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.
A RAM is also called a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix. The PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines RACI as a RAM that is used to illustrate the connections between work packages or activities and project team members. On larger projects, RAMs can be developed at various levels.
- Responsible (R): 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 (A): 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 (C): Those whose opinions are sought; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Informed (I): 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.
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Goal in Project Management
A RAM is used in project management as a communication tool to ensure that work tasks are designated a responsible agent. 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.
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).
- Step 1: List all project tasks and deliverables
- Step 2: Identify all project stakeholders
- Step 3: Determine responsibility and accountability level for each task and deliverable
- Step 4: Assign stakeholders to each task
- Step 5: Assign overall stakeholder
- Step 6: Ensure all stakeholder know their responsibility
Developing Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Matrix Best Practices
Below is a list of best practice topics that can help Program Managers effectively build and use a Responsibility Assignment Matrix.
- One stakeholder in charge per task.
- The least amount of people accountable, the better.
- Be Efficient with Meetings.
- Constant Communication.
- Stakeholders agree on final RAM
Difference Between a Responsibility Assignment Matrix and Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix.
The PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines RACI as a RAM that is used to illustrate the connections between work packages in a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and project team members. The difference between a RAM matrix and RACI matrix is:
- A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation of various organizations, people, and their roles in completing tasks or deliverables in a Work Break Down Structure (WBS) for a project.
- A Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix is used on projects where multiple groups of people as assigned a task. It helps on larger projects with a lot of people and organizations. It also helps with outside stakeholders and their responsibilities on a project.
- A RACI can have multiple RAM within it.
AcqLinks and References:
- Template: Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Template (Word)
- Template: Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Template (Excel)