The Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a graphic representation that reflects the integration of project participants such as work teams, subcontractors, and internal organizations with individual Contract Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS) elements to form Control Accounts (CA).
The RAM shows the WBS on one axis and the Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) on the other. The intersection of these axes designates who is responsible for what products or services and is known as the control account. After detail planning is completed, the RAM is dollarized and then depicts the total budget for each CWBS element and the total budget for each respective control account manager.
The Responsibility Assignment Matrix not only helps ensure that someone is responsible for all contractual work scope; it also verifies that there is only one individual assigned with responsibility for that work. When developing a RAM, the level of the organization and the CWBS level should not be driven so low that costs to maintain the EVMS become excessive. Finding the most optimum balance of cost, schedule, and technical visibility generally provides the best definition for the control account.
The Responsibility Assignment Matrix is always a part of the data call information requested for EVMS reviews. It is a good document to easily determine the value of control accounts as well as view them by organization/function and Contract Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS) element.
Traceability between the RAM and other program documentation must always be maintained. The RAM is updated whenever there is a change to control account budgets. The budget for a control account shown on the RAM should always equal the budget on the work authorization document for that control account. The sum of all budgets identified to control accounts on the RAM should also equal the amount of distributed budget shown in the Contract Budget Base Log. The sum of the control account budgets plus Undistributed Budget equals the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB). Finally, these budgets will trace to the Contract Performance Report (CPR) or the Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) in Formats 1 and 2.
If you have any questions regarding the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) feel free to contact Humphreys & Associates or leave a question on the blog.
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A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation by various organizations, people and roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project. It’s used by the Program Manager (PM) in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional team, projects and processes. A Request for Proposal (RFP) might request a RAM from a contractor.
A RAM is also called a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix.
- Responsible: Those who do the work to achieve the task. There is typically one role with a participation type of Responsible, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required.
- Accountable: The one ultimately accountable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and the one to whom Responsible is accountable. In other words, an Accountable must sign off (Approve) on work that Responsible provides. There must be only one Accountable specified for each task or deliverable.
- Consulted: Those whose opinions are sought; and with whom there is two-way communication.
- Informed: Those who are kept up-to-date on progress, often only on completion of the task or deliverable; and with whom there is just one-way communication.
A RAM can define what a project team is responsible for within each component of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). It could also be used within a working group to designate roles, responsibilities and levels of authority for specific activities. The matrix format shows all activities associated with one person and all people associated with one activity. This ensures that there is only one person accountable for any one task to avoid confusion.
The PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines RACI as a RAM which is used to illustrate the connections between work packagers or activities and project team members. On larger projects, RAMs can be developed at various levels.
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