Responsibility Assignment Matrix

The responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a table that relates the program/ project organization structure to the work breakdown structure to ensure that each element of the program/ project’s scope of work is assigned to a responsible organization or individual. Larger projects may define responsibility assignment matrices at multiple levels.

A high-level RAM may define which group or organizational unit is responsible for each component of the work breakdown structure, while lower-level RAM’s are used within the groups to assign roles and responsibilities for specific activities to specific individuals.

Developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix

Step One: Define Your Deliverables

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.  Determine responsibilities and levels of involvement for each item/person in your Work Breakdown Structure.

Step Four: Assign Roles

For each group responsible for an activity, assign roles and responsibility. The following table suggests roles that can be used.



R = Responsible

Conducts the actual work/owns the problem (there can be multiple Responsible groups- this is called teamwork)

A = Accountable

Approves the completed work and is held fully accountable for it. There should be only one A

S = Supportive

{rovides additional resources to conduct the work or plays a supportive role in implementation.

P = Prime support

Play primary supportive role.

C = Consulted

Has the information and/or capability to complete the work. Two-way communication (typically between R and C).

I = Informed

Is informed of progress and results. One-way communication (typically from R to I).

V = Verifies

Checks the work to ensure that it meets all defined criteria and standards.

SI = Signs

Signs off on the completed work.

Step Five: 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.



Adapted from The Responsibility Assignment Matrix - Mind Tools Ltd.

It is essential to assign responsiblity for carrying out risk management options
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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