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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
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) Template
- Template: Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Template (Excel)
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 as 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) 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 among the project team members.
No one should typically have more than one degree of responsibility for any given deliverable or activity group in the RAM chart. To simplify things, we’ve assigned each participant in this scenario a certain amount of commitment. However, there is frequently white space when you create a genuine model for more than four people. In some situations, it’s okay to have someone with secondary responsibility but not primary.
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 is in charge per task.
- The least amount of people accountable, the better.
- Be Efficient with Meetings.
- Constant Communication.
- Stakeholders agree on final RAM
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Lessons Learned
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a tool used in project management to identify and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the different people or groups working on a project. The goal of making a RAM is to make sure that all tasks are done and that responsibilities don’t overlap or get missed. Here are some things you can learn to make sure your RAM is built right:
- Define the project’s goals and scope in detail: Before making a RAM, it’s important to have a clear idea of the project’s goals and scope. This will help make sure that all necessary tasks are included and that the responsibilities are in line with the overall project goals.
- Find out who all the stakeholders are and what their roles are: A RAM should have a list of all the people or groups involved in the project, such as internal team members, external partners, and customers. There should be roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder.
- Give each stakeholder specific tasks and responsibilities: Instead of giving each stakeholder a general role, it is important to give them specific tasks and responsibilities. This will help make sure that no one’s responsibilities get mixed up or left out.
- Make sure that all stakeholders know about and understand the RAM: It is important to make sure that all stakeholders know about and understand the RAM. This can be done by having regular meetings and giving updates, as well as by putting the RAM in writing.
- Review and update the RAM often: As the project moves forward, it may be necessary to review and update the RAM. This can help make sure that the RAM stays correct and helps the project reach its goals.
Difference Between a Responsibility Assignment Matrix and 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 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)
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The resource assignment matrix.
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A resource assignment matrix or a RAM you might see it referred to on the PMP exam, shows the project resources assigned to each work package. Each thing that we’re working on and who is working on it. It is used to illustrate the connections between work packages or activities and the project team members.
An example of a resource assignment matrix that you may be familiar with, or one of the most common ones is a RACI chart which is Responsible, Accountable, Consult (who needs to be consulted) and who needs to be Informed.
The RACI chart is a useful tool to ensure clear assignment of resource roles and responsibilities when the team consists of internal and external resources. As you can see we’ve got the activity of the Project Charter, and who’s creating that? Well Ben is Responsible for that, Anne is Accountable for that so she may need to sign off on that particular item, and we need to inform Carlos, Dina and Ed.
Then the task of collecting requirements – who’s responsible? Carlos is responsible here and Ben needs to sign off on that particular item, he is Accountable for it to make sure that it is done.
A resource assignment matrix can be developed at various levels of your work breakdown structure. In other words you can do it at a higher level, at the high level feature or you can break it down. At the high level it might define those responsibilities of the whole project or of the whole team or a group or a unit, but as we break our work down into smaller activities that we can actually estimate and deliver on, then our lower level matrix might be used within the group to designate roles responsibilities and the levels of authority within that particular work item. So it provides a lot of clarity, there’s no confusion about who is ultimately in charge or who has authority to do the work.
And that is the benefit of your resource assignment matrix.
– David McLachlan
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What Is a RACI Matrix?
A RACI matrix is a document that clarifies which individuals or groups are responsible for a project’s successful completion, and the roles that each will play throughout the project. The acronym RACI stands for the different responsibility types: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
Successful project management depends on a team-wide understanding of roles and responsibilities. Using a RACI matrix to assign and define each role is a great way to keep a project on track and positioned for success. When designed correctly, the RACI matrix is a way for a project manager to help ensure the success of the project before it’s even begun.
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How Does a RACI Chart Help Project Managers?
Project managers use RACI charts to keep track of team roles and relay those responsibilities to the larger team. The matrix defines clear roles and responsibilities for individual team members across the various phases of the project, breaking each role down into four types of designation: those who are Responsible and Accountable for project deliverables, those who should be Consulted as work begins, and stakeholders who need to be Informed of ongoing progress, roadblocks, and updates.
Read more about project phases
RACI Matrix Definitions
The individual(s) with responsibility for the task or deliverable is typically responsible for developing and completing the project deliverables themselves. The responsible parties are typically hands-on team members that make direct contributions toward the completion of the project. The responsible team is comprised of the project’s “doers”, working hands-on to ensure that each deliverable is completed.
Some examples of responsible parties are:
- Project Managers
- Business Analysts
- Graphic Designers
Accountable parties ensure accountability to project deadlines, and ultimately, accountability to project completion. This group frequently also falls under the informed category.
Some examples of accountable parties are:
- Product Owners
- Signature Authorities
- Business Owners
- Key Stakeholders
Consulted individuals’ opinions are crucial, and their feedback needs to be considered at every step of the game. These individuals provide guidance that is often a prerequisite to other project tasks, for example, providing legal guidance on a project throughout the process. If you are working on new product development or expansion, this could essentially be the entire organization.
Some examples of consulted parties are:
- Legal Experts
- Information Security and Cybersecurity Experts
- Compliance Consultants
Informed persons are those that need to stay in the loop of communication throughout the project. These individuals do not have to be consulted or be a part of the decision-making, but they should be made aware of all project updates. Typically, this party are business owners or stakeholders that are more interested in viewing the project at a 30,000-foot view. Keep this group on your cc list for awareness of topics, decisions, and progress – that includes making them part of the initial project kickoff and project demos as optional attendees. This group often also falls under the accountable group.
Some examples of informed parties are:
- Project Committee Members
- External Stakeholders
Why Are RACI Roles Important?
RACI roles provide a sense of organization and clarity for teams that are looking to divide roles and keep team members accountable for their contributions. Considering that 27% of projects go over budget, for reasons like scope creep and lack of defined roles, RACI roles help position a project for success and avoid common pitfalls.
Moreover, RACI roles help ensure that communication between all roles is ongoing. When you consider that nearly half of all project spending is at risk of being wasted due to a lack of effective team-based communication , it becomes all that more important to prioritize. Ultimately, teams who prioritize communication and well-defined roles are better off, and RACI roles help teams achieve that goal faster – while providing accountability for each team member’s unique contributions to the success of the project.
Read More: Top 10 Main Causes of Project Failure
How to Create a RACI Matrix
If you’re looking to implement a RACI matrix as part of your team’s project planning process, take these steps to create a RACI matrix.
Ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the project and its demands before outlining any further steps by communicating with key stakeholders and decision-makers.
Determine the list of key activities and deliverables from the director of program management or other leadership.
Determine who is needed to be a part of the project or initiative.
Determine the project roles and responsible job titles and persons for each activity and deliverable.
Hold review sessions with key members of the team for alignment, and if you haven’t already, host a kickoff meeting with the entirety of the team and key stakeholders to unveil the matrix, address questions, and more.
If the project has already started, it’s not too late to implement a RACI matrix.
- Outline the story. Using research from multiple sources, do a, b, c, and d.
- Utilize steps 2 and 3 (shown above). Ensure the right groups are assigned and engaged.
- Hold a review session. Ensure that the team acknowledges and discusses the plan and the roles assigned.
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Examples of a RACI Matrix
Our FREE Downloadable RACI Matrix Template
Who creates the raci matrix.
The RACI matrix — sometimes called RACI model, RACI diagram, or simply just RAC — is created by the project manager at the start of the project as a key part of establishing the initial human resources planning for the project. Because miscommunication is a common threat to any project, RACI charts are a great asset to teams dealing with any type of project, from very simple projects to extremely complex ones.
FAQ: How do I Implement a RACI matrix?
Implementing a RACI matrix takes more than just a few emails and sporadic conversations – it takes consistent communication and planning. You should host a kickoff meeting to introduce the matrix to the team and make a plan to continue meeting at predetermined times throughout the project lifecycle.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you implement your RACI matrix within the team dynamic:
- Get everyone prepared. Send the document around to the meeting distribution as read-ahead material, requesting feedback if there are any major concerns.
- Roll out each role for the team . 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. (Be certain to clarify the definitions of RACI to avoid ambiguity.)
- Consider changes and update accordingly. After the meeting, send out the notes documenting acceptance or updates to the RACI. In addition to sending out the notes, request any corrections within a reasonable yet defined timeframe. Clarify that if no changes are requested, each person is acknowledging their role and committing to the project tasks as outlined.
- Stay in touch. Consider a quick review with the entire team 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.
FAQ: What are RACI matrix best practices?
As you implement the raci matrix….
- Encourage teamwork and foster collaboration whenever possible.
- Don’t fear updates – make changes and adjustments as needed (but be sure to communicate those changes clearly to all parties).
- Earlier is better. Roll out your matrix plan to the team BEFORE you plan to implement it for the best results.
- Have a clear-cut understanding of the project scope and how each role connects to the overall project goal.
For “Responsible” Parties:
- Make sure your project’s definition of Responsible is clear on who holds the “decider” role for the project or project phase’s completion, and what the dimensions of that responsibility will be.
- Ensure that all parties are aware of their role and responsibilities within the matrix.
For “Accountable” Parties:
- When multiple Accountable team members must exist, use your definitions to make clear which individual is accountable for a given project element, and how that individual needs to interact with other Accountable team members.
- Ensure that there is only one “Accountable” party assigned per task.
- Be sure that the Accountable party has the authority and power to oversee the task as the accountable party.
For Consulted and Informed Parties:
- Consulted parties are often high-level decision-makers with heavy schedules. Make sure you’re clear on their availability ahead of time.
- Similar to Consulted parties, Informed parties are often less hands-on and have less understanding of day-to-day project operations. As the project goes on, make sure to keep detailed notes to keep the Informed party up-to-date on key information.
- Understand the ways that these parties like to communicate and create a plan to reach them early – whether that’s over phone calls, emails, video calls, or from within your project management system’s collaboration tools.
- Knowing the difference between who needs to be consulted versus informed can be a challenge if there is ambiguity about project roles. Consider what aspects of the project different team members need to know to do their jobs, and then bake those into your definitions.
RACI Matrix Pros & Cons
Free raci matrix templates.
A number of project management software solutions include a native RACI matrix template. Here are just a few we’ve found:
Colorful RACI Chart Template
We love this template from Smartsheet because it’s colorful, thorough, and includes room for every party involved in the project.
Pastel Colored RACI Matrix Template
This template from the Academy to Innovate HR is a great choice for project managers who want to organize their team roles with an easy-on-the-eyes chart that evolves beyond the simple spreadsheet.
Simple RACI Chart from Clickup
These RACI templates from Clickup have enough variety to fit any of your project needs, but are simple enough for even beginner PMs to use.
Detailed RACI Matrix Template
This template is a great starter template for anyone looking to explore RACI charts in their project management strategy. As an added bonus – it comes with the RACI definitions already built in!
Excel-Based RACI Chart Template
Are you an Excel or Google Sheets user looking to take advantage of the RACI matrix? An Excel-formatted template from Project Management Docs can be just the solution for you. This template is a great template for users who want a chart that comes in a pre-formatted structure.
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What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) in Project Management?
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Introduction to Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
Project management is a complex process that involves multiple stakeholders, tasks, and resources. To ensure the success of a project, it is crucial to assign clear roles and responsibilities to team members and accurately define their tasks.
One tool that can help project managers achieve this goal is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). In this article, we will explore the definition and benefits of RAM, as well as some examples.
If you’re looking for a RAM template that will help you assign roles and clarify responsibilities, Wrike has a customizable template ready to go.
What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) in project management?
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
Read more about RACI here .
Identify and visualize roles seamlessly with Wrike
Responsibility assignment matrix example.
A common RAM template looks like the example below. Notice how all stakeholders can have more than one role:
Responsibility Assignment Matrix template
Below you can see a powerful RAM template . The chart helps with visualizing roles and workload clearly. Therefore, project managers and team members follow the progress easily and stay on track.
Clarify roles with Wrike
In conclusion, RAM is a useful tool for any project manager who wants to ensure their team is clear on their responsibilities. It helps to establish a structured approach to project management, allowing for better communication, accountability, and ultimately, project success.
Using Wrike’s pre-built template, you can define the roles of each team member so everybody is on the same page. The template will also help you balance your workload and create complete transparency on your team structure.
What is a RACI Chart?
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What Is Resource Planning?
Resource plan key terms, stages of a resource plan, what is resource management software, desktop vs. online resource management software, benefits of online resource management software, must-have features of resource management software.
- Execute a Resource Plan in ProjectManager
- Creating a Resource Management Plan
Resource Management Best Practices
Resource planning organizes, identifies and lists the resources required to complete a project successfully. Resources are assets that are required to execute a project; a resource is a broad category and includes equipment, tools, supplies, materials, time and people.
A proper resource plan will map out the exact quantities of the necessary storable resources (such as cash) and non-storable resources (like machinery or labor). Considerations made during resource planning factor greatly into the scheduling and budgeting of projects.
Related: 25 Free Project Management Templates for Excel
Because it’s so important to align your resources with your budget and your project schedule, it’s best to use a project planning software to get everything organized in one tool. ProjectManager makes it easy to manage resources, budgets and project schedules in one online platform.
What Are The Components of a Resource Plan?
A resource plan aims to use resources in the most efficient manner possible, thus contributing to the overall productivity of the project. This is furthered by properly allocating your project team where their skill set will take the project the farthest. The best bet is to have a constant flow of resources and make sure you’re using them wisely and productively.
When resource planning, you should ask yourself the following questions about the most key components:
- What are the roles of the project team?
- What are the procurement needs of the project?
- What types of contracts are required?
- Are there any pre-qualification methods needed?
- What criteria will be used to select contractors or vendors?
- How much of the budget is allocated to resources?
- How will performance be measured in the project?
- What policies and procedures will be used?
To better understand how to manage your resources in projects, we should first break down different key terms that are often associated with resource management .
Remember, resources are more than just your team—they’re also your equipment, assets and office space. They’re everything, in fact, that has a cost required to complete the project.
- Resource Plan: A detailed list of resources and the ways you will manage them throughout the project. The more detailed, the better.
- Resources Breakdown Structure (RBS): A resources breakdown structure creates hierarchies of resources, according to the hiring organization (like a reporting structure or team hierarchy) or by geography (such as all the teams or equipment required in Asia or Africa). Include all resources on which the project funds will be spent, but it’s up to you to define which type of hierarchies are relevant to your project. Its execution is similar to a WBS.
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix: A responsibility assignment matrix defines resources according to various levels of responsibility for completing project tasks or for the overall project. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the entire project.
- Resource Overallocation: Overallocation simply means when a person is given too much work, which can impact the budget and even derail a project. It’s crucial that resources are balanced, so you’re going to need a way to stay on top of your team’s workload throughout the life cycle of the project.
- Resources Histogram: This provides a visual of the resources for anyone in the project who needs to stay in the loop. It’s a quick and easy way to view the allocation of your resources and note whether any are over- or under-allocated.
- Resource Dependency: This refers to a theory that an organization should guard against having all their eggs in one team basket. That is, over-reliance on one team to accomplish core work (especially if it’s an external team) can lead to workload blocks and resource shortages.
- Resource Leveling: Leveling resources is a juggling act, whereby you manage resource availability across a project or across multiple projects. It can be accomplished by extending the duration you had planned for certain tasks to be accomplished by adjusting the start and end dates, depending on whether you have the resources to complete them now or not.
Related: Free Resource Plan Template
There are four main stages to resource planning one should follow to ensure your bottom line stays firm and you are able to get the available resources when you need them. This is also called the resource management life cycle .
Before the project starts, begin to figure out the resources you’ll need to execute it. This includes the budget for those resources to make sure your project is profitable, and getting sign off from stakeholders. To start this process, the project requirements must first be decided upon. Then, you can think of filling the types and amount of roles that will be required.
1. Ascertain Resources
After you’ve evaluated the situation and determined what the objectives of the project are, you have to select the right strategy and estimate the resources that you’ll need to reach that goal. Resource forecasting must be thought through as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. These resources include labor, materials, equipment, facilities and others, such as admin, subcontractors, etc.
2. Procure Resources
You need to start to assemble your team according to the skills and experience the project requires. Equipment must be sourced, and contractors secured. Some of the aspects of this stage of resource planning include developing team roles, procurement needs, contracts, budgets, measurements to judge performance and any policies and resource optimization procedures.
3. Manage Resources
At this point, you need to define the roles and responsibilities of your team, who is doing what. Subcontractors’ roles also need to be defined. If you’re using tools and equipment that is being rented for the project, then you must make sure they’re returned in a condition that meets the requirements of the contract. Any facilities must be maintained, too.
There will be issues, of course, and when they occur you have to identify, define, investigate and analyze, solve and then review.
4. Control Resources
Somewhat different from managing resources is controlling your resources, which means monitoring the resources during execution to make sure they’re delivering the results that are expected of them. What this boils down to is something called the resource utilization rate, which measures how efficiently you use the resources.
If the utilization rate is too low, action must be taken, such as a cost-benefit analysis . You should always be evaluating outcomes to make sure you stay on track.
Resource management software is a tool that assists in the planning and scheduling of projects. It’s used to manage your team, tools, equipment, materials and so forth—all of which are crucial to your success.
Your resources all have costs associated with them, and are often used for a limited period. These expenses and timeframes must be managed to align with the schedule. Resource management software lets you plan with these resources in mind, then allows you to allocate them and track who’s working on what and when.
A resource management tool will help you track costs and time related to your resources in order to make sure you use them as planned and are sticking to the project budget. Microsoft Project is one of the most commonly used project management software, but it has major drawbacks that make ProjectManager better for resource management.
Desktop and online resource management software share many features. This can make it difficult to choose which is the right solution for your project. They both allow managers a high-level view of the project resources. This makes it easier to quickly view the resources needed and provide just the right amount.
You can also generate reports with both a desktop and online application. For example, project status reports are critical to make sure you’re not overspending. They’re also a communication vehicle to present to project stakeholders and keep them updated on progress.
Pros of Desktop Resource Management Software
There are big differences between the two, however, and if you’re looking for security and speed, the desktop model might be best. Desktop applications can be more secure if they don’t require an internet connection. Of course, neither desktop or online software are guaranteed to offer impenetrable security, but the desktop probably does have an edge there.
Speed is also a factor. Desktops are not at the mercy of the strength of your online connection. Of course, if your internet connection is severed, then your online tool will not function at all.
Pros of Online Resource Management Software
While desktop software might have advantages in security and speed, those gaps are rapidly closing. Advancements in two-factor authentication and Single Sign On can provide an incredibly secure experience.
Online has other advantages that desktops can never achieve. The major difference is that an online resource management tool is going to have real-time data, which is crucial when managing resources to keep the project running smoothly.
Real-time data means better decision making, but it also creates a platform on which your team can collaborate. This leads to greater productivity, meaning your resources will go further. Having features that connect teams to work through their tasks together helps with efficiency and building better teams.
Finally, an online resource management software can be accessed anywhere and at any time, if there’s online connectivity. That means teams that are distributed across the globe have access to the tool and can even work together. It also means that all your project documentation is centrally located and also available when and where you need it.
Managing resources requires real-time data to keep track of your costs and the time spent in order to maintain your budget and stay on schedule.
Online resource management software gives relevant and timely information because you don’t have the luxury of waiting when the success of your project hangs in the balance. But that’s not all you get, the following are more advantages related to using an online resource management tool:
- Track resource costs
- View availability of team
- Balance team’s workload
- Integrate resources into project plan
- Automatic calculation of actual vs. planned costs
- Keep updated on team’s hours with automatic timesheets
There are lots of resource management software options on the market. To choose the one that is best for your project, make sure it has these features:
Assign Teams & Track Resources
When building your project plan, schedules must include team assignments and the related resources they’ll need to execute their tasks. Interactive Gantt charts do all this online, giving you a tool to assign and track project resources that stay on budget and deliver on time.
Track Your Team’s Work
Timesheets have become more than a tool for payroll. Resource management tools can have timesheets that automatically reflect your team’s status updates. This not only streamlines the process, but gives managers an invaluable view into their team’s progress.
Know Who’s Working on What
To keep teams working productively, you need to know how many tasks they’ve been assigned. Having a view into their workload can help you re-allocate as needed to make sure they’re not overburdened. Balancing workload also makes sure your resources are being used efficiently.
Keep Updated With Live Information
An online resource management tool collects live data to help managers make better decisions. But you also need a system in place to keep managers and their teams aware of any updates. A tool that triggers email alerts is a must, one that has in-app notifications is essential.
Get Easy, Flexible & Detailed Data
Reporting features collect data on the progress and performance of your project and give you insights into how to best manage your resources. Having a report that can be easily shared with stakeholders and filtered to focus in on specifics is ideal.
See Resources Across Many Projects
Managers are often responsible for more than one project, such as a program or portfolio, and want a tool that can assign, track and report on all their projects. This allows you to find synergy between projects and have them all work together for greater efficiency.
How to Execute a Resource Plan in ProjectManager
Resource management software assists project managers with planning and scheduling their project resources. It’s usually included as part of a suite of project management features that are designed to manage every aspect of your project.
ProjectManager is an award-winning software that’s designed to identify, organize and monitor your resources with robust online Gantt charts, real-time dashboards and one-click reporting that let you stay on top of everything. Here’s how it works:
1. List All Your Tasks
Gathering all the necessary tasks and determining the level of effort for a project is the first step needed to define your resources. You need to know what you’re doing before you can determine what you’ll need to do it!
Collect all your tasks on the task list view or Gantt chart view in our software. Add estimated start and end dates to populate the project timeline on the right side of the Gantt chart.
2. Add Your Resources to the Tool
Resources are your teams and the things they’ll need to execute their tasks. All of those resources must input into the software in order to manage and track their progress .
Onboard your team by inviting them to the project with the global add button in the top right corner. They will receive an email with a link. Once they follow that, they’re in and ready to start tracking their work.
3. Define Resource Costs
Calculating the cost of your resources is how you manage your budget. Keeping track of those costs is how you maintain your budget.
Add the labor rate for your resources, and set the cost by hours assigned. Our software automatically does the cost calculations for you as your team logs their hours and progresses through their tasks.
4. Schedule Resources on the Gantt
Resources (that aren’t people) need to be attached to tasks and added to your schedule to keep track of their costs throughout their life cycle in the project.
With ProjectManager’s Gantt chart you can create a resource calendar . Add your nonhuman resources the same way you onboarded your team. You can set their costs, then track them later in the project to keep on budget.
5. Track Time
Monitoring the hours logged by your resources is how you make sure they’re adhering to the project plan, schedule and budget.
Use timesheets to track the hours your team logs as they work. Their time updates are automatically reflected throughout the software.
6. Balance Resources
Once the project is executed, it’s crucial to keep your resources matched with your production capacity , making sure you have just what you need, when you need it.
Keep your resources level by checking the workload page. Here, you’ll see a color-coded chart that shows if team members have too many or too few tasks. You can then reallocate their tasks from this page.
7. Report to Stakeholders
Stakeholders are the people who are invested in the project. They will want to stay up-to-date on progress and performance.
Generate reports on workload with a single click. Filter to show the data you want, then easily print or save as a PDF to share with your stakeholders.
Ready to start managing your projects, tasks and resources in one tool? Take a free trial of ProjectManager.
Creating a Resource Management Plan: An In-Depth Look
So, those are the basic terms and processes. But how can you use them to create a process, schedule your resources throughout the project cycle , and monitor those resources within the boundaries of your budget, without overburdening them and risking team burnout? Lucky for you, we’ve covered the basics of resource planning before, and it can be distilled into a super basic three-step process.
First, note all your resources, including people, equipment and materials. Next, figure out how many of those resources are needed to get the project done. Finally, make a schedule for the resources. Drilling down, however, it’s important to make sure you have all the components of a good resource plan. It should include the following.
- All the Resources Necessary to Complete the Project: That’s everything from people to machines and even any office space you’ll need. Spend a good amount of time with this list, the more complete it is, the more accurate your schedule will be.
- Timeframes For the Planned Effort of Each Resource: By noting the duration of time needed for each resource, you have a clearer picture of how it will fit into your overall schedule.
- The Number of Each Resource You’ll Need Per Day/Week/Month: Again, you want to break your resource needs out on a daily, weekly and monthly rotation to better grasp what you’ll need and when.You can use a resource histogram to help you with this process.
- Quantity of Resource Hours Required Per Day/Week/Month: You’ve figured out what you need, but how many hours for each of those resources are you going to allocate over time?
- Assumptions and Constraints: An assumption is what you think might be true, while the constraints are the schedule, cost and scope of your project. So, you want to know what they are and how they’ll potentially impact your plan.
- Resource Constraints: In addition to the traditional project management constraints that affect how you manage resources, there are specific resource constraints that you’ll need to be aware of.
Think strategically. Are you assuming a team will be available in three months? Do you know for a fact they won’t get assigned by another group leader for a separate project? Have you taken into account holidays and scheduling shifts?
Identifying all your assumptions is a critical component of planning your resources wisely.
That’s the makings of a solid resource management plan. Now you need to know how to actively manage your resources as your project progresses.
You can do this when you have visibility into resource availability and workload. Because work shifts from person to person, as people collaborate back and forth, work can easily end up on the shoulders of only a few key team members. This can mean others are sitting idle waiting for them to reply or toss the work back. You need to be able to monitor those workflow trends and be able to quickly reallocate idle resources.
So how do you do this? There are four ways you can keep on top of the resources workload.
1. Manage Work Schedule Calendars Actively
You need to be able to track the hourly and daily availability of individual resources, as well as track their planned holidays and vacations. Be sure to take into account global or regional time differences, as well as different global holidays that might differ from your home office holiday calendar.
2. Monitor Progress on Gantt and Dashboard
You can also consult the planned versus actual progress of your overall project to get a head’s up if there’s a problem with resources. A Gantt progress bar should tell you how much progress is being made on a specific task according to the planned effort. You should also be able to see whether progress is made on individual tasks with shading on the larger task bars.
You should also be able to get a view of the whole project’s progress both by looking at a rolled-up view of the Gantt tasks or on a dashboard report. If you’re falling behind, usually moving around resources is a way to get back on track.
3. Review Workload Allocation
The team’s workload is another metric you’re going to need to keep close. If all the work is being laid on the shoulders of only a few team members, while the others are idle, then you’re going to need to reallocate your resources.
Another way of looking at this is leveling your resources by ensuring that they are equally distributed across your team. Checking on workload is a daily part of keeping your resources well-allocated.
4. Get Resource Reports to Monitor Productivity
When you’re watching your resources in real-time, and the project’s success is on the line, then you’re going to need to make decisions swiftly. Use the reporting feature of your project management tool to produce reports on resource allocation, as well as task progress by an individual. It’s important to monitor resources regularly with deep dives into data to measure productivity KPIs like output and actual effort.
Remember, resource management is heavily linked to your scheduling and management of your project management schedule . These are different but complementary disciplines, and the more holistically you approach managing your resources, the more you’ll be able to act in a timely manner to keep your project moving towards success, on time and within budget.
Therefore, you want to have the right resource management tools to keep you informed of your resources while the project is in progress, whether that’s collecting data in an Excel spreadsheet or a more robust online PM tool. Using an online Gantt chart gives you a visual view of the project’s tasks, their durations, and whatever dependencies are linking one task to another, so you’re able to note bottlenecks and easily reallocated resources to get the project back on track. Try ProjectManager today to take advantage of the best resource management tools on the market.
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- What Is Resource Loading and Why Does It Matter in Project Management?
- 5 Tips for Better Resource Scheduling
- Resource Leveling 101: Master this PM Technique
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A Comprehensive Project Management Guide for Everything RACI
By Kate Eby | July 15, 2016 (updated September 5, 2023)
To ensure collaboration and project success, it is crucial for all project stakeholders to understand their roles and responsibilities and those of other project members. This is especially important when project teams are more complex due to their large size, involvement of distributed team members, or reliance on staff from multiple departments.
RACI stands for Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed. While its origins are murky, the RACI matrix has been adopted by many organizations to associate roles with project deliverables. One Six Sigma tutorial describes RACI this way:
“Typically a task is associated with at least one role or in some cases multiple roles. This ‘Association’ of the role with a task can be divided into the following four association types:
- R esponsible
- A ccountable
The above four types of association of a role to a task represented in a simple task vs. role diagram or matrix is called RACI (pronounced ‘racey’) matrix. So basically the RACI matrix is a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), designed to assign tasks, activities, responsibilities, accountability, decision making, support to team members of a process/project, and clarify expectations on the level of their participation.” Here is an example of a RACI matrix:
This guide will explain when to use RACI, why it works, guidelines to use it effectively, and the role it can play in effective project management in all industries from construction to healthcare. Lastly, we'll show you that once you've created your own matrix, you'll need a collaborative, real-time tool, like Smartsheet, to manage the rest of the project details — from start to finish.
The Four Association Types
RACI has four association types: responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. Responsible roles produce deliverables; accountable roles check the deliverables; consulted roles advise on tasks; and informed roles are kept informed throughout these processes.
- Responsible: These roles are responsible for completing the task or deliverable. For example, if the responsibility role is a technical writer, this person may be responsible for writing online help files. A software developer wouldn’t write the help files, but might incorporate those files into the product, which would be defined as a different task.
- Accountable: This type of role has the final authority on (or is accountable for) the task’s completion. To take the previous example of a technical writer developing online help and a software developer incorporating the help files, a product manager might be responsible for ensuring that the files make it into the product.
- Consulted: This role functions as an adviser to a task. For example, a team may consult with a Scrum Master as a subject matter expert (SME). Consider advisers carefully, as having too many people in this role can stretch the task time and raise the risk of poor performance.
- Informed: Informed team members are kept up to date on task completion. Charting this role helps to illustrate dependencies among tasks and also ensures transparency into task status. It can be difficult to identify those who need to be informed, so consult various roles to determine who needs status updates. For example, the sales manager may require status updates because a customer has a special interest in feature development.
When to Use RACI
A RACI model is a useful tool for general project management. Use a RACI matrix when processes are stalled due to role confusion, or when role authority is not clearly outlined. We’ve outlined some common use cases for RACI below:
- If the approval process is bogged down, it may be due to role confusion.
- If decisions are being overruled often and seemingly arbitrarily, this is also a situation that can benefit from clarifying roles.
- Another situation that frequently occurs is that many people perform the same analysis tasks. When tasks are not getting done, it may be that nobody knows who should be doing them.
- When the authority to perform tasks is not understood, it may be time to define roles and tasks, responsibilities, and authority.
Eliminating this sort of confusion and clarifying roles and tasks is the chief function of a RACI Matrix.
RACI is among the most popular models, but there are several alternatives, including:
- PACSI – Used in situations where multiple stakeholders can review and veto the work of a single accountable person. The roles include Performed, Accountable, Control, Suggested, and Informed.
- RAPID – Created by Bain & Company to clarify decision accountability through clear role and responsibility delineation. The roles include Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide.
The Value of RACI
Implementing a RACI model helps you to involve the most qualified people in your projects. Project managers can use RACI to quickly develop charts that provide clarity to the team. Some major benefits of the RACI model are as follows:
- Eliminating role confusion.
- Preventing over-allocation of resources to one project and under-allocation to another.
- Clearly defining roles to all the people who fill them (clear understanding of expectations is key to a smooth project and reduces the need for conflict resolution later).
- Ensuring no task is overlooked when resources are allocated.
- Providing a fast and efficient way to re-allocate resources when there is turnover. New people can quickly identify their roles in a project and the roles of those with whom they must interact.
Finally, because the Informed category is given equal weight, the RACI Matrix encourages communication between roles. Communication is the key to clearly understanding expectations, which results in a smooth project.
A RACI matrix is a collection of all project activities associated with the people or roles responsible for each. Your matrix should include all project elements, including planning, testing, design, and support.
To create a RACI matrix, consider the following steps:
- Decide How to Chart the Matrix: You can use any number of tools or templates, including a spreadsheet, whiteboard, or software solution.
- Identify the Project Tasks or Deliverables: Meet with key stakeholders to develop a list of project tasks. For this discussion, tasks include necessary activities, like meetings or events, as well as tangible deliverables, like features or products. Plot tasks across the X or Y axis of the matrix. For example, if you are charting a software project developed under Agile, the sprint demo meeting may be a required activity and should be included in the matrix as a task. Don’t forget to add maintenance of the RACI Matrix as its own task. The project manager usually maintains the RACI Matrix.
- Identify the Project Roles: Project roles are labeled across the other axis of the matrix. The project roles make the matrix more understandable and can be useful for adding any data you may have forgotten. As you identify roles, add any tasks that apply to those roles on the task axis. The task axis is also useful for identifying roles and clarifying resource allocation. This is a good time to assign names to roles as well — one name per role is optimal.
- Label the Intersections of the Axes: Where the X and Y axes intersect, label the intersection with an R, A, C , or I to finalize the matrix with who should be responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed on each task.
While RACI matrices will differ by project, there are some broad guidelines that you should always follow. Above all, your matrix should encourage teamwork and inform all people of their roles and assignments. We’ve laid out additional best practices below:
- Avoid multiple levels of oversight – one level is enough
- Encourage teamwork
- Maintain chart fluidity – make changes as needed and let people know when things change
- Assign only one Accountable per task
- Ensure Accountable assignees have authority to ensure the task is complete
- Avoid too many consultants as they can take up too much time (waiting for answers, gathering input, etc.) while too few can damage performance, so try to find the "sweet spot”
- Inform everyone with a role of their assignment
Finding the Right RACI Template
RACI templates save time and provide a starting point for building your chart. Choose a simple, customizable template to ensure that it is as useful as possible for all team and project types.
Some templates use the X axis for the tasks and Y for roles, and others do the opposite. If tasks exceed roles, as they generally do, it is easier to use the X axis for tasks and the Y for roles as you will be able to see the greatest number of roles per task at a glance on most computer monitors. On the other hand, you may find it easier to filter a chart based on role (for instance, filtering to show only the “I” roles for a given task) with the tasks on the X axis. In addition, most templates use some form of color-coding.
Regardless of which template you select, using one will eliminate a lot of basic work in constructing the chart and will free your time to define roles and tasks.
RACI Project Management
RACI project management focuses on creating and managing a RACI matrix to identify and resolve conflicts in roles and revise role categorization. You should approach analysis as a team and encourage all roles to provide feedback.
A RACI Matrix is analyzed vertically and horizontally. Here are some things to look for when reviewing the role axis (whether this is horizontal or vertical):
- If one role has too many responsibilities, should some responsibilities be reallocated or should more people be assigned to the role?
- If only one person is Accountable, is it reasonable to expect that person to make all decisions and could it threaten the project by creating a bottleneck?
- Here are some things to look for when reviewing the Task axis (whether this is horizontal or vertical):
- If there is a task with no one Responsible, should someone be assigned or should the task be eliminated?
- If there is a task where no one is Accountable, who has decision-making authority?
- If there are multiple people Accountable for a task, avoid conflicts by making a single person accountable.
- If too many people must be consulted, evaluate whether one person can be assigned who talks with others involved.
It is common, during the life of a project, to have team members experience role confusion. A RACI matrix is useful for clearly identifying roles associated with a project and improving productivity, especially when you’re suffering from role confusion. Some signs of role confusion are:
- Concern over who makes decisions —Decision-makers are usually labeled as Accountable, but it may be that decisions are being made by the Responsible party. If that’s the case, the team should know who makes decisions in each situation.
- Finger pointing —If work is not completed on time, finger pointing may result. The key to avoiding this is knowing who is Responsible.
- Poor resource allocation —The RACI Matrix should make resource allocation very clear, but sometimes a single task can be extremely taxing, leading to some issues concerning who should be doing what and when.
- Lack of action because of ineffective communications —If someone is not Informed, they may not know to perform a task.
- Too many consultations because the wrong people are consulted —The Consulted should be clearly labeled to avoid jeopardizing the project schedule.
It is the duty of a project manager to step in if role confusion is suspected and clarify roles to ensure that everyone is aware of expectations.
Smartsheet for Project Management
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-inspired project management platform with powerful collaboration and communication features. By providing a broad range of views including Gantt, calendar, grid, and dashboards, you can manage projects the way you want. Track project requirements, store documents, create timelines, and organize key details.
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Article • 6 min read
The Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
Knowing where the buck ultimately stops.
By the Mind Tools Content Team
It takes a lot of effort to keep a large project running smoothly. With a large number of variables, people, and deliverables, it’s hard to keep on top of everything that’s happening. Consider the following scenario:
Hal (the distressed project manager): "What do you mean, we don’t have the test results yet?! What has Katy been doing? Get Katy!"
Katy: "No, Hal, I wasn’t responsible for getting that done. Joan has more expertise in that area, remember? I’ll ask Joan what happened."
Joan: "Gee, Katy, I know I have more experience with these reports, but I was waiting for you to contact me so we could review them together."
Do you recognize anyone you know? This type of situation is repeated daily in organizations across the globe. And most of the time, there’s no incompetence or bad intentions involved. More often, problems like this are the result of inadequate planning and poor communication.
Successful projects have a clear breakdown of who is ultimately responsible for each aspect of the project. Without clear, written, and agreed-upon accountability, it’s far too easy to for communication to fail and for responsibilities to be muddled.
So how do you avoid this?
Developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix
One tool that project managers use to keep these assignments clear is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (also called the RAM, or the Responsibility Matrix). This matches deliverables with the people who are responsible for them. For every piece of the project, the matrix shows who needs to contribute what for the project to be completed.
For example, let’s say that you’re upgrading your customer service delivery system, and you need to train your staff to use new procedures and tools.
Step One: Define Your Deliverables
Using a Work Breakdown Structure , you define three key deliverables for this training project, with a few subcategories for each:
- Survey current practice.
- Define new practice.
- Locate resources.
- Prepare training schedule.
- Manage training.
- Re-survey practices after implementation.
- Analyze results.
A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a project planning tool used to break a project down into smaller, more manageable pieces of work (deliverables). It's not a list of every task: rather, it's a "tree" structure showing the meaningful groups of activities that make up the main segments of the project.
Step Two: Identify the People Involved
Map out who is on your project team. By creating a chart of individuals who are available, you can then delegate work assignments based on expertise, and you can recruit talent that you’re missing. This step is often called an “Organization Breakdown Structure” because it creates an organizational chart for your team.
Step Three: Create Your Responsibility Matrix
Draw a matrix. The deliverables are the column headings, and the people are the row titles.
With your team, determine accountabilities as well as other levels of involvement for each item in your Work Breakdown Structure.
A useful framework to determine role assignments is RACI . This defines four levels of involvement:
R = Responsible (People who do the work). A = Accountable (People who make sure the work gets done). C = Consulted (People who provide input before and during the work). I = Informed (People who are kept informed of progress).
Project Management Institute, "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)" – Fifth Edition, (2013). Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI.
Other levels of involvement may include “assist”, “coordinate”, “sign off”, and “review”. You can decide how to assign responsibility for your project and your team. But you must be sure that ultimate accountability and responsibility for performing the work are agreed upon and communicated.
Step Four: Communicate
When your Responsibility Assignment Matrix is complete, communicate it to all stakeholders. It’s a good idea to post it in an area where people will see it. Used effectively, the RAM helps people understand what they should be doing at all stages of the project.
Project teams can easily lose focus on what needs to be done and who needs to do it. People may assume that somebody else is doing something – and before long, key pieces of work fall behind schedule.
To avoid this common problem, consider developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix for your team. This matrix clearly identifies which role each team member has agreed to take on for each of the project’s main deliverables.
With these assignments, you can eliminate miscommunication about who’s doing what – and you can help to ensure that your project is successful.
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The Three R's You need to Pass the PMP® Certification Exam
- 1. What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)?
- 2. What is a RACI Chart?
- 3. What are Roles and Responsibilities?
- 4. What is the Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)?
- 5. How do the RAM, R&R, and RBS interact?
What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)?
It is a tool used as part of the Plan Human Resource Management process that relates the organizational breakdown structure (OBS) to the work breakdown structure (WBS) and is used to ensure each project activity is assigned a specific resource. A RAM can be used at a high level, a low level, or a combination of both depending on the size and complexity of the project. A high-level RAM may show that Company A has been hired to complete the engineering portion of a project. A low-level RAM may show that Joe Smith of Company A will be completing the electrical engineering for the design portion of the project.
What is a RACI Chart?
One of the most widely known and used type of RAM is the RACI chart. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consult, and Inform. A RACI chart is simply a table with project activities listed along the left and specific individuals or groups identified across the top. This creates a grid where each activity and individual or group intersect. An R, A, C, or I can be placed in each of the intersecting boxes and at least one accountable individual or group is assigned to each project activity. For large activities there may need to be more than one individual responsible for completing the work. There can be multiple individuals or groups who need to be consulted or informed, but be careful to make sure that each is identified correctly so that not too many unnecessary individuals or groups are being consulted when they may just want to be informed.
What are Roles and Responsibilities?
They are used to define the project role, authority, responsibilities, and competencies required for the role. Clearly defining and documenting the specific Roles and Responsibilities necessary for each project resource are essential ingredients of an effective Human Resource Management Plan. The best way to determine the specific responsibilities required of each role on a project is to document these roles in the form of specific job descriptions that must be matched with specific project team members in order to properly execute the role’s responsibilities.
The four key items to be addressed when developing Roles and Responsibilities are role, authority, responsibility, and competency. Role is the function an assigned person would take on such as designer, engineer, or tester. As part of a role it is also important to define the authority, responsibilities, and boundaries of the role. Authority is the right to make decisions, sign approvals, apply resources, accept deliverables, and influence others to complete project activities. Responsibility is the assigned tasks and work the individual is expected to complete. When developing roles and responsibilities it is important that the authority and responsibility match. For example, if an engineer is responsible for making technical decisions it is important they have the authority to implement those decisions. Competency is the skill set and experience required to complete assigned project activities. If the wrong competency is assigned to a role project progress can be hindered by some activities not being performed.
What is the Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)?
It is a graphical representation of the hierarchical structure of resources by category and resource type where each level is broken down until it is small enough to be used in conjunction with the work breakdown structure (WBS). The goal is to have all resources on a project, not only human resources, linked to specific activities in the WBS in order to plan, monitor, and control the project work. Being able to link resources back to the WBS is essential in ensuring that each activity will be successfully performed.
One thing to remember when taking the PMP Exam is that the acronym RBS has two meanings in the world of project management; Resource Breakdown Structure and Risk Breakdown Structure. If you read the questions carefully and understand the context of the question context (i.e., are they asking about resources or risks?) you should not encounter any problems.
How do the RAM, R&R, and RBS interact?
The RBS will provide the project manager with information concerning the resources required to complete the project work. Once the RBS is decomposed to the same level as the WBS then identified resources can be linked to specific activities. A RACI chart can then be developed based on the identified resources in the RBS and the activities that need to be completed in the WBS. The documented Roles and Responsibilities provides the project manager with specific information such as the responsibility, authority, and competency level of the role that each human resource is assigned to. This also helps the Project Manager complete the RACI chart because it provides them with important information such as making someone responsible or accountable for an activity fitting within the role they fill.
In this article we were able to take a brief look at three very important project management topics and how they interact with each other in practice. A popular RAM, the RACI chart, is an extremely useful tool used to identify who is accountable or responsible for or needs to be consulted or informed with regard to specific project activities. Roles and Responsibilities can be thought of as job descriptions that define the role itself along with the authority needed to perform the role, the responsibilities of the role, and the competencies required by the role. The RBS graphically displays what resources are necessary for successful completion of the project, broken down by both resource category and resource type. For the exam, it is important that you understand not only how and when to use each of these tools & techniques, but also how they interact with each other.
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Responsibility assignment matrix (RAM)
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The responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) shows the intersection of work packages and resources. Generally, RAMs are used to show the different levels of participation on a work package by various team members rather than physical resources. RAMs can indicate different types of participation depending on the needs of the project. Some common types include:
The RAM always should include a key that explains what each of the levels of participation entails. An example follows using a RACI chart, as demonstrated in the PMBOK ® Guide – Sixth Edition. The needs of your project should determine the fields for the RAM you use.
The responsibility assignment matrix can receive information from:
- Scope baseline
- Requirements documentation
- Stakeholder register
It is a data representation tool that provides information to the resource management plan in process
- Plan Resource Management in the PMBOK ® Guide – Sixth Edition. It is progressively elaborated as more information about the scope and the resource requirements is known.
Consider the following tips to help tailor the RAM to meet your needs:
- Tailor the types of participation appropriate for your Some projects require “sign-off” of specific deliverables, whereas others use the term “approve.”
- Determine the appropriate level to record information on the Large projects with multiple vendors and large deliverables often use the RAM as the intersection of the WBS and the OBS (organizational breakdown structure). Small projects may use it at the deliverable or activity level to help enter schedule information.
The RAM should be aligned and consistent with the following documents:
- Work breakdown structure
- Procurement documents (RFP, RFQ, etc.)
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What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix
By Iterate Team
Last updated: Feb 15, 2023
Table of contents
What is a RAM matrix used for?
How to make a ram or raci chart.
Learn what a Responsibility Assignment Matrix is and how to use one to make all your upcoming projects run smoothly.
A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), sometimes known as a RACI chart, is a tool used in project management to keep track of all responsibilities assigned to cross-functional teams on a specific task or assignment.
It’s known as a RACI chart because its acronym names the four key roles displayed in the matrix:
- Responsible: Who is the person responsible for completing a task or making a decision?
- Accountable: Who is accountable for the completion of the project overall and will sign off on deliverables and decisions?
- Consulted: Who needs to be consulted to provide input on a particular task or item?
- Informed: Who needs to be kept informed of project progress or completion?
A typical RAM template looks like this:
The RAM matrix is used to document every task, item and decision involved in a project completion process. By keeping everything logged all in one place, a RAM matrix is an invaluable tool to any project manager or company leader for a few reasons.
- Defines clear roles and responsibilities
There is nothing worse than a project being slowed down or stalled because of confusion over who was supposed to do what. In a RAM, every person or team involved can check to see which task or item.
- Streamlines communication
Sometimes explaining directions in person or over a workplace communication tool can get confusing or be interpreted the wrong way. Even worse, one instance of miscommunication can tank an entire project or jeopardize a relationship with a client.
With a RAM, project managers don’t have to waste time directing questions to the responsible stakeholder in charge of making a decision. The chart informs everyone involved exactly who they can go to for answers, cutting out repetitive conversations and notifying the right people at the right time.
- Distributes workloads evenly
No one ever wants to be the one in the group project that has to do everything. Team members with a higher workload are at a greater risk for burnout. A great benefit of a RAM is that everyone can see how the workload for a certain project is distributed. It’s also a great way to be transparent within workflows.
Don’t let the random letters confuse you. Building a RACI chart is surprisingly simple. It can also easily be tweaked to fit your organization and your particular project. According to the work management platform Wrike , here are four steps to follow when building a responsibility assignment matrix:
- Identify all project roles
Start out with a list of everyone involved in a project, including every team, team member, manager and stakeholder.
- Identify all project tasks
Then make a list of all the tasks and items needed to get a project done. These can include deliverables, activities, milestones and decisions.
- Create a chart with a column for each role and a row for each task
In a spreadsheet—or any other tool you’d like—create a simple table by listing each person or role in the columns and each task or deliverable in the rows.
To get the most out of your RACI chart, try to make the roles as personal as possible. For example, instead of naming a role “technical lead,” try to use names, like “Jack.” This will give every person involved a sense of ownership, while also streamlining communication even further.
- Assign “R,” “A,” “C” or “I” to each person involved
Once you have written out the names of each person and task, now comes the important part of assigning RACI to each person involved. Identify who is responsible, who is accountable, who needs to be consulted and who needs to be informed for every task in the project. A role can have more than one letter, but simplify it as much as you can. Bonus step: Add a color to each letter to make the roles stand out even more.
That’s it! You now have made a successful RACI chart. Review with your team and all stakeholders before you initiate a plan, and you are officially on your way to more effective project management.
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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).
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 .
How to cite this article: Mulder, P. (2012). Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) . Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/project-management/responsibility-assignment-matrix/
Published on: 03/26/2012 | Last update: 11/01/2022
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Resource & Task Matrix
by PMHut Team · May 21, 2008
Resource & Task Matrix By SmartDraw.com
A resource and task matrix has the ability to show each person who will be working on a project, as well as their specific, individual responsibilities. It allows all team members to know who is working on what, who is assigned to help them, and what his or her tasks are.
This type of matrix is not particularly useful if each person in a project has a single assignment, or when there is only one task involved in the completion of a project. However, for more complicated projects that have numerous activities and persons involved, a resource and task matrix can greatly organize and simplify the process.
- Identify the project. Determine what project you will be making a resource and task matrix for.
- Determine resources and tasks. Know what tasks must be completed throughout the project as well as who will be working on each task.
- Create the diagram. Create a table with a row for each person involved in the project and a column for each task. Place the names of the people involved in the boxes on the far left of the table. Then place descriptions of the tasks in the boxes along the top of the table.
- Make assignments. Assign specific individuals to their tasks. In doing so, place an “x” in the corresponding box. There may be more than one person working a task, or a person may have more than one task. That’s alright and is exactly what the resource and task matrix is meant to handle.
- Inform. Be sure that everyone knows his or her responsibilities and post the diagram somewhere where everyone involved will have easy access to it if they need to know who else is working on a task with them.
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You are here: Home » » Knowledge Base » Resources » Configuring Resources using the Resource Assignment Matrix
Configuring Resources using the Resource Assignment Matrix
We’ve touched on the need for resources before when building simulations, namely when your model has capacity issues, such as difficulty meeting staff demands, and in models with some variability, like changes in resources during different shifts throughout the day.
SIMUL8 offers effective tools for adding and managing resources of work items, via the ribbon, or by simply performing a shift-drag (the same method used to draw routes between objects). But these approaches can be very time-consuming in much larger simulations. A faster, more powerful way to manage all resources in one place comes from using the Resource Assignment Matrix.
As a quick example, let’s look at a car manufacturing plant which makes use of staff resources including fitters, painters and admin staff. Fitters are needed for building the dashboard, wiring the satellite navigation and fitting interiors, painters for the paint procedure, etc.
To quickly link Fitters, Painters and Admin to their corresponding work items, click on ‘Resource Matrix’ in the Objects section of the Data and Rules tab:
This opens up the Resource Assignment Matrix. From here you can experiment with varying numbers of resources for each work item. Each column represents your available resources, in this case staff. Each row represents every activity in your simulation which they can be associated with.
Try using the matrix to speed up your resource allocation. See the outcome of what happens when you set an activity to require more staff than you have available.
For more information on the Resource Matrix, see SIMUL8’s documentation:
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Resource matrix template excel download, what is a resource matrix, some things to know about resource matrix template excel.
- The Resource Matrix is simple to create or use and provides a complete view of the resources.
- The resource matrix can be used for managing project resources or for regular team management.
- As a resource is listed only once, it is straightforward to know where a given resource is allocated.
- Easy to print the report for senior management.
- Resources can be allocated to multiple projects or tasks.
- Excel built-in filters can be used to filter on resources and roles.
- When a resource is free, the cell is highlighted for easy tracking.
How to use the Resource Matrix Template Excel
- The resource matrix has two columns - Resources and Role .
- The resource column should have the resource names.
- The Role should have the role for that resource.
- Each resource should be defined only once.
- The columns after the role column are allocations.
- Define Project Codes for each project so that the project names do not get too long.
- Based on the resource requirements, populate the month columns with the project name to which the resource is allocated for that month.
- If you type the words "Free," then that column will be auto-highlighted to yellow color.
- If the resource is not available that month, then you can enter N/A.
Project Resource Allocation Matrix
Resource allocation with matrix.
- When dealing with resource allocation in a matrix style, it is important to do a few things to ensure that the matrix is updated.
- Always ensure that you have captured the right resource name and skill set.
- Select a longer timetable so that you cover at least 6 months. Resource planning needs to happen in the long-term. Short-term planning should only be done when there is an urgency.
- Get the correct daily rate. Also, ensure that you understand if the resource is full-time or part-time or work for the full day or night.
- Publish the plan to the team and all the key stakeholders.
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Resource & Task Matrix
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