A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation by various organizations, people and roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project. It’s used by the Program Manager (PM) in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional team, projects and processes. A Request for Proposal (RFP) might request a RAM from a contractor.
A RAM is also called a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix.
- Responsible: Those who do the work to achieve the task. There is typically one role with a participation type of Responsible, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required.
- Accountable: The one ultimately accountable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and the one to whom Responsible is accountable. In other words, an Accountable must sign off (Approve) on work that Responsible provides. There must be only one Accountable specified for each task or deliverable.
- Consulted: Those whose opinions are sought; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Informed: Those who are kept up-to-date on progress, often only on completion of the task or deliverable; and with whom there is just one-way communication.
A RAM can define what a project team is responsible for within each component of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). It could also be used within a working group to designate roles, responsibilities and levels of authority for specific activities. The matrix format shows all activities associated with one person and all people associated with one activity. This ensures that there is only one person accountable for any one task to avoid confusion.
The PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines RACI as a RAM which is used to illustrate the connections between work packagers or activities and project team members. On larger projects, RAMs can be developed at various levels.
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