a responsibility assignment matrix (ram), also known as raci matrix or linear responsibility chart (lrc), describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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.
for a “good’ol boy” from texas, it is a dodge pickup. but to a project management professional (pmp)®, a ram is a responsibility assignment matrix. suppose you are a block-layer and your next task is to build a wall around a newly constructed dwelling. similarly, you will need to know what sort of wall to build – how high should it be and how thick. will it have a pebble-dashed finish? in other words, you need to have the specifications, or requirements for the job. if you are very specialized and the only task you perform is block-laying, someone else might need to do the pebble-dashing, or painting, or whatever finishing the wall needs.
they create a table with project activities listed as the rows and people as the columns. a popular way to do this is by using a raci notation. on being introduced to the raci notation, many project managers scratch their heads and ask questions like: what if i have more than one person working on a project task? in that case, you might consider a rasci notation, where a new role – “support” – is added. if you go back to being a block-layer for a moment, you might have someone mixing the cement and providing a steady supply of blocks and cement, while you do the block-laying itself. the choice of notations should be driven by the sorts of roles you envision on your project. you might consider: no matter what types of roles you consider for your activities, the important thing for any project manager is to go through the process of compiling a ram. if this area is intriguing for you, you might consider one of our project management certification courses that are held online in our virtual classroom.
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