Matrix Responsibility Chart: Meaning, Advantages, and Disadvantages


Matrix Responsibility Chart

Matrix responsibility chart is a diagram that identifies all major roles and responsibilities of participants involved in a business project. It is simply a chart that organizes the whole project by clearly denoting the authority and responsibility among each participant of the project. The matrix responsibility chart focuses on avoiding any confusion or conflict by properly clarifying roles and responsibilities in departmental or cross-functional projects.

This chart is also known as the Linear responsibility chart (LRC), Responsibility interface matrix (RIM), Linear chart (LC), Responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), and RACI matrix. RACI is an acronym for 4 keys roles of all stakeholders of the project: responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. Responsible denotes that who is responsible for doing work for the project, accountable tells who is the decision maker and is accountable for all project tasks, consulted is the adviser who is to be consulted for additional details or information and informed are the one who need to be informed about every updates regarding the project process. Matrix responsibility chart is a useful means which facilitates in linking the task with responsible individuals that leads to efficient project implementation and timely achievement of defined objectives.

Every project is aimed at achievement of certain objectives within the constraints of cost, time and quality. There are numerous [participants in each project who fulfills their roles effectively for attaining the defined objectives. 

These participants are as given below: –

  1. General Manager: He is the executive chief of organization.
  2. Manager of project: This is the chief of project department.
  3. Functional Managers: These managers are chiefs of functional departments.
  4. Project Manager: Project manager is a chief of a particular project.

Steps for charting a RACI chart

There are 6 steps involved in creating a RACI chart which are as discussed below: –

Step 1: Identify the Project Tasks.

First step is to determine all the tasks that need to be performed while delivering a project. All of these identified tasks are listed on life-hand side of chart in order of their completion. Here, the various milestones to be achieved by participants for accomplishing the project is identified. 

Step 2: Identify stakeholders of project.

Now all the stakeholders of project are identified and listed along the top of chart. Various stakeholders comprise of project manager, product manager, technical architect, software developer, executive sponsor, project executive and project initiation. 

Step 3: Fill up each box with R, A, C and I.

In this step, all the boxes of the model are completed by identifying the one who have responsibility, accountability and one who will be consulted and will be informed for every task.

Step 4: Assign stakeholder to each role and task.

It is ensured that there is a stakeholder for every task of a project who is responsible for it. Here, it is checked that who are all the people who are assigned to various roles of project. 

Step 5: Ensuring only one accountable for each task.

Every task of project should have only one stakeholder who is accountable for it. Any conflict arising due to the presence of more than one accountable for a particular task, is resolved by assigning only one for it.

Step 6: Discuss, analyze and get approval from stakeholders.

The constructed RACI model is discussed with all the stakeholders for getting approval before starting a project. All of the conflicts and ambiguities are resolved.

Advantages of Matrix Responsibility chart

  1. This chart clearly describes the role of every participant involved in distinct matters of project. Authority, accountability and responsibility for each of the project activities is marked among participants which makes problem solving easier.
  2. It facilitates the free flow of communication and avoids red tape within the organization.
  3. Matrix responsibility chart postures coordination as it clarifies all rules and responsibilities, responsibility and authority for all project participants involved in various activities. This chart avoids any conflict and confusion among functional managers and project manager. Monitoring of responsibility of every participant becomes easy. Organizational structure is combined with structure of work breakdown that leads to easy fixing of responsibilities among project participants.
  4. It leads to better delegation of authority. 

Disadvantages of Matrix responsibility chart

  1. It is quite difficult to delineate all relations among project participants.
  2. Peoples interactions in a project is not described in matrix responsibility chart. This chart is a mechanical aid.
  3. This chart serves as a mechanical tool for only fixing the responsibilities but do not clearly defines the relations in between the participants of project. Authority-responsibility relationship is specified in limited terms. It is difficult to denote the degree and situation of relationship. 
  4. Its usefulness may be limited by customer-imposed requirements.