six) most common steps in developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM).
Developing Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Matrix Best Practices
Responsibility assignment matrix (ram) lessons learned, difference between a responsibility assignment matrix and a responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed (raci) matrix., acqlinks and references:, leave a reply.
Everything You Need To Know To Set Up A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
Updated: Mar 27, 2022, 11:00am
The responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a form of project management that encourages everyone to understand every step of the project. Looking at the chart involves all parties and encourages an end-to-end view of any big assignment at a workplace; everyone on the team better understands what they’re responsible for and where their part of the project falls along the timeline. Today, we’re going over a few reasons why a responsibility assignment matrix can level up your business.
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RAM vs RACI: What’s The Difference?
If you’ve ever researched different project management methodologies, you’ve probably seen the terms RAM and RACI used interchangeably. This can be very confusing. In basic terms, RAM refers to the framework in place to delegate tasks to individuals. A RACI is a popular form of RAM where different individuals within the team are given one of the RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted or informed) labels. In short, a RACI can be seen as a subset of the greater RAM framework.
What Is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)?
The responsibility assignment matrix is a project management style with four main roles: responsible, accountable, consulted and informed (this is also referred to as a RACI matrix). Each letter applies to a member of the team and lets them know what their role is in the project and how it fits in with the other members of the team.
For more details on how this methodology works, you can check out our detailed guide to RACI charts . But here is a quick summary of a RAM in practice:
The responsible party in the RAM is the member of the team who’s supposed to complete the task. If you’re working on a pitch deck with your team, the responsible party could be tasked with compiling all of the image and data assets needed to put together the presentation.
The accountable team member assigns the tasks to team members and makes sure that they are completed correctly and on time. This is the person on the team who ensures the timeliness of the project and the fair division of tasks among the responsible parties.
In order to complete many assignments, a responsible party will have to talk to an expert, and that is the consulted person. When someone is responsible for compiling marketing analytics for a presentation, the consulted party will have to give their expert analysis and make sure all of the information that the responsible party has to share is correct.
While the informed party may not have direct involvement in all of the project’s steps, they need to know when the big pieces are done to make sure everything is going smoothly. The informed member of the team has to know if there’s a delay or a stall in the project because they likely need it to be done in order to do their work as well.
Benefits of a RAM
The RAM is so useful to project managers because it helps everyone see their process and why it’s so important. Instead of working in a silo with no knowledge of fellow coworkers’ tasks, all employees can feel involved.
The RAM method of project management allows team members to understand why the tasks they’re doing are important in the big picture. Instead of telling an administrative assistant to collect phone numbers, they can look at the table and understand why the numbers need to be collected in order to execute the next step of the project. Seeing how they fit into the company’s operations will encourage employees to see themselves as a part of the company’s overall mission and feel invested in positive outcomes.
Is a RAM Right for My Business?
The RAM is a great idea for any business with multiple moving parts. It can be particularly helpful for e-commerce companies that need more of their employees to understand the fulfillment process and be on top of processing orders. When the customer service team is informed about the responsibilities of the warehouse management team, customer service will be better able to respond to customer complaints because they’ll be aware of what’s going on at the warehouse that could lead to delays.
As opposed to micromanaging employees’ daily tasks, the RAM allows employees to understand where their skills are most effective and how they are involved in the big picture of the company. This will allow everyone to feel more ownership over their jobs and perform them better because they feel trusted to do so.
Using the RAM Effectively
When a project manager decides to implement the responsibility assignment matrix on a big project, they should make sure that everything has dates and reminders for every party. Informed team members should know when they’re going to get updates from responsible team members. By the same token, a consulted team member should have an idea of when they’re going to get questions from responsible team members. Finally, the accountable team member will have assigned out all of the tasks and follow up on any missed deadlines.
It’s also important to understand that using a RACI table is an outline. There will always be unintended problems that come up during a project timeline. The project manager who is running the RAM will see where the breakdown happened and be able to help the team pivot and redistribute tasks based on the RACI chart. As important as planning ahead is, remaining agile on the job is also a necessary skill.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best project management tools and software.
To determine the best project management software , we ranked several tools based on ease of use, cost to your organization, each company’s customer support, as well as special features.
Wrike was our top choice. It earned the top spot because it works for companies and teams of all sizes. Airbnb, Google and Dell all trust Wrike to aid their project managers. Wrike also allows teams to create custom workflows, set timelines with interactive charts and reporting and build a visual representation that shows the progress of every project in real-time.
Other highly ranked project management tools include Asana, Monday and HighGear.
What is a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management?
It’s a method of project management that allows all employees to understand the timeline and distributed responsibilities of a project. With the RAM table, all employees will understand where they fall on the RACI chart (described above).
How do you create a RAM?
First, make sure you have a list of everyone who will be involved in the project. Then, make a list of tasks for the project and create a preliminary timeline. The next step is to identify which team members are responsible, accountable, consulted or informed for each of the steps of the project. Finally, you can share this with the team and field any questions that come up.
What can a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) eliminate?
Ideally, the RAM eliminates confusion and any downtime between steps of the project where people might be confused if a certain piece of it has been completed yet. Everyone will know who to inform when the next step is ready to get started.
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Two excellent tools for communication and team management are the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) and the project org chart.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
A RAM is a matrix-based chart that is used to illustrate the connections between the work that needs to be done and project team members. A RAM can be developed at varying levels of detail, commonly at the activity or deliverable level.
Typically, the list of deliverables or activities are on the left-hand column with the team member names across the top. Each deliverable or activity will be assigned to the appropriate individuals. This will aid in communication amongst the team members and help expose any gaps that may exist.
A common RAM is a RACI (responsible, accountable, consult, inform) RAM format.
A project organization chart is a hierarchical chart used to show positions and relationships in a graphic, top-down format.
Project org charts display the project team members and their reporting lines within the project and to the overall organization. This ensures that team members and stakeholders are aware of who is participating in the project and what the reporting structure looks like.
Both org charts and RAMs are helpful in most project team settings. The RAM clarifies roles and responsibilities while the org chart communicates the team members participating in the project and the reporting structure both within the project and to the broader organization.
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How to Make a Responsibility Assignment Matrix for a Project (Template Included)
The most important resource you’ll employ to deliver the project is people. They have to fit into the schedule and maintain the project budget. Defining what their roles and responsibilities are when executing tasks and delivering on the project goals is an important part of controlling the project.
How can you coordinate all the people who are involved in a project so they know what they’re doing and don’t block others from doing what they are assigned? Using a responsibility assignment matrix can help. An assignment matrix gives your project a team that gets things done.
What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management?
A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a project management chart used to identify and define the various people and organizations and outline each of their roles in working on tasks or delivering a part of the project.
Project managers use an assignment matrix to clarify what cross-functional teams do within the boundaries of the project and its numerous processes. Sometimes a responsibility assignment matrix is required when responding to a request for proposal (RFP).
The responsibility assignment matrix can also be called a RACI matrix, which stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.
- Responsible: Notes who is responsible for executing the task, which is then assigned to them.
- Accountable: Notes who has decision-making authority and how that power is delegated throughout the project team.
- Consulted: Notes who is able to offer insight into the task, from team members to stakeholders.
- Informed: Notes who is updated on what in terms of progress and performance, as well as when and how this information is disseminated.
This creates a map of connections between activities and project team members. Depending on the size of the project, there can be several assignment matrices used for various project levels.
Why Create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix?
The assignment matrix identifies what everyone on the team is responsible for, which means not only what their duties are, but how they participate in the project. Some will have defined tasks, others will offer help with work, while there are some who are designated as decision-makers. These groups all have an identity and function within the project to help guide it towards a successful end.
Clear communication leads to more efficient projects. An assignment matrix facilitates better communication between team members and provides transparency by creating a system to make sure everyone is updated and always on the same page. Belaboring communications can bog down a project with too many pointless meetings and confusing interactions in which people try to understand what they’re supposed to be doing. Using the responsibility assignment matrix helps, but having project management software that connects teams in real-time is ideal.
ProjectManager manages project information by allowing teams to attach files directly to tasks, and our unlimited file storage keeps important project documents at your fingertips anywhere, anytime. Commenting on tasks can save time and tagging others in the project team creates a communication process that avoids the pitfalls of redundancies or unnecessary meetings.
When Should a Responsibility Assignment Matrix Be Created?
The responsibility assignment matrix would be created at the start of the project. You’d want to have everyone on the project team aware of where they stand in terms of their involvement before they start executing tasks.
As much as its use is a preventative measure, it can be used prescriptively. If you’re deep into the project and things are not moving as planned, there could be communication gridlock. If team members are not in the loop, or misconstrue what they’re supposed to be doing, using a responsibility assignment matrix might untie up those knots in the communication channel.
If there’s a problem with leadership overruling suggestions on how to advance the project and this is seen as a problem, it’s likely that the roles and responsibilities of the project team need refining. The responsibility assignment matrix defines who has authority to make decisions and using it or revisiting can determine if the right people are in that position.
In fact, any of the definitions might need reexamining at any phase in the project. Perhaps tasks are falling behind schedule. This could be because team members aren’t aware of what tasks they own. Anytime a delay occurs, returning to the assignment matrix is a good first step, even if you went through the process as you should during the planning stage of the project.
How to Create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix
The actual making of a responsibility assignment matrix is not as difficult as getting everyone on board with what their roles and responsibilities are.
Therefore, you want to include your team in the process, get their input and eventually buy-in without spending too much time and energy on the process. Follow these steps to make sure everyone is in agreement and you’ll have a successful responsibility assignment.
- Identify all the participants involved in the project, from team members to stakeholders and everyone in between.
- List all deliverables associated with the project. Use a work breakdown structure to make sure you don’t miss any.
- Meet with team members on how to execute the tasks to create the deliverables. Every task needs to be discussed in terms of the team’s responsibility and authority.
- Draft the responsibility assignment matrix using a table with the project tasks listed on the left-hand column. Across the top add the name of everyone in the project.
- Where the tasks meet the project team member, assign whether they’re responsible, accountable, consulted or informed.
- When completed, share the responsibility assignment matrix with the project team and stakeholders and hold a meeting if necessary to make sure everyone understands their part in the project. If you’re working in a shared space, print out a copy and post it.
Free Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template
Using a RACI template is a shortcut that sets up your team and the project for success. ProjectManager is more than an award-winning software that organizes tasks, teams and projects to streamline work and boost productivity, it’s also the online hub for all things project management.
Among the hundreds of blog posts, guidebooks and tutorial videos are dozens of free templates that can help you through every phase of your project’s life cycle. Using our free RACI template will help you guide all the project teams better, allowing them to know where they stand in relation to the project and what their level of responsibility and accountability is.
Use it at the start of the project to avoid delays and untangle any communicative knots that are preventing the project from progressing as planned. To keep your project on track, download our free RACI template and get a head start on building a workable responsibility assignment matrix.
Using our free RACI template is a good start, but you have to make sure you fill it in correctly. A responsibility assignment matrix is only as good as the effort put into creating it. Here are some best practices to apply when you’re in the process of building your assignment matrix.
- Involve the team: They’re the ones who will be executing the work. You want their input and buy-in to avoid any costly mistakes or time-consuming questions about what wasn’t made clear at the beginning of the project.
- Identify every single task: Identify all the tasks required to reach your final deliverable. Once you have that thorough list make sure that there is only one person on the team who is accountable.
- Update your RACI regularly: Make sure that each new one is clearly marked as the most current version and is distributed to everyone on the team. There will be times when you’ll want to revisit the responsibility assignment matrix or changes in personnel will require an edit.
- Share responsibility viably: One person shouldn’t have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibilities for the project and you want to give authority throughout the project team and not just among the very top management team.
- Optimize tasks: Managers can use the RACI matrix to see if too many team members have been assigned to a task. Maybe these workers could be spread out for greater productivity. There could be too many people listed as consulted, which slows down the process. The assignment matrix is endlessly useful.
How ProjectManager Helps You Manage Projects Better
ProjectManager is a cloud-based tool that connects everyone in real-time to facilitate planning, monitoring and reporting on the project. It works to give everyone on the project team a job and the knowledge as to where they have authority and when to consult others, as well as defining the reporting process.
Let’s look at the people who are responsible, for example, the team who execute the project. Once invited into the software, you can share the project plan, assign them tasks, add detailed direction, add a deadline and tag for priority and more. The teams can then collaborate by attaching files and images to the tasks and commenting in real-time to work better together.
Those who need to stay informed of the project can do so by also getting invited into the project and sharing plans and schedules with them. Stakeholders can stay updated with reporting features that can generate reports on project variance, cost, time and more with one click. Then share them as a PDF. Reports can even be quickly filtered to zero in on the data stakeholders are interested in.
The responsibility assignment matrix can help you reallocate your resources when things aren’t progressing as planned. Use our software to get further insight. The resource management features include a workload chart that’s color-coded so it’s easy to see who has too many tasks and who can take on more work. Then you can simply reallocate those resources from the workload page to help your team work more productively.
ProjectManager gets you organized, keeps your team focused on their tasks and stakeholders in the loop. Gain efficiencies throughout every aspect of your project’s life cycle with an online Gantt chart to schedule work and kanban boards, a visual workflow feature that provides transparency into production. All that and it’s on a collaborative platform to keep everyone connected. Try ProjectManager today for free.
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Responsibility Assignment Matrix: Template, Example & Benefits
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What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management?
Responsibility assignment matrix (ram) goal in project management, how to create a responsibility assignment matrix, developing responsibility assignment matrix (ram) best practices, responsibility assignment matrix examples and templates, benefits of responsibility assignment matrix.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Your team is the most crucial resource in completing a job. They must adhere to the project's schedule and budget. Controlling the project requires everyone involved to understand their roles and duties when carrying out tasks and accomplishing project objectives. How can all the participants in a project be coordinated so that they are aware of what they are doing and do not prevent others from carrying out their tasks? An assignment of responsibility matrix can be useful.
Your project will have a productive crew thanks to an assignment matrix. You can take an online PMP course to learn the details included in RAM, Responsibility Assignment Matrix in project management, and Responsibility Assignment Matrix example, to advance your career.
So, what is the responsibility assignment matrix? A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), sometimes referred to as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, in project management identifies all relevant stakeholders and specifies roles for cross-functional teams and their level of involvement in a project. Each letter in the acronym RACI, which stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed, refers to a different team member in the Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management.
The team member that oversees finishing the assignment is the person responsible for the RAM, Responsibility Assignment Matrix. The person in charge may be tasked with gathering all the visual and data assets required to put together the presentation if your team is working on a pitch deck (Responsible for executing the task).
The responsible team member distributes the tasks to the other team members and ensures that they are finished accurately and on time. This team member oversees making sure the project is completed on schedule and that the tasks are fairly distributed among the accountable parties (Has governing & directing authority).
A responsible party in Responsibility Assignment Matrix Project Management may frequently need to consult an expert, who serves as the consulted person, to finish certain responsibilities. A professional analysis of the consulted party is required when someone is tasked with gathering marketing statistics for a presentation. They also need to ensure that the data the responsible party is required to submit is accurate (Provide insights, analysis or expert judgment).
The informed party needs to be aware of when the major project components are finished even though they may not be directly involved in all the steps to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The informed team member must be aware of any delays or stalls in the project as they must complete their tasks (Updated with project information and outcome).
The goal of the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is to clearly define roles and responsibilities of everyone on a project team. This ensures that everyone understands their role and how it fits into the bigger picture. RAM also allows for quick identification of whom to contact when an issue arises. It might also be applied within a working group to establish authority levels, roles, and duties for tasks.
The matrix format displays each person's associated actions and each person's associated people. To avoid confusion, this makes sure that there is only one person responsible for each task. It is also important to outline the dates and reminders for each participant, so that they are aware of their deliverables/plans to fulfill the deliverables. The best Project Management Certification programs online will teach you how to make efficient decisions and effectively use RAM.
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a table that shows the tasks needed to be completed as part of a project, who is responsible for each task, and when the task needs to be completed. Making a matrix to distribute responsibilities is not as challenging as getting everyone on board with their respective jobs and responsibilities.
You should therefore involve your staff in the process, receive their feedback, and eventually secure their buy-in without expending excessive time and effort on it. You will have a successful responsibility assignment if you follow these instructions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- List every person involved in the project, including the team, stakeholders, and everyone in between.
- List each project deliverable that you can think of. To make sure you do not overlook any, use a work breakdown framework.
- To discuss how to carry out the tasks and produce the deliverables, meet with the team members. The duty and authority of the team for each assignment must be discussed.
- Utilizing a table with the project tasks specified in the left-hand column, create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix. Print the names of everyone involved in the project across the top.
- Assign whether a project team member is liable, accountable, consulted, or informed where the tasks meet them.
- Share the completed Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template Word with the project team and stakeholders. If necessary, conduct a meeting to ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities for the project. Print a copy, and if you are working in a common location, post it.
The best practices for developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) will vary depending on the specific project and organization. However, some tips on how to develop a RAM matrix effectively include the following:
- Define the project scope and objectives clearly, so that all stakeholders understand the parameters of the project and what is expected to be accomplished.
- Assign clear roles and responsibilities to individuals and teams so that everyone knows who is responsible for what aspect of the project.
- Make sure that the Responsibility Assignment Matrix PMP is kept up to date as the project progresses so that everyone is aware of any changes in roles and responsibilities.
- Use the RAM matrix as a tool to help identify potential risks and issues related to the project so that they can be addressed early on.
- One stakeholder leads a task.
- The lesser number of people are accountable, the better.
- Act efficiently with meetings.
- Continuous communication.
- Stakeholder agreement on final RAM
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI)
- RACI-VS (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed- “V”erification and “S”ign off)
- RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Support, Consulted, Informed)
- RAC (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted)
- ARCI (Accountable, Responsible, Consulted, Informed)
- RATSI (Responsibility, Authority, Task, Support, Informed)
- PACSI (Perform, Accountable, Control, Suggest, Informed)
- RACIQ (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed, Quality Review)
- DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed)
- CAIRO (Consulted, Accountable, Informed, Responsible, Omitted)
Downloadable Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template Excel
Download the Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template (xlsx) here!
This Responsibility Assignment Matrix template is available for free in both Excel and OpenDocument Spreadsheet formats. The template can be completely modified using Microsoft Excel and adjusted to meet the needs of your project. To make it simple to understand what is required of each worker on each task, the template employs conditional formatting to change the color of each cell.
Download a Printable Responsibility Assignment Matrix PDF
Download the Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template (PDF) here!
If you intend to design a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), you may require samples and templates to use as a guide, regardless of whether you are managing an event, a construction project, or a restaurant. Some of the templates are-
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix Sample
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix for Construction Project Template
- Basic Responsibility Assignment Matrix Sample
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix in PDF
There are many benefits of the Responsibility Assignment Matrix. One benefit is that it helps to ensure that everyone on a project team understands their roles and responsibilities. This can help to prevent misunderstandings and conflict between team members. Another benefit of using RAM is that it can help to improve communication between team members.
By clearly defining roles and responsibilities, team members will know whom to go to for specific information or tasks. This can help to avoid confusion and delays. Lastly, RAM can help to improve project management by providing a clear overview of who is responsible for what. This can help project managers to identify potential problems or areas where there may be a lack of resources.
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a tool used to identify and define the roles and responsibilities of individuals and groups within an organization. It is a means of clarifying who is responsible for what and ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. RAM can be used to create accountability and ownership for tasks and projects, and to identify potential areas of conflict.
It is a valuable tool for effective project management and can help to ensure that everyone involved in a project is aware of their roles and responsibilities. It can also help to identify potential areas of conflict and ensure that tasks are properly assigned. The KnowledgeHut online PMP course will give you an insight into the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, and can be a helpful tool for any project manager.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1. what is included in a responsibility assignment matrix.
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a tool used to help define and assign roles and responsibilities for a project or process. The matrix typically includes a list of tasks or deliverables and the people or groups responsible for each.
2. What can a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) eliminate?
RAM eliminates ambiguity and confusion over who is responsible for what on a project. It also provides a clear overview of who is responsible for each task, making it easier to hold team members accountable.
3. What does a Responsibility Assignment Matrix not show?
The duty assignment matrix links resources to the tasks or work packages they must do, but it does not indicate when they will be required to do their work.
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Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) including a template
Responsibility Assignment Matrix: this article explains the Responsibility Assignment Matrix in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful project management tool used by management professionals. This article also contains a downloadable and editable template and a free in-depth explanation video.
What is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix or RAM?
Project managers like using a RAM to identify the role of the various members of a project team. This matrix is a structural chart in which is visually made clear (on paper or through project management software) what should be done by whom in cross functional or departmental projects.
In the matrix it is clear what the project tasks, roles and responsibilities are of each of the project team members. It is also referred to as the RACI matrix , VERI matrix or Linear Responsibility Chart (LCR).
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It’s often used as an integral part of the Work Breakdown Structure .
RAM video (1-Minute Skill Booster)
Our 1-Minute Skill Booster below will help you get a quick overview on the RAM and at the end of this article you will find an in-depth video on this project management tool.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix example
Despite the simple nature of all information in the matrix memory, it can be very time-consuming to assign each member of the project team with the right tasks and responsibilities.
In addition the appropriate roles must be defined in advance before they are included in the RAM.
Figure 1 – The Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) / RACI Matrix
To do this well and accurately, the matrix can be completed using the following steps:
- Step 1: Identify all the participants and (facilities) supporters of the project.
- Step 2: Identify all the deliverables for the project.
- Step 3: Discuss with all team members how they can support each other to achieve the best performance. It is important to define each participant’s responsibilities so that there will be no misunderstandings on who is responsible for completing the tasks at hand.
- Step 4: The initial draft of the RAM is created, with the activities in the left-hand column and the team members in the project in the first right-hand column. Enter the roles that each person will have in the cells that have been formed. An example of this can be seen in the form of a RACI chart (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) above. Note that only one person can be accountable for each task.
- Step 5: Have the participants in the project approve the RAM (in writing). Again to prevent misunderstandings.
- Step 6: Any remarks on changes in the RAM can be filed by the participants in writing. Finally, the responsibility assignment matrix will be reviewed and after approval has been obtained, the project can start.
- Step 7: Interim assessment is important. When it appears that it is better to adjust the RAM, you will have to go back to step 3 and the adjustments must be discussed with all team members.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix and complex projects
The RAM is also suitable for complex projects. When activities are overlooked and the matrix contains incomplete and/or inaccurate information, this will lead to duplicated efforts.
It is therefore advisable to ensure that all information is included in the matrix and that all information is and remains accurate.
The following suggestions contribute to a larger chance of success of a matrix in a complex project:
1. Hierarchy of charts
Divide the RAM into separate graphs so that a distinction can be made according to priorities .
The RAM with the highest levels identifies the high-priority activities within the project.
From this point RAM-graphs can be developed that have been derived from this higher level.
By involving all the members of the project team in the development of the RAM, they will know exactly what is expected of them and they will participate and be (more) committed to using their own specializations.
3. Written representation
By putting the RAM in writing, any mistakes or problems can be identified.
Moreover, the participants in the project will have a better understanding of what their joint participation in the project is.
In a RAM the role of the individual and the role of the group are not separated. The role describes the participation with accompanying tasks of the individual in the project.
Such a role can be performed by several people in a group.
Vice versa, one person may have several roles in the project. This is why several employees can have the role of project manager and one individual may have the role of manager and task performer.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix template
Start visualizing what the tasks and responsibilities are of each team member with this ready to use RAM template.
Download the Responsibility Assignment Matrix template
Responsibility assignment matrix (ram) video (in depth-explainer).
Watch the in-depth video below for a recap of what you’ve just read, so you will remember it more easily!
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It’s Your Turn
What do you think? Is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix in today’s modern project- and stakeholder management? Do you recognize the practical explanation or do you have more additions? What are your success factors for good stakeholder management during a project?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Project Management Institute (2010). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ( PMBOK Guide) . PMI Standards Committee.
- Baker, D. (2009). Multi-Company Project Management: Maximizing Business Results Through Strategic Collaboration . J Ross.
- Cleland, D. and Ireland, L. (2006). Project management: strategic design and implementation . McGraw-Hill .
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Published on: 03/26/2012 | Last update: 11/01/2022
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A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management, also known as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, details all the necessary stakeholders and
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), also known as RACI matrix or Linear Responsibility Chart (LRC), describes the participation by various roles in
Because successful project management depends on a team-wide understanding of roles and responsibilities, using a RACI matrix (sometimes called
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation of various organizations, people, and their roles in completing tasks
The responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a form of project management that encourages everyone to understand every step of the project.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) ... A RAM is a matrix-based chart that is used to illustrate the connections between the work that needs to be done and
Another useful tool is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, often called a RACI Chart (RACI stands for “Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed”)
A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a project management chart used to identify and define the various people and organizations and
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Goal in Project Management. The goal of the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is to clearly define
In the matrix it is clear what the project tasks, roles and responsibilities are of each of the project team members. It is also referred to as the RACI matrix