Plan / Refine Roles and Responsibilities

In establishing and managing a project team, the roles and responsibilities regarding project work has to be carefully planned and updated as required. Regardless of the size of a project team, i.e. single graduate student vs. a multi-disciplinary research team, roles and responsibilities have to be clearly communicated, and understood, by each member of the team. The responsibilities of each team member should flow from the project activities that they are associated with.

A good way to document and communicate these roles and responsibilities is through the creation of a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). Within this matrix, the relationship of a project team member to an activity can be identified. A common form of a RAM is the Responsible, Accountable, Consult, and Inform (RACI) matrix. Using this matrix, project responsibilities can be clearly outlined and communicated in terms of who is accountable for the activity, who are responsible for completing activity related tasks, who should be consulted when carrying out an activity, and finally who should be informed on project related activities or results.