A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.1Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914), The Devil’s Dictionary
Good Project Managers don’t trust to Luck
As project managers we can’t leave the assignment of project roles and responsibilities to God, fate, fortune or luck – it’s our task to see that they’re assigned to the project team. Personally, I’d first observed Responsibility Assignment Matrices (RAMs) being used in French practice, so I was recently rather surprised to have a French architect tell me he doesn’t use RAMs in Poland, where we both live.
UK construction industry project management practice is rather laborious
Turning the clock back almost 25 years, we (at least in the UK real estate and construction sector) rather laboriously prepared a ‘co-ordinated schedule of services’ where we set out the duties/services of the team members in a table, a method which could require very large sheets of paper or very small print if the team was large. It’s a method in use in the UK to this day – for an example see the DefineIT Tool for developing co-ordinated scopes of services using the Construction Industry Councils models.
The Responsibility Assignment Matrix is concise and fast
It was only after I began working internationally that I saw the use of a RAM in practice to describe the roles and responsibilities of the team on a project led by a French investor with a largely French team. Since that time I’ve realised the power of a RAM in concisely assigning project roles and responsibilities and have increasingly made use of the technique.
If you don’t value Responsibility Assignment Matrices, it may be that you’re unfamiliar with them or unaware of the technique – the RAM should be part of every good project manager’s toolkit!
- How to develop a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (for Dummies)
- This Wikipedia Article provides some useful information on RAM models
You might find this template useful for a quick start – Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template by Project Management Insight (Open Document Format)2This file can be opened in OpenOffice, Libre Office or Microsoft Excel
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