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What Is a RACI Matrix?

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A RACI matrix is a document that clarifies which individuals or groups are responsible for a project’s successful completion, and the roles that each will play throughout the project. The acronym RACI stands for the different responsibility types: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

Successful project management depends on a team-wide understanding of roles and responsibilities. Using a RACI matrix to assign and define each role is a great way to keep a project on track and positioned for success. When designed correctly, the RACI matrix is a way for a project manager to help ensure the success of the project before it’s even begun.

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How Does a RACI Chart Help Project Managers?

Project managers use RACI charts to keep track of team roles and relay those responsibilities to the larger team. The matrix defines clear roles and responsibilities for individual team members across the various phases of the project, breaking each role down into four types of designation: those who are Responsible and Accountable for project deliverables, those who should be Consulted as work begins, and stakeholders who need to be Informed of ongoing progress, roadblocks, and updates. 

Read more about project phases

RACI Matrix Definitions 

Responsible.

The individual(s) with responsibility for the task or deliverable is typically responsible for developing and completing the project deliverables themselves. The responsible parties are typically hands-on team members that make direct contributions toward the completion of the project. The responsible team is comprised of the project’s “doers”, working hands-on to ensure that each deliverable is completed. 

Some examples of responsible parties are:

  • Project Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Graphic Designers
  • Copywriters

Accountable

Accountable parties ensure accountability to project deadlines, and ultimately, accountability to project completion. This group frequently also falls under the informed category.

Some examples of accountable parties are:

  • Product Owners
  • Signature Authorities
  • Business Owners
  • Key Stakeholders

Consulted individuals’ opinions are crucial, and their feedback needs to be considered at every step of the game. These individuals provide guidance that is often a prerequisite to other project tasks, for example, providing legal guidance on a project throughout the process. If you are working on new product development or expansion, this could essentially be the entire organization.

Some examples of consulted parties are:

  • Legal Experts
  • Information Security and Cybersecurity Experts
  • Compliance Consultants

Informed persons are those that need to stay in the loop of communication throughout the project. These individuals do not have to be consulted or be a part of the decision-making, but they should be made aware of all project updates. Typically, this party are business owners or stakeholders that are more interested in viewing the project at a 30,000-foot view.  Keep this group on your cc list for awareness of topics, decisions, and progress – that includes making them part of the initial project kickoff and project demos as optional attendees. This group often also falls under the accountable group.

Some examples of informed parties are:

  • Project Committee Members
  • External Stakeholders

Why Are RACI Roles Important?

RACI roles provide a sense of organization and clarity for teams that are looking to divide roles and keep team members accountable for their contributions. Considering that 27% of projects go over budget, for reasons like scope creep and lack of defined roles, RACI roles help position a project for success and avoid common pitfalls. 

Moreover, RACI roles help ensure that communication between all roles is ongoing. When you consider that nearly half of all project spending is at risk of being wasted due to a lack of effective team-based communication , it becomes all that more important to prioritize. Ultimately, teams who prioritize communication and well-defined roles are better off, and RACI roles help teams achieve that goal faster – while providing accountability for each team member’s unique contributions to the success of the project. 

Read More: Top 10 Main Causes of Project Failure

How to Create a RACI Matrix 

If you’re looking to implement a RACI matrix as part of your team’s project planning process, take these steps to create a RACI matrix.

Ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the project and its demands before outlining any further steps by communicating with key stakeholders and decision-makers.

Determine the list of key activities and deliverables from the director of program management or other leadership. 

Determine who is needed to be a part of the project or initiative.

Determine the project roles and responsible job titles and persons for each activity and deliverable.

Hold review sessions with key members of the team for alignment, and if you haven’t already, host a kickoff meeting with the entirety of the team and key stakeholders to unveil the matrix, address questions, and more. 

If the project has already started, it’s not too late to implement a RACI matrix.

  • Outline the story. Using research from multiple sources, do a, b, c, and d.
  • Utilize steps 2 and 3 (shown above). Ensure the right groups are assigned and engaged. 
  • Hold a review session. Ensure that the team acknowledges and discusses the plan and the roles assigned.

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Colorful table RACI matrix with definitions of RACI roles.

Our FREE Downloadable RACI Matrix Template

Who creates the raci matrix.

The RACI matrix — sometimes called RACI model, RACI diagram, or simply just RAC — is created by the project manager at the start of the project as a key part of establishing the initial human resources planning for the project. Because miscommunication is a common threat to any project, RACI charts are a great asset to teams dealing with any type of project, from very simple projects to extremely complex ones. 

FAQ: How do I Implement a RACI matrix?

Implementing a RACI matrix takes more than just a few emails and sporadic conversations – it takes consistent communication and planning. You should host a kickoff meeting to introduce the matrix to the team and make a plan to continue meeting at predetermined times throughout the project lifecycle. 

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you implement your RACI matrix within the team dynamic:

  • Get everyone prepared. Send the document around to the meeting distribution as read-ahead material, requesting feedback if there are any major concerns. 
  • Roll out each role for the team . During the meeting, conduct a review of the tasks and responsible parties. Do not rush through this review, but rather ensure enough time in your project kickoff for this important aspect. (Be certain to clarify the definitions of RACI to avoid ambiguity.)
  • Consider changes and update accordingly. After the meeting, send out the notes documenting acceptance or updates to the RACI. In addition to sending out the notes, request any corrections within a reasonable yet defined timeframe. Clarify that if no changes are requested, each person is acknowledging their role and committing to the project tasks as outlined.
  • Stay in touch. Consider a quick review with the entire team each quarter or every six months for longer projects to ensure it remains up-to-date and not simply another document in the repository but a relied-upon artifact.

FAQ: What are RACI matrix best practices?

As you implement the raci matrix….

  • Encourage teamwork and foster collaboration whenever possible.
  • Don’t fear updates – make changes and adjustments as needed (but be sure to communicate those changes clearly to all parties).
  • Earlier is better. Roll out your matrix plan to the team BEFORE you plan to implement it for the best results. 
  • Have a clear-cut understanding of the project scope and how each role connects to the overall project goal.

For “Responsible” Parties:

  • Make sure your project’s definition of Responsible is clear on who holds the “decider” role for the project or project phase’s completion, and what the dimensions of that responsibility will be.
  • Ensure that all parties are aware of their role and responsibilities within the matrix.

For “Accountable” Parties: 

  • When multiple Accountable team members must exist, use your definitions to make clear which individual is accountable for a given project element, and how that individual needs to interact with other Accountable team members.
  • Ensure that there is only one “Accountable” party assigned per task.
  • Be sure that the Accountable party has the authority and power to oversee the task as the accountable party.

For Consulted and Informed Parties: 

  • Consulted parties are often high-level decision-makers with heavy schedules. Make sure you’re clear on their availability ahead of time.
  • Similar to Consulted parties, Informed parties are often less hands-on and have less understanding of day-to-day project operations. As the project goes on, make sure to keep detailed notes to keep the Informed party up-to-date on key information. 
  • Understand the ways that these parties like to communicate and create a plan to reach them early – whether that’s over phone calls, emails, video calls, or from within your project management system’s collaboration tools.
  • Knowing the difference between who needs to be consulted versus informed can be a challenge if there is ambiguity about project roles. Consider what aspects of the project different team members need to know to do their jobs, and then bake those into your definitions.

RACI Matrix Pros & Cons

Free raci matrix templates.

A number of project management software solutions include a native RACI matrix template. Here are just a few we’ve found:

Colorful RACI Chart Template

We love this template from Smartsheet because it’s colorful, thorough, and includes room for every party involved in the project. 

responsibility assignment matrix models

Pastel Colored RACI Matrix Template

This template from the Academy to Innovate HR is a great choice for project managers who want to organize their team roles with an easy-on-the-eyes chart that evolves beyond the simple spreadsheet. 

responsibility assignment matrix models

Simple RACI Chart from Clickup

These RACI templates from Clickup have enough variety to fit any of your project needs, but are simple enough for even beginner PMs to use.

responsibility assignment matrix models

Detailed RACI Matrix Template

This template is a great starter template for anyone looking to explore RACI charts in their project management strategy. As an added bonus – it comes with the RACI definitions already built in!

responsibility assignment matrix models

Excel-Based RACI Chart Template

Are you an Excel or Google Sheets user looking to take advantage of the RACI matrix? An Excel-formatted template from Project Management Docs can be just the solution for you. This template is a great template for users who want a chart that comes in a pre-formatted structure.

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How to Make a Responsibility Assignment Matrix for a Project (Template Included)

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The most important resource you’ll employ to deliver the project is people. They have to fit into the schedule and maintain the project budget. Defining what their roles and responsibilities are when executing tasks and delivering on the project goals is an important part of controlling the project.

How can you coordinate all the people who are involved in a project so they know what they’re doing and don’t block others from doing what they are assigned? Using a responsibility assignment matrix can help. An assignment matrix gives your project a team that gets things done.

What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management?

A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a project management chart used to identify and define the various people and organizations and outline each of their roles in working on tasks or delivering a part of the project.

Project managers use an assignment matrix to clarify what cross-functional teams do within the boundaries of the project and its numerous processes. Sometimes a responsibility assignment matrix is required when responding to a request for proposal (RFP).

The responsibility assignment matrix can also be called a RACI matrix, which stands for responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.

  • Responsible: Notes who is responsible for executing the task, which is then assigned to them.
  • Accountable: Notes who has decision-making authority and how that power is delegated throughout the project team.
  • Consulted: Notes who is able to offer insight into the task, from team members to stakeholders.
  • Informed: Notes who is updated on what in terms of progress and performance, as well as when and how this information is disseminated.

This creates a map of connections between activities and project team members. Depending on the size of the project, there can be several assignment matrices used for various project levels.

Why Create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix?

The assignment matrix identifies what everyone on the team is responsible for, which means not only what their duties are, but how they participate in the project. Some will have defined tasks, others will offer help with work, while there are some who are designated as decision-makers. These groups all have an identity and function within the project to help guide it towards a successful end.

Clear communication leads to more efficient projects. An assignment matrix facilitates better communication between team members and provides transparency by creating a system to make sure everyone is updated and always on the same page. Belaboring communications can bog down a project with too many pointless meetings and confusing interactions in which people try to understand what they’re supposed to be doing. Using the responsibility assignment matrix helps, but having project management software that connects teams in real-time is ideal.

ProjectManager manages project information by allowing teams to attach files directly to tasks, and our unlimited file storage keeps important project documents at your fingertips anywhere, anytime. Commenting on tasks can save time and tagging others in the project team creates a communication process that avoids the pitfalls of redundancies or unnecessary meetings.

Gantt chart screenshot with a team collaboration pop up

When Should a Responsibility Assignment Matrix Be Created?

The responsibility assignment matrix would be created at the start of the project. You’d want to have everyone on the project team aware of where they stand in terms of their involvement before they start executing tasks.

As much as its use is a preventative measure, it can be used prescriptively. If you’re deep into the project and things are not moving as planned, there could be communication gridlock. If team members are not in the loop, or misconstrue what they’re supposed to be doing, using a responsibility assignment matrix might untie up those knots in the communication channel.

If there’s a problem with leadership overruling suggestions on how to advance the project and this is seen as a problem, it’s likely that the roles and responsibilities of the project team need refining. The responsibility assignment matrix defines who has authority to make decisions and using it or revisiting can determine if the right people are in that position.

In fact, any of the definitions might need reexamining at any phase in the project. Perhaps tasks are falling behind schedule. This could be because team members aren’t aware of what tasks they own. Anytime a delay occurs, returning to the assignment matrix is a good first step, even if you went through the process as you should during the planning stage of the project.

How to Create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix

The actual making of a responsibility assignment matrix is not as difficult as getting everyone on board with what their roles and responsibilities are.

Therefore, you want to include your team in the process, get their input and eventually buy-in without spending too much time and energy on the process. Follow these steps to make sure everyone is in agreement and you’ll have a successful responsibility assignment.

  • Identify all the participants involved in the project, from team members to stakeholders and everyone in between.
  • List all deliverables associated with the project. Use a work breakdown structure to make sure you don’t miss any.
  • Meet with team members on how to execute the tasks to create the deliverables. Every task needs to be discussed in terms of the team’s responsibility and authority.
  • Draft the responsibility assignment matrix using a table with the project tasks listed on the left-hand column. Across the top add the name of everyone in the project.
  • Where the tasks meet the project team member, assign whether they’re responsible, accountable, consulted or informed.
  • When completed, share the responsibility assignment matrix with the project team and stakeholders and hold a meeting if necessary to make sure everyone understands their part in the project. If you’re working in a shared space, print out a copy and post it.

Free Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template

Using a RACI template is a shortcut that sets up your team and the project for success. ProjectManager is more than an award-winning software that organizes tasks, teams and projects to streamline work and boost productivity, it’s also the online hub for all things project management.

Among the hundreds of blog posts, guidebooks and tutorial videos are dozens of free templates that can help you through every phase of your project’s life cycle. Using our free RACI template will help you guide all the project teams better, allowing them to know where they stand in relation to the project and what their level of responsibility and accountability is.

Use it at the start of the project to avoid delays and untangle any communicative knots that are preventing the project from progressing as planned. To keep your project on track, download our free RACI template and get a head start on building a workable responsibility assignment matrix.

RACI Matrix Template for Excel

Best Practices

Using our free RACI template is a good start, but you have to make sure you fill it in correctly. A responsibility assignment matrix is only as good as the effort put into creating it. Here are some best practices to apply when you’re in the process of building your assignment matrix.

  • Involve the team: They’re the ones who will be executing the work. You want their input and buy-in to avoid any costly mistakes or time-consuming questions about what wasn’t made clear at the beginning of the project.
  • Identify every single task: Identify all the tasks required to reach your final deliverable. Once you have that thorough list make sure that there is only one person on the team who is accountable.
  • Update your RACI regularly: Make sure that each new one is clearly marked as the most current version and is distributed to everyone on the team. There will be times when you’ll want to revisit the responsibility assignment matrix or changes in personnel will require an edit.
  • Share responsibility viably: One person shouldn’t have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibilities for the project and you want to give authority throughout the project team and not just among the very top management team.
  • Optimize tasks: Managers can use the RACI matrix to see if too many team members have been assigned to a task. Maybe these workers could be spread out for greater productivity. There could be too many people listed as consulted, which slows down the process. The assignment matrix is endlessly useful.

How ProjectManager Helps You Manage Projects Better

ProjectManager is a cloud-based tool that connects everyone in real-time to facilitate planning, monitoring and reporting on the project. It works to give everyone on the project team a job and the knowledge as to where they have authority and when to consult others, as well as defining the reporting process.

Let’s look at the people who are responsible, for example, the team who execute the project. Once invited into the software, you can share the project plan, assign them tasks, add detailed direction, add a deadline and tag for priority and more. The teams can then collaborate by attaching files and images to the tasks and commenting in real-time to work better together.

A screenshot of the Team collaboration user interface in ProjectManager

Those who need to stay informed of the project can do so by also getting invited into the project and sharing plans and schedules with them. Stakeholders can stay updated with reporting features that can generate reports on project variance, cost, time and more with one click. Then share them as a PDF. Reports can even be quickly filtered to zero in on the data stakeholders are interested in.

a screenshot of the status report generation screen in ProjectManager

The responsibility assignment matrix can help you reallocate your resources when things aren’t progressing as planned. Use our software to get further insight. The resource management features include a workload chart that’s color-coded so it’s easy to see who has too many tasks and who can take on more work. Then you can simply reallocate those resources from the workload page to help your team work more productively.

color-coded workload chart

ProjectManager gets you organized, keeps your team focused on their tasks and stakeholders in the loop. Gain efficiencies throughout every aspect of your project’s life cycle with an online Gantt chart to schedule work and kanban boards, a visual workflow feature that provides transparency into production. All that and it’s on a collaborative platform to keep everyone connected. Try ProjectManager today for free.

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What Is a RACI Chart? How to Use RACI to Assign Project Roles

responsibility assignment matrix models

It’s a fact: Complex projects make it easy for teams to lose track of tasks.

You might have an air-tight project plan and a stellar team to back it up. But if you’re not crystal clear about assignments—or even involvement—on a task level, confusion, crankiness, and even demotivation will creep into your project team.

Lucky for you, avoiding those issues is as simple as creating a RACI chart. 

In this article, we’ll explain what RACI stands for and how it’s used in project management. We’ll also share a few practical examples so you can see how to apply the RACI model to different types of projects.

What is a RACI chart?

Raci definitions explained, benefits of the raci model in project management, how to make a raci chart, raci rules and best practices.

  • RACI chart examples

When to use or skip a RACI chart for your project

Common raci pitfalls and how to avoid them.

A RACI chart—also known as a responsibility assignment matrix —is a diagram used in project management to define team roles across 4 categories: Responsible , Accountable , Consulted , and Informed . It helps clarify who does the work, who calls the shots, whose opinion matters, and who needs to stay in the loop for each task, milestone, or decision.

A RACI chart enables you to visualize roles and responsibilities at a more granular level than simple resource assignments. That way team members and stakeholders know what’s expected of them so confusion doesn’t get in the way of project success.

Example of a simple RACI chart

RACI stands for Responsible , Accountable , Consulted , and Informed . Each letter in the acronym represents the level of ownership each person involved in a project will have on an individual deliverable. 

This simple chart gives you an at-a-glance view of RACI meanings and how many people to assign to each role in your RACI matrix .

RACI definitions matrix with meanings for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed

R = Responsible

This team member does the work to complete the task. Every task needs at least one Responsible party, but it’s okay to assign more.

Examples of people you might assign to the Responsible role:

  • Content writer
  • Graphic designer
  • UI/UX designer
  • Software developer
  • Business analyst
  • QA specialist

A = Accountable

This person delegates work and is the last one to review the task or deliverable before it’s deemed complete. On some tasks, the Responsible party may also serve as the Accountable one. Just be sure you only have one Accountable person assigned to each task or deliverable. (Note: It might not be your project manager!)

Examples of people you might assign to the Accountable role:

  • Project manager
  • Product manager
  • Department head

C = Consulted

Every deliverable is strengthened by review and consultation from more than one team member. Consulted parties are typically the people who provide input based on either how it will impact their future project work or their domain of expertise on the deliverable itself.‍

Examples of people you might assign to the Consulted role:

  • Software architect
  • Content editor
  • Creative director
  • Compliance officer
  • Security specialist
  • Legal counsel

I = Informed

Informed stakeholders simply need to be kept in the loop on project progress, rather than roped into the details of every deliverable.

Examples of people you might assign to the Informed role:

  • Executive leadership
  • External clients
  • Team members assigned to dependent tasks
  • Customer support team
  • Administrative staff

Responsible vs Accountable meanings in RACI

The same person can be both Responsible and Accountable for a task in RACI—including a project manager. But they’re not one and the same. So what’s the difference?

  • Responsible is a task-oriented designation that applies to the person (or people) actually completing the work. A whole team can be responsible for the execution of one task. ‍
  • Accountable is an outcome-oriented designation that applies to a single person who reports on the work, whether in status updates or upon delivery. Being Accountable means you must answer for and/or sign off on the deliverable and deal with the consequences if it falls short of goals.

Side-by-side comparison of responsible vs accountable in RACI

At its core, the RACI model helps you set clear expectations about project roles and responsibilities. That way you don’t have multiple people working on the same task or against one another because tasks weren’t clearly defined on the front end.

A RACI chart also encourages team members to take responsibility for their work—or defer to someone else when needed. Essentially, you’ll remove personal judgment and politics from your process and focus on your team’s ability to act responsibly within a framework you’ve created. Sounds pretty sweet, huh?

Building a RACI chart for your project is a relatively simple task. The hardest part is thinking through all the people involved in your project and what role makes the most sense for individuals at each stage of work.

You’ll want to map out a RACI chart for your project during the planning stage. This ensures responsibilities are clearly defined before work begins and gives you time to adjust to avoid any gaps or overlaps in assignments.

Here are the basic steps for making a RACI chart:

  • List key project phases, tasks, and/or milestones in a column down the left side of your chart. You can get as detailed as you want, depending on the complexity of your project (and attention-span of your project team and stakeholders). 
  • Enter the people involved in your project across the top row of your chart. Each individual should serve as the header of a single column. You can use names or job roles—whatever makes sense for your team and project.
  • Go line by line down the chart, and assign each person across the row an R, A, C, or I to indicate the role they’ll play on that particular task.

Once your RACI chart is good to go, you can create a communication plan that aligns with the roles you’ve outlined for project teams and stakeholders.

Want to save time? Download our free RACI Excel template , or see how TeamGantt's built-in RACI feature works.

Using a RACI chart is a whole lot easier when you follow a few simple rules. Once your RACI chart is complete, review it to be sure it meets these criteria:

  • Every task has at least one Responsible person.
  • There’s one (and only one!) Accountable party assigned to each task to allow for clear decision-making.
  • No team members are overloaded with too many Responsible tasks. You can use TeamGantt’s Workloads report to check availability across all your active projects.
  • Every team member has a role on each task. (It’s not uncommon for some folks to be Informed on most tasks.)

These best practices can help you get the most out of RACI:

  • Focus on project tasks, milestones, and decisions in the RACI chart. Avoid generic or administrative to-dos like team meetings or status reports .
  • Align the tasks in your RACI chart with your project plan so there’s no confusion about details and due dates. (TeamGantt does this work for you by tying your RACI chart directly to your plan!)
  • Keep RACI definitions close by because they can be tough to remember sometimes! ‍
  • Assign the Responsible team members to tasks in TeamGantt .

RACI chart examples: Practical application in the real world

Let’s take a closer look at how you might put the RACI model to work on real-life projects. 

Producing a marketing handout

We’ll start with a simple example. Imagine you’re creating a RACI chart for a handout your marketing manager will distribute at an industry conference. 

Basic tasks for this project might include:

  • Write project brief
  • Create content
  • Design handout
  • Review first draft
  • Update handout
  • Approve final
  • Send to printer

In this project example, we’ve assigned RACI roles to 7 key team members:

  • Marketing manager
  • Editorial director

Sample RACI chart for the production of a marketing handout.

Let’s zoom in on the RACI roles we mapped out for the Create content task example so you understand the why behind these assignments. 

  • Responsible : The content writer is listed as Responsible for this task, so that’s who will actively work on content creation.
  • Accountable : The editorial director is listed as Accountable for this task because that’s who is ultimately on the line for content quality and accuracy. Once the content is written, she’s the one who will review it to ensure it meets their company’s editorial standards.
  • Consulted : The marketing manager is listed as Consulted . Since the marketing manager is the subject matter expert for the presentation, the writer can go to them for input or help filling in content gaps along the way.
  • Informed : Several people have been assigned to the Informed role, though for different reasons. Since the Design handout task depends on this one, we want to make sure the writer keeps the creative director and designer informed on the status of content creation. The project manager and CMO are listed as Informed simply because they want to be kept in the loop about how work is progressing.

Developing a new software product

Now let’s look at a more complex project example. 

Developers who use an Agile workflow to tackle the job likely know what they need to do because there’s a constant stream of communication. But cross-functional departments and senior leaders might need more clarity. 

Here’s how you might map RACI roles to major tasks in a software development project , broken down by key tasks and RACI roles. (For the Informed assignments, we only listed people who need detailed progress updates to keep our example easier to read.)

Market Research

  • Responsible : Business Analyst, Marketing Manager
  • Accountable : Product Manager
  • Consulted : Sales Representative, Customer Support
  • Informed : Project Manager, Software Developers

Requirement Gathering

  • Responsible : Business analyst
  • Accountable : Product manager
  • Consulted : UI/UX Designer, Software Architect
  • Informed : Project manager, QA analysts

Design and Prototyping

  • Responsible : UI/UX Designer
  • Consulted : Business analyst, software developers
  • Informed : Marketing manager, QA analysts

Software Development

  • Responsible : Software Developers/Engineers
  • Accountable : Software Architect
  • Consulted : Product Manager, QA Analysts
  • Informed : Project Manager, Technical Writer
  • Responsible : QA Analysts/Engineers
  • Accountable : Project manager
  • Consulted : Software Developers, DevOps Engineer
  • Informed : Product Manager, Technical Writer
  • Responsible : DevOps Engineer
  • Accountable : Project Manager
  • Consulted : Software Developers, QA Analysts
  • Informed : Product Manager, Customer Support

Maintenance

  • Responsible : DevOps Engineer, Software Developers
  • Consulted : QA Analysts, Technical Writer
  • Responsible : DevOps Engineer, QA Analysts
  • Consulted : Software Developers, Technical Writer

Marketing and Sales

  • Responsible : Marketing Manager, Sales Representative
  • Accountable : Marketing Manager
  • Consulted : Product Manager, Customer Support

User Training

  • Responsible : Customer Support Specialist
  • Consulted : Technical Writer, UI/UX Designer
  • Informed : All project team members

A RACI chart serves just about every project well. But it’s especially helpful when tasks require multiple resources, run concurrently, or depend on other tasks.

Here are a few scenarios when the RACI model is useful:

  • The decision-making or approval process could hold up the project.
  • There’s conflict about task ownership or decision-making.
  • The project workload feels like it’s not distributed evenly.
  • You experience turnover on a team and need to onboard someone quickly to a new role.

Of course, not all teams and projects are created equally. You might work with a team who just happens to communicate really well and stays on top of their own work. (Lucky you!) Or maybe your project is small enough that it would be silly to take the time to go through this exercise. 

In cases like these, don’t worry about taking the extra step of creating a RACI chart. Just be sure you have a clear plan in place to guide your team and project.

Further reading : How to Create a Realistic Project Plan: Templates & Examples

Now let’s walk through a few common mistakes that could hinder your RACI chart’s effectiveness.

Failing to get buy-in from your team and stakeholders

Creating a RACI chart in a vacuum is never a good idea. In a best-case scenario, you’d sit down with your team and stakeholders to walk through the role assignments on each task. But let’s be real: That’s not always possible.

Just be sure everyone represented has acknowledged and agreed to the roles and responsibilities you’ve laid out. More importantly, you want to check that your chart eliminates any further project confusion.

Setting it and forgetting it

It’s easy to build a RACI chart at the start of a project, then let it collect dust once the real work begins. But remember: This chart will defend you against mishaps that arise when you have too many cooks in the kitchen or a team member who thinks someone else is handling the work.

That’s why it’s important to keep these roles top of mind throughout a project’s life cycle. You can do this by reviewing RACI assignments for upcoming tasks in weekly status update meetings and making sure everyone involved in a project has easy access to the RACI chart. 

In TeamGantt, you can assign RACI roles directly in your project plan so they’re clearly visible as team members work their way to the finish line.

Overcomplicating stakeholder communication

If you have a lot of Consulted and Informed roles on your chart, make sure you have an easy and lightweight way to keep them informed. It could be as simple as making sure department heads and senior leaders have access to your project plan so they can follow progress along the way. 

Managing a project with external clients or stakeholders? Sharing a view-only link to your project in TeamGantt is a great option for looping in folks outside your organization.

Further reading: A Project Manager’s Guide to Effective Stakeholder Management

Keep teams in sync—and accountable—with TeamGantt

A RACI chart is a simple tool that makes projects easier to manage by creating less confusion and more accountability. But you’ve got more than roles and responsibilities to keep straight.

TeamGantt makes it easy to build a project plan your whole team can contribute to and collaborate on. Everything happens online, so you can stay on top of deadlines and monitor progress in real time.

Use our built-in RACI chart to assign roles and keep them visible from project start to finish, so everyone knows how they contribute to success.

Try TeamGantt for free today!

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Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI Matrix) Explained

There’s an old saying that ‘If everyone’s responsible, nobody’s responsible.’ And in project management, it often rings true.

When people don’t know exactly what they – and their colleagues – are responsible for, it’s easy for things to get missed, ignored, or left for others to deal with.

This is especially true nowadays, with projects more complex – and teams more distributed – than ever.

And it’s a situation that leads to confusion, frustration, and, potentially, project failure.

One way to mitigate this is the responsibility assignment matrix – sometimes called the RACI matrix.

In this post we’ll outline the core principles of the RACI Matrix – and explain why it may be a good idea for project managers to put in place for their projects!

Article Contents

What is an RACI matrix?

A RACI matrix is an essential project management tool used to define roles and responsibilities for a project or project task. It’s about defining who’s responsible for projects or tasks, and what level of input is expected of them.

The acronym ‘RACI’ stands for Responsible , Accountable , Consulted, Informed. These are the four categories of involvement in a project, and each individual or team involved in the project is assigned one of these project roles. 

Let’s first dig into what they mean…

Responsible

The Responsible category is for a person or team who is actively involved in completing a task or project. To put it crudely – they’re the ones who are actually ‘doing the work.’

Accountable

The Accountable category is for the person or team who’s ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the project, task or deliverable. They might not be the ones ‘doing’ the work, but they are the ones who are ultimately accountable for the outcome. 

Consulted

The Consulted category is for teams or people who need to be consulted for their expertise or input along the way. They may not be directly involved in the work, but their input is important. For example – these people might be required to give feedback and sign off, or provide technical advice.

Informed

And the Informed category is for people who need to be kept informed of progress. They may provide input on a task or project, but more likely, they just require up-to-date info to understand where things are up to.

By clearly defining roles and responsibilities for a project using a RACI matrix, it’s easier to monitor progress and ensure successful completion. 

It also helps to eliminate misunderstandings about who is responsible for what by enshrining this in a clear, visual way.

How to create an RACI matrix

Creating a RACI matrix is easy to do, and there are several templates available online that can be used as a starting point. 

The matrix consists of two main elements – a table and a list of tasks, roles and responsibilities for the project or task.

The table is made up of columns for each individual involved in the project, and rows for each task or activity that needs to be completed. Each cell in the table will indicate the role for that person in relation to that particular task. The list should include a description of each task or activity, as well as the roles and responsibilities for each individual involved.

Let’s look at a classic project and consider how those categories would come into effect using the RACI model.

In this example we’ll consider a typical, run-of-the-mill web design project. So we start by adding a column for every person or team involved – we’ll go with client, project manager, web designer, graphic designer, front-end developer, back-end developer, content writers/editors/strategists and a QA team.

Then, down the left-hand column, we list the stages or tasks involved in that project. We’ll keep things broad and go with briefing and project outline, design, look and feel, user experience, front-end user interface, back end functionality and website content

Again, this is pretty broad, but you could also make it incredibly granular, highlighting every single task and every single person – and, actually, the RACI matrix is often at its best when done in this more detailed way.

Then, to complete our RACI matrix, we need to go through each empty box in our chart and fill it out with one of our four letters to denote whether that person or team is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed.

RACI matrix example

To further illustrate the idea, let’s look at a different example – designing and executing a content marketing strategy.

In this example you’ll notice that we have some individuals marked as “A&R” – this means they’re both accountable AND responsible. In other words, they’re tasked with doing the work – AND accountable for the results – which demonstrates how, sometimes, people can occupy more than one category in the matrix.

RACI matrix example

The beauty of this model is that you can read it in a couple of different ways.

You can view it row by row and work out who has what level of responsibility for a particular task.

Or you can use the columns to work out the requirements of a person or team across a whole project. In theory, you could pick out your role, then get a clear overview of all your responsibilities by simply working your way down the list.

Your RACI Matrix x Project.co

RACI charts are a key part of the project management process – particularly for complex projects – and can be managed with project management software like Project.co. 

Start by creating your project. Every project can be customised to include the tools you need.

responsibility assignment matrix models

Next, invite your project team – this can be made up of internal team members, client team members, and even freelancers.

responsibility assignment matrix models

The Project Notes section is a great place to leave important info that’s relevant to the whole project. This is a good place to store your RACI matrix. 

Project.co RACI matrix

You can also use the Embed tool to embed documents such as Google Sheets so they’re available from within your project to everyone involved.

Project.co embed tool

You can also include important RACI chart info from within the notes section of each task, as well as attaching tasks to individual people, dates and other important info.. 

Simply create the tasks you need to complete for your project and assign the responsible person or people to them. 

responsibility assignment matrix models

Thanks for reading!

You don’t have to be a business analyst to create a RACI chart and use this powerful method to make your projects more streamlined, simple and efficient.

The bottom line is that a RACI matrix ensures every team member knows what’s expected of them – who’s accountable, who’s doing the work, who needs to be consulted, and who needs to be kept up to date.

And if you’re looking to take your project management game to the next level – sign up to Project.co today and get started for free!

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Your guide to RACI charts, with examples

Julia Martins contributor headshot

Can you identify exactly who’s doing what by when for each task, milestone, and deliverable in your project? If not, you might need a RACI chart.

RACI is an acronym to help teams clarify project roles and figure out who the responsible party is for any given task. Whether you've never heard of RACI before or you’re considering creating a RACI chart for your next project, here’s everything you need to know about how to create and use these charts.

What is a RACI chart?

Responsible.  This person is directly in charge of the work. There should only ever be one Responsible role per task so you know who to go to with questions or updates. If a task has more than one Responsible person, you can lose clarity and cause confusion. Instead, aim to add additional collaborators as some of the other RACI roles, which can have more than one person.

Accountable.  The Accountable person is responsible for overseeing overall task completion, though they may not be the person actually doing the work. There are two ways to assign an Accountable role. Sometimes, the Accountable is the project manager (or even the Responsible, though in that case the person is taking on two different roles during the task workflow). In these cases, the Accountable is responsible for making sure all of the work gets done. In other cases, the Accountable is a senior leader or executive who is responsible for approving the work before it’s considered complete. Like the Responsible role, there should only ever be one Accountable.

Consulted.  This will be the person or people who should review and sign off on the work before it’s delivered. There may be multiple Consulted roles for each task,  project milestone , or deliverable.

Informed.  This is the person or group of people who are informed about the progress and completion of work. They probably are not involved in any other aspect of the deliverable.

When should I create RACI charts?

RACI charts are a helpful way to track each stakeholder’s role for a task, milestone, or deliverable—especially if you’re managing a complex project with many decision makers and subject matter experts. With a RACI chart, you can prevent poor decision making and avoid roadblocks in the approvals process that could impact overall project success.

These charts, while different from PERT charts , are especially useful if your stakeholders may be taking on different roles throughout the project. For example, there could be a stakeholder who is Responsible on one deliverable but Informed on another. With a RACI chart, you can clearly outline these details and make sure everyone knows who’s responsible for what.

Example of a RACI chart

To build a RACI chart, list every task, milestone, or deliverable for your project. Then, identify who the Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed team members are for each one.

Let’s say you’re updating the homepage on your website.  Project stakeholders  include:

Head of website

Web developer

You want to create a RACI chart for five tasks and deliverables:

Update homepage CTAs

Update customer story on homepage

Revamp website design

Improve homepage loading speed

Update homepage design

The RACI chart would look like:

Responsible: Copywriter

Accountable: Web developer

Consulted: Head of website

Informed: Designer

Revamp video on homepage

Responsible: Designer

Informed: Copywriter

Responsible: Web developer

Informed: Copywriter & Designer

Pros and cons of RACI charts

Ultimately, the question is: should you create a RACI chart? While RACI charts are a useful tool to identify project responsibilities, they can get a little cumbersome over the lifecycle of a project. Here are the pros and cons of creating a RACI chart for your team’s work:

The benefits of RACI charts

Clear project roles and responsibilities can help your team move fast and reduce confusion about who’s working on what. With a RACI chart, you can ensure you don’t have two team members working on the same thing. As a result, you’ll have an easier time  collaborating  with your team.

RACI charts are also particularly helpful when the decision-making process is split between tasks. There might be scenarios where the Informed on one task or milestone is the Responsible or Consulted on another—in order to have that clearly defined, it’s helpful to track this work in a RACI chart.

RACI chart pitfalls (and how to avoid them)

RACI models focus on the granular, instead of capturing work at the project level. You might know who the Consulted is on a particular task—which is helpful—but knowing that doesn’t help you understand how various stakeholders interact with the broader project work.

Additionally, if you attempt to write out each task and each role, your RACI chart can get bulky. Worse, if your project changes in some way, your RACI chart would immediately become outdated. That can make it hard for you to gain real-time clarity about where each task is in your project workflow.

RACI charts are limited because they aren’t able to adapt to your project needs in real time. In order to establish clear expectations and eliminate confusion on the project level, you need a  project management tool .

Take your RACI chart to the next level

With project management software, every task has an assignee—that’s the Responsible. You can see work on the project level, so the Accountable and Informed don’t have to check in via email or status meetings. And, for any approvals you need from your Consulted, you can track reviews and approvals in one place. That way, your entire RACI team has a central source of truth for all of the work being done.

[Product UI] Brand campaign RACI chart (Lists)

Instead of having your RACI chart separate from where the work is happening, project management tools capture the topic, assignee, and other important information like the task due date or relative importance. That way, your entire project team has visibility into who’s doing what by when—and you’re not relying on a single person to manage and update your RACI chart. Project management tools update in real time, so you can see exactly where you are in the approval process.

Track who’s doing what by when

Clear team roles and responsibilities help you hit your deliverables on time. Tracking different and complex stakeholder responsibilities in a RACI chart can help you do that—but RACI charts are just the beginning. Learn more about  work management , and how your team can benefit.

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What is the RACI Model?

responsibility assignment matrix models

Project management is constantly evolving in its technology and trends, from RACI to Gantt and back. It’s no wonder that sometimes it feels like a Pandora’s box of different decision makers, project roles, and responsibilities. This is particularly true if you don’t have a project plan and the structures in place to complete the task milestones from start to finish while managing the responsible parties involved.

Without this, it’s pretty easy for the right hand to be in the dark about what the left hand is doing. One steadfast method involves the use of something called a RACI chart. In this blog, we’ll cover what the RACI model is, why it’s important for a healthy project management environment, and how to implement it the right way.

What does RACI mean?

The acronym RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed . This is how each of the 4 components is defined:

  • Responsible: a manager or team member who is directly responsible for successfully completing a project task.
  • Accountable: the person with final authority over the successful completion of the specific task or deliverable.
  • Consulted: someone with unique insights the team will consult.
  • Informed: a client or executive who isn’t directly involved, but you should keep up to speed.

There are other variations of this method. RACI is the base level, the vanilla ice cream of responsibility matrices. Other versions add their own unique flavors — peanut butter, cookies, and more. RASCI, for example adds the 5th level, support, to the matrix. This could look like a senior developer who works on another project but also has unique experience working with APIs.

What is RACI in project management?

Also called a RACI matrix, RACI charts are a type of responsibility assignment matrices in project management. These simple spreadsheets or tables highlight the different states of responsibility a stakeholder has over a particular task or deliverable and denotes it with the letters R, A, C, or I. It’s typically implemented by color-coding each responsibility level and creating a simple table layout.

raci model color coding responsibility

Generally, nobody should have more than a single responsibility level for each deliverable or activity group in the RACI chart.  In this example, we’ve given every person some level of involvement to keep things simple. But when you make a real model for more than four people, there’s often more white space. We will get more into how class RACI looks and functions later.

Why do you need a RACI?

The goal of the RACI model is to bring structure and clarity regarding the roles that stakeholders play within a project. This responsibility assignment matrix instills confidence in each responsible person because they know what they are doing— this type of stakeholder engagement is crucial, according to a 2020 study by Wellingtone . In fact, it was ranked as the highest-valued project management process.

PPM process value vs. difficulty chart

RACI provides a concrete and intentional framework to manage all relationships appropriately, from start to finish. A large scale project could involve many stakeholders, like:

  • Government regulators
  • VIP clients and project sponsors
  • Company executives
  • Business analysts
  • Internal users of the product

Mapping all of their responsibilities out from the beginning and sharing them is an excellent way to avoid miscalculations and blunders that could cost you precious time and money. And of course, it will contribute to your overall stakeholder engagement efforts.

Research-backed tips for effective stakeholder engagement

Before we get into the technical components of creating a RACI chart, let’s dive into stakeholder engagement briefly. A recent McKinsey study highlighted three key areas for engaging external stakeholders effectively — a corporate purpose, active use of technology, and organizational agility.

( Image Source )

How can you apply this research? Check out these tips.

1. Map out deliverables and activity groups thoroughly before using RACI

Don’t jump immediately into assigning individual responsibilities. Start by consulting with subject matter experts and accurately mapping out the moving parts. Only once you’ve got a clear outline of your project can you make educated decisions. That could be your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) or a project roadmap.

2. Don’t be afraid to give responsibility to less senior staff

Assigning the accountable role to a high-level executive or project manager for all tasks is a mistake. Since they have the final say on when a job is complete, you instantly create a bottleneck. Instead, don’t be afraid to assign that role to experienced staff on the project team itself, who is most familiar with the work.

3. Standardize the approach across departments and locations

While a single project team is good, stakeholder relationships don’t exist in a vacuum. Your whole organization must get on board to truly maximize the return on investment. Make distributed responsibility and decision-making part of your corporate purpose. Everyone — from executive to intern — must be on the same page.

4. Use the right digital tools to implement RACI at scale

A written memo isn’t enough to standardize your methods and remove departmental silos. Use digital tools to build a platform for efficient RACI implementation and stakeholder management.

Who uses a RACI matrix?

Even though the RACI model is a project manager’s useful tool for stakeholder management, that doesn’t mean it should be used for all projects. The deciding factors on who uses it relate to the scale of the project and the company structure.

Use the RACI matrix for projects that are:

  • Large-scale with clear-cut deliverables or workgroups
  • For organizations with static roles and responsibilities
  • Involving a wide variety of stakeholders for different aspects
  • Spanning multiple departments
  • In highly regulated industries

Don’t use the RACI matrix for:

  • Small, single-department projects — it’s likely not necessary
  • Teams working with an Agile framework like Scrum

In Agile organizations, cross-functional teams and collaboration is the default. So task responsibility depends on the employees’ initiative rather than a top-down decision. For Agile teams, implementing a hard version of RACI will likely not be helpful, as teams should be self-organizing.

Traditional vs Agile Organizations

What should a RACI include? RACI model guidelines

RACI has a set of general guidelines to help you implement the method successfully:

  • Only 1 accountable per task or deliverable.
  • Only 1 responsibility type per person. If you don’t follow this, the RACI matrix will be more confusing than helpful.
  • The accountable person needs to have the authority to help finish the task.
  • Only the responsible and accountable roles are mandatory for every task. Not every task is complex enough to need outside input or warrant informing anyone else.
  • Prioritize effective communication with the consulting person.
  • Always keep all stakeholders informed. Even the lowest level needs to know about updates and changes to the project.

How to create a RACI chart with monday.com

While there is a wide variety of project management apps out there, in the particular case of a RACI, monday.com project management provides an outstanding offering of robust integrations and extensibility that allow you to build the exact platform you need to manage this structure and more.

You can get started much quicker with our RACI matrix template and share it with the entire team. Keep track of the RACI roles for all project activities and easily see project phases and individual deliverables for each.

responsibility assignment matrix models

In addition to customizations on columns, statuses, and more, easily assign roles to internal users or guest users created for external stakeholders. All assigned roles will automatically get informed of status changes to the work item.

Here are a few more ways you can get the most out of your RACI matrix.

Continually update and revise to reflect the real-time statuses

An out-of-date RACI diagram helps nobody. Use board permissions to let responsible users directly edit the status of the row themselves.

screenshot of setting board permissions in monday.com

Keep stakeholders involved with shared boards and dashboards

With monday.com, you can easily give them viewer access to project and workflow boards. That way, they know the actual status of the project in real-time. They can then use that information to guide their decisions. You can also inform stakeholders of crucial changes automatically with automations.

Our integrations with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Gmail let you send messages based on status changes, new items, missed due dates, and more.

responsibility assignment matrix models

Remove data silos to keep everyone on the same page

Naturally, every department uses a different set of tools and applications. monday.com’s robust integrations make it easy to bring all of this data And even if you use custom business apps, you can easily integrate them into monday.com using our API and 50+ pre-built adaptors.

RAPID vs.RACI— What’s the difference?

Sometimes when you want to define RACI, it’s important to use another method for comparison.

RAPID and RACI are both two important tools for project managers, but they have different functions. As we have seen, the RACI method revolves around deliverables and the key person responsible throughout each stage of the process. RAPID however, focuses primarily on the decision-making process and the actions made by an organization.

You can see the breakdown of RAPID here:

RAPID method diagram

While making a key decision is a part of the project management process, it’s not the whole journey. The RACI framework outlines who should do a task, who to keep in the loop, and who gets the final say.

Empower stakeholders and don’t miss a beat with monday.com RACI charts

The RACI matrix is an excellent method for assigning responsibilities and keeping stakeholders engaged throughout the journey because it clarifies where everyone should focus their energy and makes it easy for people to lead the way in their area of expertise.

That being said, the platform and tools you use to make it automated and up to date can have a significant impact on its success. Use our RACI template and share it with your entire team to ensure everyone understands and deals with it accordingly.

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RACI model: A map for team structure (with template)

Hero image with an icon of a Gantt chart for product roadmaps and project management

A few weeks back, in a burst of misguided optimism, I found myself in an escape room with eight of my most brilliant friends. I was confident we'd bust out in record time, but we quickly realized our error: too many cooks, not enough coordination.

We really could have used RACI. The RACI model—which stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed—would have gotten us the Instagram-worthy escape time we'd hoped for. This project management model ensures that there are clear roles, no conflicting ideas, and a clear communication process. Here, I'll unpack the RACI model and how it can streamline potentially chaotic projects—and perhaps save you from your own escape room disaster.

Table of contents:

Why you need a RACI matrix

When should you use a raci matrix, what should a raci matrix include, how to create a raci matrix, example raci chart and template, raci matrix alternatives, what is the raci model.

The RACI model, sometimes called a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), is a project management tool for assigning roles and responsibilities to the various stakeholders of a project. Think of it as a roadmap for who's doing what. It's the secret ingredient to making sure your projects don't implode in a fiery mess of miscommunication, redundant work, and misalignment.

RACI is an acronym that stands for responsible , accountable , consulted , and informed . Let's break each of those down.

Responsible: This is the person who's actually doing the thing. Think creatives, developers, analysts, and other worker bees. If we're talking about making a sandwich, this is the person slapping the mayo on the bread.

Accountable: Typically in a leadership position, this is the person who's got the final say. If that sandwich ends up being terrible, this is who you send it back to.

Consulted: These are the folks you chat with before making decisions. Like, "Hey, do you think we should add pickles to this?" They give input, but they're not in the kitchen with you. In the work world, we're talking about people like subject-matter experts, legal teams, and quality assurance teams.

Informed: These people are just here for the updates. "Just so you know, we're going with pickles." Informed parties can include external stakeholders, end users, senior management, or anyone else who needs to know what's happening but isn't directly involved in the action.

Importantly, RACI isn't just for the overarching project—it's applied to each individual task within that project. You'll document your RACI roles in a RACI chart to be sure everything's clear and transparent—more on that below.

Graphic explaining what RACI stands for.

There's nothing worse than finding multiple people doing the same thing while working on a project, or neglecting an important task because everyone thinks it's not their job.

RACI is a management tool that helps distribute tasks and assign responsibilities in a clear and transparent way. It helps people know where to go for information or approval, prevents people from passing the buck, and makes sure everyone is clear on their primary responsibilities. 

Key RACI benefits include:

Clearly defines responsibilities and expectations: No more "Well, finance said it was ready to ship..." moments. Everyone knows their role, and there's no stepping on toes.

Reduces workflow confusion: It's like having a map in a maze. You know exactly where to go and what to do without running into dead ends or, worse, minotaurs.

Enhances understanding and clarity: Because there's always someone accountable, decisions are decisive, and responsibilities are unmistakably defined. It's like translating everyone's thoughts into a universal language where "I thought you meant..." becomes a phrase of the past. 

Flexible approach: RACI works for almost any project type. Whether setting up a new server or orchestrating a multi-channel marketing campaign, the RACI model can be tailored to fit your needs.

You might ask yourself, "Self, how do I know when a RACI matrix is needed?" Let's sort that out.

Examples of projects where you should use RACI:

New product launch: Launching a new product isn't just about who's doing what. It's about understanding the decision-making hierarchy. Who gives the final nod for the marketing strategy? Who should be consulted about production timelines? With RACI, you're not just assigning tasks; you're clarifying the chain of command and consultation, ensuring a smoother launch process.

Office relocation: Ever tried moving your entire workspace without losing your favorite mug? Or your sanity? Who has the authority to choose the new location? If there's an issue with the new space, who's the point of contact? And before finalizing the seating arrangement, who should be consulted? RACI delegates tasks and defines the decision-making flow, ensuring a seamless transition.

Software implementation: Implementing new software isn't just about installation. Who approves the software choice? Who should you consult when deciding on configurations? And if things go sideways, who's the brave soul accountable for handling the fallout? RACI provides a clear roadmap of responsibility and consultation, ensuring the software rollout is successful.

Event planning: Organizing a corporate event or conference involves many moving parts. Who has the final say on the venue? Who gives approval when you need to know if karaoke is a yea or nay? And who should be consulted when deciding between a taco bar or sushi rolls? RACI helps you streamline the communication and decision-making processes.

Examples of projects where you shouldn't use RACI:

Simple tasks: If the task is straightforward, like "get more coffee filters for the break room," you probably don't need a matrix.

Short-term projects: If you're whipping up something quickly with a small team, the time spent creating a RACI might outweigh its benefits.

Well-established processes: For routine tasks that the team has been performing for years, introducing a RACI matrix is probably overkill.

Image of a RACI matrix example and key components (tasks, roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities)

A RACI chart has a specific structure. It's not just about listing out people's roles—to be effective, it needs a few other components.

Key components of a RACI matrix include:

Tasks: These are the specific activities or steps that need to be accomplished throughout the project. They form the backbone of the matrix, clarifying what needs to be done. Think of them as the items on your to-do list.

Roles: This refers to the individuals or teams involved in the project. From team members to stakeholders, this is everyone who's got some skin in the game.

Responsibilities: This is the nitty-gritty of who does what. It's where you hand out the jobs. Like, "Hey, you! You're on lead gen duty."

Accountabilities: This is the "buck stops here" role. It's about ownership, pinpointing who is ultimately answerable for the completion and quality of each task.

Now that you know what RACI is, it's time to unpack the step-by-step process of crafting your own RACI matrix.

Map out the project landscape: Begin by pinpointing the scope of your project. What are the specific tasks that need to be accomplished? The level of detail is up to you. Put the tasks on the vertical left side of your chart. It's like making a grocery list, but with the added bonus of not having to decide if you really need that third pint of ice cream.

Identify key players: The lucky souls involved in this project are your stakeholders. They get prime real estate across the top of your chart.

Assignments: For each task, you'll want to determine who's responsible (the doer), who's accountable (the decision-maker), who needs to be consulted (the advisors), and who should be informed (the folks kept in the loop).

Share and review: Once your initial RACI matrix is set up, gather the crew for a review session. This collaborative approach ensures everyone agrees on their roles and responsibilities. It's an opportunity to clarify any ambiguities and hash out any disagreements so everyone's on the same page .

Stay adaptable and engaged: Projects evolve, and so should your RACI matrix. As you progress, changes or shifts might need to be addressed. Regularly revisit your RACI chart, tweak as needed, and keep communication lines open, making sure it remains a relevant and valuable tool.

And here are some golden rules for using the RACI model:

Every task should have at least one Responsible party . Someone's gotta roll up their sleeves and do it. Otherwise, it's just a free-for-all of "not my job" shrugs.

There is always one and only one Accountable for each task . Adding another is like having two quarterbacks in a football game. Unless you're the 2008 Miami Dolphins, it just doesn't work.

Only the Responsible and Accountable roles are mandatory for each task. This ensures that for every activity, there's someone doing the work and someone ensuring it's done right. Everyone else is just there for support.

Keep it simple. If your grandma can't figure out your RACI chart, you're doing it wrong. Make it clear and understandable.

And there you have it. With these ingredients and rules in hand, you're well on your way to creating a RACI chart that'll make your project run smoother than freshly churned butter.

A RACI matrix is where you can see who's doing what at a glance.

Project tasks are in the left column

Project roles are in the top row

Each task gets a letter: R, A, C, or I

Letters are applied at the intersections of rows and columns to signal which role is performing each task

Next time you're drowning in a sea of "Who's on first?" whip out this RACI template to chart your way to clarity.  But remember: the magic isn't in the template, but in the thoughtful application of the RACI model.

Image of a RACI matrix template

The RACI matrix is a staple in project management, but like with any tool, sometimes you need a different wrench for a different bolt. If RACI doesn't work for you, here are some alternatives.

RAS (Responsible, Approve, Support): This simplified version of RACI might be a good fit if your team doesn't need the "Consulted" and "Informed" distinctions. RAS is perfect for those "let's not make this harder than it needs to be" projects.

RAPID (Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide): This one's ideal for decision-making processes. If your project involves a lot of decisions that need input from various stakeholders, RAPID can help streamline who does what.

CARS (Consulted, Approve, Responsible, Support): This is another RACI variation emphasizing supportive functions and approval authority. CARS is for you if your project is about getting those green lights (car joke).

RASCI (Responsible, Approve, Support, Consulted, Informed): RACI's overachieving cousin, RASCI includes the "Support" role, which can be crucial for projects where certain team members provide resources or support without being directly involved.

DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributor, Informed): This model is handy for projects with a clear "driver," or leader. It emphasizes the leadership role while still keeping everyone else in the loop. Use DACI when someone's clearly wearing the captain's hat, but you still need a crew. 

CLAM (Collaborate, Lead, Agree, Monitor): CLAM might be the way to go if your project is highly collaborative. If it feels like a group project in school, where everyone needs to pitch in, give CLAM a shot.

Choosing the right model depends on your project's specific needs and your team's dynamics. While RACI is a fantastic starting point, don't be afraid to explore these alternatives to find the perfect fit for your next endeavor. And if all else fails, just make up your own acronym. Who's stopping you?

Unlock the power of RACI

I can't help but think back to my escape room fiasco. If only we'd designated someone responsible for deciphering the codes, and another accountable for keeping us on track. A couple could've been consulted for their puzzle-solving prowess, and the rest, well, they could've been informed—preferably from a distance. 

Related reading:

Kanban vs. Scrum Agile methodology: Which is better?

The best project management software

4 ways project management automation makes your job easier

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Allisa Boulette

Based in New England, Allisa is a content marketer and small business owner who hopes to make the internet a more interesting place than she found it. When she’s not working, you can find her lying very still not doing anything.

  • Project management
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How to Streamline Roles and Promote Team Collaboration with an Effective RACI Chart

Project team works together in an office.

Last Updated November 7, 2019

Imagine for a moment a homeowner’s association is tasked with a project of throwing a summer barbeque bash for the neighborhood. Everyone shows up at the same time, mills around trying to find a task and chaos ensues as homeowners arrive before food has been cooked. Now imagine that same team of people tasked with the same project, but in this team, each individual is assigned a specific task, from grilling to game planning. Now, this team can immediately get to work, and it’s much more likely the neighborhood bash will be an enjoyable event.

In any project, whether the task at hand is throwing a summer party or helping an organization with a technology transformation, when roles and responsibilities for everyone involved are clear, the project is more likely to be executed smoothly. In addition, project managers are often beholden to multiple stakeholders, and keeping those key players informed and involved throughout the lifecycle of the project is critical to project success.

What is a RACI Chart?

One method for streamlining accountability on a project is the use of a responsibility assignment matrix, specifically, a RACI chart. The RACI chart describes how the matrix assigns each task or deliverable, assigns an owner, and denotes who else is involved, ultimately classifying involved parties into four categories: responsible, accountable, consulted and informed. This approach is widespread among project managers, according to “ A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ( PMBOK® Guide), Seventh Edition,” as it can eliminate confusion on who is in charge of, or accountable for, a specific project task.

The first step to developing an effective RACI chart is understanding what the various categories represent:

Responsible: This is the active party, the person who executes the task or completes the deliverable. This includes doing the work as well as making decisions. In some cases, a task or deliverable may have more than one responsible party; for best results, this role should be limited to as few people as possible for each task.

Accountable: This individual is responsible for ensuring the task is completed correctly and meets all specifications. While this person is not in charge of doing the work, they do delegate it and are responsible for approving the job that is completed. Like the previous category, the number of people assigned to this role should be limited for each task to ensure clarity in ownership.

Consulted: This group, typically comprising of subject matter experts, help provide supporting information for the person(s) responsible for working on the task. Communication with this group is two-way and is required before the task can be completed.

Informed: This group of people must be kept updated on the progress of the task or deliverable, as these individuals may be impacted by the outcomes. They typically are not involved in the feedback or review cycle but should be contacted after a decision or action is made.  

How RACI Charts Influence Project Outcomes

Planning is a critical component of project management and project success, and establishing roles and responsibilities is a key component of the planning stage. Implementing a RACI chart offers several advantages for project participants, including:

  • Streamlined communication – All parties know precisely who to ask questions to, who to consult and who to inform.
  • A controlled set of stakeholders – By pre-defining these responsibilities, project managers are less likely to be left juggling an unnecessary amount of opinions. Distinguishing consulters from informers can also help avoid a bulk amount of stakeholder feedback .
  • Manages fatigue and overwhelm – Although project managers may hold many responsibilities, a RACI chart helps outline other owners, knowledgeable parties and accountable players to help lift some of the burden and ensure everyone stays informed.
  • Establishes expectations up front – Creating a RACI chart can also help manage conflict later in the project lifecycle, as everyone should visually understand their roles and responsibilities on a project from the beginning.

Using a RACI Chart

RACI charts don’t have to be complex; they can be as simple as listing the work to be done, the resources assigned and the responsibility they hold. Follow these steps to create your own RACI chart:

Step 1: List the names of the people involved in the project – You’ll need to determine if roles or specific names are appropriate. For example, if a single person holds multiple roles, you could specify by role, whereas if multiple people hold similar titles, you might need to specify by name.

Step 2: Break down specific tasks or deliverables – Although this should be a breakdown of the project, it’s important to balance this to ensure the chart doesn’t become cumbersome or impossible to manage.

Step 3: Assign a role to teach task or deliverable, using RACI – Each task must have someone assigned to be responsible and someone assigned to be accountable.

Step 4: Seek buy in from the team – Gather your team, ensure everyone agrees with their assigned roles and responsibilities and allow for questions.

Step 5: Communicate with project stakeholders – Once you have team buy in, meet with stakeholders and get their buy in to establish expectations up front and avoid conflict down the road. The process of collecting buy in from the team and stakeholders is critical to achieving an effective project.

Step 6: Refer to the RACI – This step may seem obvious, but it doesn’t do any good to plan for the project and then not follow the chart as intended. Ensure everyone continues to adhere to the roles outlined in the RACI chart – remember, they approved them in the planning stage.

RACI Chart Example

Let’s go back to that neighborhood (NBHD) barbecue party and create a RACI chart for the homeowner association (HOA).

Keep in mind that RACI charts are useful in many cases but may not be needed in every case.  For example, rapid projects with small teams likely don’t need introduced complexity. Some Agile projects (depending on scope and timeline) may also have an implied role matrix as some roles are pre-defined, such as the Scrum team .

In implementing a RACI chart, a project manager should immediately set expectations for everyone involved. This includes ensuring team members understand when and what they must do, experts knowing when their opinion will be solicited, and stakeholders understanding where they will be informed, and where they will be consulted for input. Following the method can help establish a foundation for a streamlined project and pave the way to stronger relationships that can make a meaningful difference in the success of the project.

PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Interested in expanding your project management expertise? Learn more about Villanova’s Applied Project Management Certificate program and course offerings.

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responsibility assignment matrix models

Program Management

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation of various organizations, people, and their roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project. The Program Manager (PM) uses it to clarify roles and responsibilities in a cross-functional team , projects, and processes. A RAM has four primary assignments: Responsible , Accountable , Consulted , and Informed (also called a RACI matrix).

Definition: A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the role and responsibilities of various people and/or organizations in completing specific tasks for a project.

Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) Matrix

A RAM is called a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix. The PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines RACI as a RAM that illustrates the connections between work packages or activities and project team members. In fundamental terms, RAM refers to the framework in place to distribute duties to individuals where, in a RACI, each team member is assigned a role based on one of the four roles. On larger projects, RAMs can be developed at various levels.

  • Responsible (R): Those who do the work to achieve the task. There is typically one role with a participation type of responsibility, although others can be delegated to assist in the work required.
  • Accountable (A): 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 (C): Those whose opinions are sought and with whom there is two-way communication.
  • Informed (I): 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.

Benefit of Utilizing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

The RAM holds substantial advantages for project managers by clarifying the importance of their processes within the team. It fosters a sense of collective contribution among all employees, eliminating the sense of isolation. This project management technique, the RAM, empowers every team member to grasp the broader context of their work. Instead of simply instructing an administrative assistant to collect phone numbers without context, you can refer them to this valuable resource. By using the RAM, employees become more engaged in achieving positive results as they comprehend the alignment of their contributions with the company’s overall operations.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Goal in Project Management

A RAM is used in project management as a communication tool to ensure that work tasks are designated as a responsible agent. 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 only one person is accountable for any task to avoid confusion.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Tutorial

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Standard Format

A RAM is displayed as a chart that illustrates the interaction between work packages that need to be done and project team members. Typically, the list of objectives is on the left-hand column with the project team member names across the top. Each work package will be assigned to the appropriate project team member. The chart aids in communication among the project team members.

No one should typically have more than one degree of responsibility for any given deliverable or activity group in the RAM chart. To simplify things, we’ve assigned each participant in this scenario a certain amount of commitment. However, there is frequently white space when you create a genuine model for more than four people. In some situations, it’s okay to have someone with secondary responsibility but not primary.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Template

Template: responsibility assignment matrix (ram) (excel), 6 steps to developing a responsibility assignment matrix (ram).

Below is a list of the 6 (six) most common steps in developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM).

  • Step 1: List all project tasks and deliverables
  • Step 2: Identify all project stakeholders
  • Step 3: Determine the responsibility and accountability level for each task and deliverable
  • Step 4: Assign stakeholders to each task
  • Step 5: Assign overall stakeholder
  • Step 6: Ensure all stakeholder know their responsibility

Developing Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Matrix Best Practices

Below is a list of best practice topics that can help Program Managers effectively build and use a Responsibility Assignment Matrix.

  • One stakeholder is in charge per task.
  • The least amount of people accountable, the better.
  • Be Efficient with Meetings.
  • Constant Communication.
  • Stakeholders agree on final RAM

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Lessons Learned

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a tool used in project management to identify and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the different people or groups working on a project. The goal of making a RAM is to make sure that all tasks are done and that responsibilities don’t overlap or get missed. Here are some things you can learn to make sure your RAM is built right:

  • Define the project’s goals and scope in detail:  Before making a RAM, it’s important to have a clear idea of the project’s goals and scope. This will help make sure that all necessary tasks are included and that the responsibilities are in line with the overall project goals.
  • Find out who all the stakeholders are and what their roles are:  A RAM should have a list of all the people or groups involved in the project, such as internal team members, external partners, and customers. There should be roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder.
  • Give each stakeholder specific tasks and responsibilities:  Instead of giving each stakeholder a general role, it is important to give them specific tasks and responsibilities. This will help make sure that no one’s responsibilities get mixed up or left out.
  • Make sure that all stakeholders know about and understand the RAM:  It is important to make sure that all stakeholders know about and understand the RAM. This can be done by having regular meetings and giving updates, as well as by putting the RAM in writing.
  • Review and update the RAM often: As the project moves forward, it may be necessary to review and update the RAM. This can help make sure that the RAM stays correct and helps the project reach its goals.

Difference Between a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RMA) and a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) Matrix

The PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines RACI as a RAM that is used to illustrate the connections between work packages in a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and project team members. The difference between a RAM matrix and RACI matrix is:

  • A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the participation of various organizations, people, and their roles in completing tasks or deliverables in a Work Break Down Structure (WBS) for a project.
  • A Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix is used on projects where multiple groups of people as assigned a task. It helps on larger projects with a lot of people and organizations. It also helps with outside stakeholders and their responsibilities on a project.
  • A RACI can have multiple RAM within it.

AcqLinks and References:

  • Template: Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Template (Word)
  • Template: Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Template (Excel)

Updated: 1/11/2024

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Project Management

9 raci chart examples for project management.

September 7, 2023

Not having project roles and responsibilities set in place leads to a myriad of project management-related issues—schedule delays, scaling costs, and lower performance, just to name a few. 

That’s when the RACI matrix, also known as the RACI diagram or responsibility assignment matrix, comes into the picture. 🖼️

The RACI model helps with mapping all of the stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, bringing structure and clarity, and engaging everyone from the team in the successful project delivery so that miscalculations are out of the question. 

Here’s why many people from the corporate world across various industries, from healthcare to construction, swear by RACI charts . 🙏

What is a RACI Matrix Chart?

Advantages of the raci chart model, when to use the raci chart model, how to create a raci chart model, clickup examples, miro examples.

  • Coda Examples

Who Benefits From Using a RACI Chart?

Raci is the way to go.

RACI matrix is a simple approach to defining project roles and responsibilities that help produce desired outcomes.

This term is an acronym that stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. RACI essentially describes the different roles assigned to team members involved in the project and details who does what.

Responsible : As you can already suggest, this person is responsible for taking action and ensuring that tasks on the project are being worked on.

Typically, this is a team member or a project manager that reports to an A. You can have more Rs in a RACI, and some of them can also be involved in the decision-making process .

However, it is highly advisable not to blow things up out of proportion and over-assign the number of Responsibles in your responsibility assignment matrix. 

Accountable : That’s someone who ensures all the responsibilities are assigned properly, approves or rejects work or decisions (basically, this person is a decision maker), and ensures that everything is successfully and timely delivered. According to the RACI matrix, there should be only one A.  

Consulted : This is the person the team consults about various topics and actions, an expert. This person, or multiple persons, provides feedback and evaluates so tasks can be performed.

Informed : Someone who should be updated on progress once everything is done and dusted but isn’t directly involved in the process. This person doesn’t contribute to making decisions or delivering tasks nor is consulted on any matter.

We know project management teams love abbreviations : PMP, KPI, SOW, and SME. The list goes on and on, but the RACI matrix chart makes it a breeze to scheme out key decisions, tasks, milestones , and roles.

When it comes to large project management teams, where team members are distributed across multiple departments and reliant on other teams, it is kind of natural to suffer from role confusion.  

In a situation like this, it’s up to a project manager or the leading project team to step up and make sure that every member of every team is well aware of what’s expected from them. Things can get even more challenging if the work is remotely managed and done. However, that’s when the RACI matrix comes to the rescue! 🚀

The RACI chart model provides a myriad of benefits in this regard :

  • It eliminates role confusion and confusion about who makes decisions (it could be that the Accountable or Responsible party is the decision-maker, so it should be made clear from the beginning)
  • It encourages teamwork and communication between everyone involved in the project, which leads to setting expectations straight
  • It prevents over and under-allocation of resources of a team member and ensures a smooth reallocation of resources when needed
  • It can guarantee that even in case of resource reallocation, no task is overlooked
  • By using it, you’ll streamline communications, eliminate conflict resolution, instill trust and ensure a high level of engagement
  • Ultimately, it improves project efficiency and saves time  

It’s worth mentioning that the RACI chart can ensure that every relationship is managed appropriately, whether it be with customers, sponsors, VIP clients, internal users, suppliers, investors, executives, analysts, or government regulators. 

That’s why this model ticks all of the boxes for both B2B and B2C businesses. ✅

RACI matrix can be used for all-things-project-management, from clarifying team member roles and tasks to eliminating any sort of confusion and stalled processes. 

The great thing is that it is unbelievably flexible, and you can use it no matter which industry you are in. 🤩 

Here are some of the examples of when the RACI chart model can be helpful :

  • Role confusion typically gets in the way of progress and bogs down the approval process or when decisions are made seemingly arbitrarily, again, because of the lack of transparency around the roles
  • When authority, responsibilities, roles, and tasks are not clearly defined
  • When there is no clarity on who should be performing tasks, which either results in multiple people working on the same task or none of them working on the project tasks they should be working on

As an example, any project manager or product owner is somehow (wrongfully) seen as responsible for every little detail and the success of a project team in general. 

The RACI chart takes the burden of these roles. It allows developers and designers to be responsible for their scope of work . 

However, note that RACI is not the one-size-fits-all solution. 

It works wonders with larger, complex projects that involve multiple stakeholders. On the other hand, it simply doesn’t cut the mustard for smaller project management teams and fast-moving projects since it can only slow down the decision-making process and the project as a whole. 

Before you actually start creating a RACI chart, take these factors into account :

  • Ideally, one person should have only one type of responsibility
  • The Accountable person should have the authority and be able to provide guidance and help with completing tasks
  • Assign a single Accountable party per deliverable
  • Every task should be associated with Responsible and Accountable roles while it is not mandatory to ask for outside input if the task is not overly complex
  • Stakeholders should be informed even about minor changes and updates on the project 

Now, here’s how to create a RACI chart:

1. define deliverables.

Define and list the main project tasks that need to be completed and list them all on the left side of the RACI chart, one under another. 

Do not include all of the project deliverables in the chart, or else you’ll go too granular and make it too complex to use and understand.

2. Identify project roles

Identify members of the project team and their roles (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed ) and add them to the top of the chart, one next to another. 

For instance, you can go for something like this: project executive, project manager, business analyst, technical architect , and application developer. 

Alternatively, you can specify roles by name. This is particularly useful since it clarifies who does what and if multiple stakeholders are assigned similar roles.

3. Connect the dots

Now is the time to connect tasks and roles. ♻️

Assigning Responsible and Accountable per task is a must, while you should also think carefully about who needs to be Consulted and who is Informed about the deliverables.  

4. Resolve any conflicts if they occur

Ideally, one team member should be assigned to only a few responsibilities (two to three maxi).

If there are many empty cells, try reallocating resources (change Responsible to Consulted). 

Also, if there are too many Accountable roles, this could slow down the decision-making process, so aim to have just one Accountable person per task. 

Too many Cs can also cause delays for project managers since some under the consultant role can often be switched to Informed. Having no C and I roles usually points to a lack of communication within the team.

RACI Matrix Examples and Use Cases

For our first batch examples, we’ll be using our beloved tool, ClickUp . You can customize every part of the platform, making it easier than ever to create your ideal RACI matrix. When you need inspiration or guidance, take advantage of the ready-to-use and editable RACI Planning Template in ClickUp to help get you started.

Let’s see how much flexibility we can have when creating RACI charts in ClickUp.

Simple RACI Chart in Doc View

RACI Matrix Example in ClickUp Docs

Here’s a perfect example of what we’ve explained above. ClickUp’s Doc view can be used for making a RACI chart without overcomplicating things. 

Stakeholders to the left, roles to the top and right. Jack, Sabrina, and Selena are Responsible for program management , Caroll is Accountable, Samatha is Consulted, and Ahmed is Informed. 

It’s a great thing that there’s only one responsible person who holds the role of Accountable when it comes to program management. That’s the thing with campaign marketing , design, product marketing , data analysis, brand marketing, and customer success, too! 

It’s also easy to spot that no resources are over-allocated. Jack is the Responsible person for program management, brand marketing, and customer success while he is Accountable for campaign marketing, Informed for product marketing , and Consulted for Data Analysis. 

Color-Coded RACI Matrix in List View

Color-coded RACI Matrix in ClickUp's List view

ClickUp’s List view lets us go more into detail with the RACI chart. It also allows you to bring a pop of color to the whole concept to make sometimes dull project management more refreshing. 🌈

You can actually choose between various role colors. We used blue for Responsible, green for Accountable, and so on. It’s totally up to you to customize the table and roles to your liking. 

Here, we also have slightly different positioning of roles and tasks. Project tasks are listed on the left, one under another, while names and responsibilities are located on the top and to the right (if you prefer this kind of visualization, that’s totally cool). 

You can also see priority flags that can give everyone direction and point out tasks that need to be taken care of ASAP and the ones that can wait a little bit. 🚩

RACI Model in Table View

RACI Model In ClickUp's Table view

The Table view allows getting more nitty-gritty with your RACI chart. Aside from seeing roles, tasks, and priorities, you can also track the status of each task from the chart. Statuses are fully customizable; this is just an example of how you can name and color each. 

RACI Chart Example Grouped by Status

RACI Chart Example Grouped By Status in ClickUp's Table View

Within the Table view, ClickUp also lets you filter and group tasks by name, role, status, priority, etc. This allows you to get more into the nitty-gritty details of your RACI chart and see which tasks are in progress, which ones are yet to be worked on, and which ones are completed. 

Finally, as already known, ClickUp views , and the Whiteboard is among our favorites! 😍

RACI Roles in Whiteboard View

RACI Roles in ClickUp's Whiteboard View

The ClickUp Whiteboard makes it easy to visualize tasks, roles, and roles separately, all with a touch of color. It ensures that everyone works as a team. This leaves practically no room for conflicts or low morale. 

Next up is the infamous mind mapping tool, Miro . Let’s see what kind of RACI magic we can come up with.

RACI Stakeholder Map

RACI Stakeholder Map Example in Miro

Miro is another excellent tool you can use for assigning roles, responsibilities, and tasks. In this particular example, Miro shows you can easily create a RACI stakeholders matrix for service design teams. 

Can you tell that there’s something different here? 🤔 

Exactly! Instead of sticking with the regular RACI chart, Miro decided to take a new approach and have everything from roles and responsibilities to tasks neatly organized using the Map view. 🗺️

You can see the stakeholders and tasks on the left, their roles (decision maker, heavy influencers, manage closely) visualized below, and all of them together within a circular-shaped map. 

You can see that roles are layered in circles, going from the ones with, let’s say, less responsibility (e.g., Informed) to Responsible.

I don’t know about you, but we love digital sticky notes! The names of everyone on the team are written on these sticky notes, while their roles are indicated by using emojis. 

Bonus: Stakeholder Mapping Templates

RACI Marketing Team Model

RACI Marketing Team Model in Miro

This RACI chart is specifically built for the needs of marketing teams. Project management, campaign, product, and brand marketing, as well as customer success, a.k.a deliverables, are positioned on the left.  

Responsibilities and roles are clearly defined per task, while team members are grouped and arranged accordingly, so everyone knows what they are doing, and what everyone else is doing.  

There’s a single Accountable person for each task, while the number of Responsible persons is relatively balanced. 

Coda Example s

Last but not least in the tools lineup, we have the new kid in the project management block, Coda . Let’s see how it stacks up against our previous RACI templates. 

Bonus: Perceptual map templates !

RACI Matrix Example by Task Breakdown 

RACI Matrix Example by Task Breakdown in Coda

Coda gives a practical example of what it looks like to create and use a RACI chart, even if you are not necessarily working on an overly complex project.  

All of the tasks are clearly defined, as well as all of the roles (CEO, CTO, VP of product, product manager, UI designer, content writer, and financial analyst) and responsibilities that are displayed in vivid colors. This allows for better visibility and differentiation, and we can also integrate it with third-party software to schedule consultancies or even track the progress of each project.  

RACI Chart Example by Task Status

RACI Chart Example by Task Status in Coda

Coda also lets you track the status of each task (not started, in progress, done) on the RACI chart, color-code each status, and add notes to clarify who is working on which task and how many resources are available.

Instead of starting from scratch, you can choose among several other absolutely rocking RACI chart templates that will save you valuable time and set your team up to speed from the very first second! 

Bonus: Matrix Templates & Matrix Organizational Structure Examples

Project Managers: A RACI chart is a useful tool for project managers who need to track the various tasks and roles associated with a project. By tracking these roles, it helps to ensure that everyone involved in the project is held accountable for their individual tasks.

  • Project Management RACI Chart
  • Project Deliverables RACI Chart
  • Construction Project RACI Chart
  • Agile Projects RACI Chart

Business Leaders: A RACI chart is also useful for business leaders who need to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This chart can also be used to identify gaps in roles and responsibilities and help develop an effective plan for allocating resources accordingly.

  • Executives RACI Chart
  • Change Management RACI Chart
  • Stakeholders RACI Chart

RACI is not a project plan but rather a document used for defining roles and responsibilities—it provides more than a clear outline, so your job is to ensure that work and responsibilities are fairly allocated. It also describes the project tasks that need to be completed in advance to eliminate confusion and bottlenecks.

Now that you know more about the RACI Matrix, it’s your turn to try it for yourself! Load one of the templates like the ClickUp RACI template , for example, customize it to your liking, and start delegate tasks and responsibilities more effectively. Good luck! 😊 Guest writer :

Alladdine Djaidani

Alladdine Djaidani is a digital marketer and the founder of HustlerEthos.com .

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How to use RACI charts for improved project ownership and team collaboration

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Everyone’s been there — a new major project lands on your manager’s desk and the team comes together to figure out how to accomplish it. But where do you start? Who’s responsible for what? And how do you get to the finish line together?

What is a RACI chart?

A RACI chart delineates roles among team members across a given project: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

A RACI chart is also known as a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) or project assignment matrix (PAM). RACI is a simple table that goes a long way in identifying who should be doing what in a project or campaign. 

Using project management frameworks like the RACI model, you can build a workflow where everyone has input and ownership from start to finish.

RAPID vs DACI vs RACI

You may be saying, “haven’t I heard of this before?” That’s likely — it’s popular among scrum masters and agile managers . But there are also a few similar models that get confused with RACI, particularly RAPID and DACI, which are about decision-making and group consensus.

So, what’s the difference? While RAPID and DACI are designed as the step your group takes before initiating action, RACI is the plan that sets up who will make that action.

Why are RACI charts important for project management?

A RACI chart gives everyone involved a clear view of each individual’s role. In project management , that can make a world of difference in your success. Establishing clear roles can lead to higher employee engagement and easier agile decision-making . This can contribute to up to 53% more efficiency than before you had defined roles. 

A team that was previously misaligned and unclear on their roles and responsibilities can find significant progress in their next project by providing role clarity and direction through a RACI matrix.

2. Centralize communication

Your team is struggling to communicate with disorganized email threads, direct instant message pings, and comments that get lost in the shuffle. 

That’s bad news (and a big time-waster) for your projects. A number of studies show that communication is one of the most common and frequent causes of project failure . When team members have too many places to check for information, wires are crossed, deadlines are missed, tasks are forgotten, and confusion builds. 

Project management software keeps all of your communication — from timelines and status updates to feedback and questions — in one single place that’s easily accessible to everyone. This breaks down silos so that everybody can not only share knowledge, but effectively manage how and where they share it. 

Understanding the RACI Model

When should you use a RACI Matrix? Don’t feel pressured to establish RACI on everyday tasks, like checking emails or answering customer calls. But when a project has invested stakeholders and the potential for long-term impact, like improving an app user interface or launching a new product, the RACI chart can keep you in line from the get-go.

Let’s dive into the four roles of the RACI matrix: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

Responsible: Performing the tasks

The “R” in your model takes the role of Performer. The responsible individual is delegated a responsibility, like “design home page wireframe,” from the accountable person, and must complete that responsibility within agreed-upon parameters and an agreed-upon deadline. You may have multiple responsible individuals for one task; make sure you balance this appropriately and make it clear exactly who should be doing what at each stage of the process.

Accountable: Overseeing the project

The “A” is the accountable individual whose job it is to ensure the task is completed by all the responsible members. Unlike responsibilities, accountabilities shouldn’t be relegated; keep this assignment to only one accountable individual who acts as the decision-maker and shepherd throughout the project, ensuring the task is completed to an acceptable standard.

Consulted: Providing information

The “C,” or consulted individual, is the knowledge-holder on the team. They’re available for help, extra context, and advice on the task. Let’s say you’re responsible for designing a wireframe. You may want to consult your website administrator to make sure you have full access to the content management system and won’t break anything with your new CSS ideas. 

The consulted individual will provide you with all the information and access you need before you proceed with the task. You might have one or up to three consulted individuals depending on a task and its complexity; identify who these people are early on so you can loop them into the project and its workflow.

Informed: Gets status updates

Your “I” is the informed approver or stakeholder who wants or needs information about your project’s project. The “I” can be many people, like a leadership team, or the department head who is delivering the project upward. This promotes internal transparency and also ensures two things: 1) recognition that the project is being completed on time and within expectations and 2) guarantees that the project gets approval and aligns with stakeholders’ intent.

Creating a RACI Chart

Now that we know what a RACI chart is and what it’s designed for, let’s build one together. Let’s say our project is building a web page for a new service line. Who handles what tasks along the line to project completion?

Step 1: Identify tasks and workload

What needs to be done along the way to our project goal? Let’s identify some core tasks in a project, such as launching a new website:

  • Designing a homepage wireframe
  • Creating graphic design and animations
  • Identifying SEO keywords
  • Setting up the domain and server
  • Writing homepage copy

Within those main tasks, you may have smaller subtasks to perform, like approving wireframes or setting up billing info for the domain host . Work with your team to identify those subtasks so no surprises come up along the way that may interfere with your workflow and delay the deliverables.

Step 2: Identify roles

Your graphic designer isn’t going to be doing SEO keyword research, and your copywriter won’t be setting up your domain host. Sit down with your team and have a collaborative conversation to identify those roles . For example, your graphic design task and subtasks may look like the following:

Building graphic design and animations — Ariel 

  • Create website hero image — Natalie
  • Review and approve website hero image — Tessa
  • Animate hero image and convert to .mp4 file — Anji
  • Place finalized hero image in wireframe — Ariel

Across all of these subtasks, Natalie and Anji are responsible for individual tasks that contribute to the goal of building design and animations. Tessa is consulted to review and approve the initial image and ensure it follows brand guidelines. Ariel is accountable for the other three’s work and ensuring the final product gets delivered to the wireframe.

Step 3: Build your chart

Now that you have a better understanding of who will be doing what, place those tasks and roles into a chart so you can communicate it with the team at large and track progress as you go. 

Now that you have a better understanding of who will be doing what, place those tasks and roles into a chart so you can communicate it with the team at large and track progress as you go. Here’s an example of a RACI chart (and how to use it):

Step 4: Analyze your chart and identify gaps

Have a working session with your team to identify any gaps or overlaps within the chart, both to prevent duplicative work and also to catch any roadblocks before they happen. Follow some general guidelines for what your RACI model should look like, from identifying gaps and overlaps to analyzing the balance between assignees.

You’ll see there will be some overlaps and dependencies across the chart — for example, Jenna, the SEO manager, needs to identify the SEO keywords for the homepage before Edwin can begin copywriting. So for Edwin’s task, Jenna is consulted , but for Jenna’s task, she is responsible .

You’ll also notice there is only one Accountable individual per task. Think of this person as a task-level “project lead” who drives the boat — you don’t want more than one captain steering at the same time. 

You should also find ways to limit the number of both Responsible and Consulted individuals. When you have too many Rs , it may not be clear who exactly should do what—and that’s how you end up with tasks that end up by the wayside because no one takes responsibility .

Too many Cs means too many cooks offering conflicting opinions and information; make sure your responsible individuals are getting one clear directive to guide them along the way. 

And having not enough Is is indicative that there isn’t enough upward communication or transparency happening within your organization. Be sure your leadership and stakeholders have full buy-in and understanding of the project so it gets approved and implemented without incident.

Using a RACI Chart in Confluence

Now that you understand the foundational best practices of using a RACI chart, it’s time to build one using Confluence . Implement your RACI matrix into your Confluence docs to improve project communication and accountability.

Here’s how to add a RACI matrix in Confluence:

  • Click "Insert" on the top toolbar and select "Table" from the dropdown menu.
  • In the table dialog box, select the number of rows and columns you need for your RACI chart. For example, if you want to create a RACI chart for a project with four tasks, you can create a table with five rows and five columns.
  • The first row should contain the headers for the RACI chart. You can use the following headers: Task , Responsible , Accountable , Consulted , Informed
  • Pro tip: use colors or symbols to make the chart easier to read. For example, you can use green for responsible, yellow for consulted, blue for informed, and red for accountable.

You can then use this table on any relevant project Confluence page, from Project Charters to Kick-Off Agendas to even adding the page as a Trello card or within a Jira issue . This will help ensure team members understand their roles and responsibilities, no matter which Atlassian tool they’re using. Encouraging communication and accountability will help improve team performance — all adding up to successful outcomes.

Advanced RACI Techniques in Confluence

Your RACI model may change and expand as your project progresses, so it’s important to keep your chart up to date. Here are some detailed best practices:

Review and Update Regularly

Review and update your RACI charts on a regular basis to ensure that they accurately reflect the current state of the project. Make sure roles are up-to-date, tasks are marked as completed, and dependencies are outlined. Use Confluence to set up a schedule to review and update the chart, and assign a responsible team member to oversee the process.

Include Team Members in the Process

Tag all team members who are involved in the project when you update the chart. That way, everyone is aware of any changes and can confirm they understand their roles and responsibilities. Use comments in Confluence or direct messages to asynchronously communicate updates and changes to team members.

Document Changes

Whenever changes are made to the RACI chart, they should be documented in Confluence. This can include the date of the change, who made the change, and the reason for the change. This documentation can help to ensure that everyone is aware of any changes and that they understand the reasoning behind them.

Keep it Simple

The RACI chart should be easy to understand and navigate. In Confluence, you can use visual aids, such as colors or symbols, to help make the chart more accessible. Additionally, the chart should be concise, focusing only on the most important tasks and responsibilities. Subtasks can be mapped out in Trello or Jira for better project tracking.

Review Roles and Responsibilities

When you make any updates, always review the roles and responsibilities of each team member. As you add or adjust tasks, your team can help to identify any gaps or overlaps in responsibilities. Use task management features in Confluence to assign tasks and responsibilities to team members, then delegate further in Trello or Jira. Additionally, team managers can run the Roles and Responsibilities Play with their teams to clarify individual responsibilities and find gaps that need to be filled.

Ensure Consistency

Now, make sure your charts and assignments are consistent. Establish clear guidelines for how the chart should be used and ensure that all team members are aware of these guidelines. Additionally, you can use marketplace add-ons , templates, or macros in Confluence to keep the chart consistent across different projects or teams.

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What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) in Project Management?

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Introduction to Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

Project management is a complex process that involves multiple stakeholders, tasks, and resources. To ensure the success of a project, it is crucial to assign clear roles and responsibilities to team members and accurately define their tasks. 

One tool that can help project managers achieve this goal is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM). In this article, we will explore the definition and benefits of RAM, as well as some examples.

If you’re looking for a RAM template that will help you assign roles and clarify responsibilities, Wrike has a customizable template ready to go.

What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) in project management?

A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management, also known as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, details all the necessary stakeholders and clarifies responsibilities amongst cross-functional teams and their involvement level in a project. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed and each letter corresponds to a team member.

A RAM in project management should be referred to by all parties throughout a project because it helps plan an individual’s roles and responsibilities before work begins. A RACI matrix ensures all stakeholders know who is responsible for completing a task or getting feedback on deliverables.

The four roles are broken down as follows:

  • Responsible: The person(s) completing the task
  • Accountable: The team member coordinating the actions, making decisions, and delegating to those responsible for the task
  • Consulted: The person(s) who will be communicated with regarding decisions and tasks
  • Informed: The person(s) who will be updated during the project and upon completion

Read more about RACI here . 

Identify and visualize roles seamlessly with Wrike

Responsibility assignment matrix example.

A common RAM   template looks like the example below. Notice how all stakeholders can have more than one role:

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Responsibility Assignment Matrix template

Below you can see a powerful RAM template . The chart helps with visualizing roles and workload clearly. Therefore, project managers and team members follow the progress easily and stay on track.

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Clarify roles with Wrike

In conclusion, RAM is a useful tool for any project manager who wants to ensure their team is clear on their responsibilities. It helps to establish a structured approach to project management, allowing for better communication, accountability, and ultimately, project success.

Using Wrike’s pre-built template, you can define the roles of each team member so everybody is on the same page. The template will also help you balance your workload and create complete transparency on your team structure.

What is a RACI Chart?

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Responsibility Assignment Matrix: Template, Example & Benefits

Home Blog Project Management Responsibility Assignment Matrix: Template, Example & Benefits

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Your team is the most crucial resource in completing a job. They must adhere to the project's schedule and budget. Controlling the project requires everyone involved to understand their roles and duties when carrying out tasks and accomplishing project objectives. How can all the participants in a project be coordinated so that they are aware of what they are doing and do not prevent others from carrying out their tasks? An assignment of responsibility matrix can be useful.

Your project will have a productive crew thanks to an assignment matrix. You can take an online PMP course to learn the details included in RAM, Responsibility Assignment Matrix in project management, and Responsibility Assignment Matrix example, to advance your career.

What is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management?

So, what is the responsibility assignment matrix?  A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), sometimes referred to as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, in project management identifies all relevant stakeholders and specifies roles for cross-functional teams and their level of involvement in a project. Each letter in the acronym RACI, which stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed, refers to a different team member in the Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management.

1. Responsible

The team member that oversees finishing the assignment is the person responsible for the RAM, Responsibility Assignment Matrix. The person in charge may be tasked with gathering all the visual and data assets required to put together the presentation if your team is working on a pitch deck (Responsible for executing the task).

2. Accountable

The responsible team member distributes the tasks to the other team members and ensures that they are finished accurately and on time. This team member oversees making sure the project is completed on schedule and that the tasks are fairly distributed among the accountable parties (Has governing & directing authority).

3. Consulted

A responsible party in Responsibility Assignment Matrix Project Management may frequently need to consult an expert, who serves as the consulted person, to finish certain responsibilities. A professional analysis of the consulted party is required when someone is tasked with gathering marketing statistics for a presentation. They also need to ensure that the data the responsible party is required to submit is accurate (Provide insights, analysis or expert judgment).

4. Informed

The informed party needs to be aware of when the major project components are finished even though they may not be directly involved in all the steps to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The informed team member must be aware of any delays or stalls in the project as they must complete their tasks (Updated with project information and outcome).

Responsibility Assignment Matrix in Project Management

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Goal in Project Management

The goal of the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is to clearly define roles and responsibilities of everyone on a project team. This ensures that everyone understands their role and how it fits into the bigger picture. RAM also allows for quick identification of whom to contact when an issue arises. It might also be applied within a working group to establish authority levels, roles, and duties for tasks.

The matrix format displays each person's associated actions and each person's associated people. To avoid confusion, this makes sure that there is only one person responsible for each task. It is also important to outline the dates and reminders for each participant, so that they are aware of their deliverables/plans to fulfill the deliverables. The best Project Management Certification programs online will teach you how to make efficient decisions and effectively use RAM.

How to Create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix?

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a table that shows the tasks needed to be completed as part of a project, who is responsible for each task, and when the task needs to be completed. Making a matrix to distribute responsibilities is not as challenging as getting everyone on board with their respective jobs and responsibilities.

You should therefore involve your staff in the process, receive their feedback, and eventually secure their buy-in without expending excessive time and effort on it. You will have a successful responsibility assignment if you follow these instructions to ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

  • List every person involved in the project, including the team, stakeholders, and everyone in between.
  •  List each project deliverable that you can think of. To make sure you do not overlook any, use a work breakdown framework.  
  •  To discuss how to carry out the tasks and produce the deliverables, meet with the team members. The duty and authority of the team for each assignment must be discussed.
  •  Utilizing a table with the project tasks specified in the left-hand column, create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix. Print the names of everyone involved in the project across the top.
  • Assign whether a project team member is liable, accountable, consulted, or informed where the tasks meet them.  
  •  Share the completed Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template Word with the project team and stakeholders. If necessary, conduct a meeting to ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities for the project. Print a copy, and if you are working in a common location, post it.

Developing Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) Best Practices

The best practices for developing a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) will vary depending on the specific project and organization. However, some tips on how to develop a RAM matrix effectively include the following:

  • Define the project scope and objectives clearly, so that all stakeholders understand the parameters of the project and what is expected to be accomplished.
  • Assign clear roles and responsibilities to individuals and teams so that everyone knows who is responsible for what aspect of the project.
  • Make sure that the Responsibility Assignment Matrix PMP is kept up to date as the project progresses so that everyone is aware of any changes in roles and responsibilities.
  • Use the RAM matrix as a tool to help identify potential risks and issues related to the project so that they can be addressed early on.
  • One stakeholder leads a task.
  • The lesser number of people are accountable, the better.
  • Act efficiently with meetings.
  • Continuous communication.
  • Stakeholder agreement on final RAM.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix Examples and Templates

  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI) 
  • RACI-VS (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed- “V”erification and “S”ign off)
  • RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Support, Consulted, Informed)
  • RAC (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted)
  • ARCI (Accountable, Responsible, Consulted, Informed)
  • RATSI (Responsibility, Authority, Task, Support, Informed)
  • PACSI (Perform, Accountable, Control, Suggest, Informed)
  • RACIQ (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed, Quality Review)
  • DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed)
  • CAIRO (Consulted, Accountable, Informed, Responsible, Omitted)

sample responsible assignment matrix - RACI

Downloadable Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template Excel

Download the Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template (xlsx) here!

This Responsibility Assignment Matrix template is available for free in both Excel and OpenDocument Spreadsheet formats. The template can be completely modified using Microsoft Excel and adjusted to meet the needs of your project. To make it simple to understand what is required of each worker on each task, the template employs conditional formatting to change the color of each cell.

Download a Printable Responsibility Assignment Matrix PDF

Download the Responsibility Assignment Matrix Template (PDF) here!

If you intend to design a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), you may require samples and templates to use as a guide, regardless of whether you are managing an event, a construction project, or a restaurant. Some of the templates are-

  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix Sample
  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix for Construction Project Template
  • Basic Responsibility Assignment Matrix Sample
  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix in PDF

Benefits of Responsibility Assignment Matrix

There are many benefits of the Responsibility Assignment Matrix. One benefit is that it helps to ensure that everyone on a project team understands their roles and responsibilities. This can help to prevent misunderstandings and conflict between team members. Another benefit of using RAM is that it can help to improve communication between team members.

By clearly defining roles and responsibilities, team members will know whom to go to for specific information or tasks. This can help to avoid confusion and delays. Lastly, RAM can help to improve project management by providing a clear overview of who is responsible for what. This can help project managers to identify potential problems or areas where there may be a lack of resources.

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A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a tool used to identify and define the roles and responsibilities of individuals and groups within an organization. It is a means of clarifying who is responsible for what and ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. RAM can be used to create accountability and ownership for tasks and projects, and to identify potential areas of conflict.

It is a valuable tool for effective project management and can help to ensure that everyone involved in a project is aware of their roles and responsibilities. It can also help to identify potential areas of conflict and ensure that tasks are properly assigned. The KnowledgeHut online PMP course will give you an insight into the Responsibility Assignment Matrix and can be a helpful tool for any project manager.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what is included in a responsibility assignment matrix.

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is a tool used to help define and assign roles and responsibilities for a project or process. The matrix typically includes a list of tasks or deliverables and the people or groups responsible for each. 

2. What can a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) eliminate?

RAM eliminates ambiguity and confusion over who is responsible for what on a project. It also provides a clear overview of who is responsible for each task, making it easier to hold team members accountable.

3. What does a Responsibility Assignment Matrix not show?

The duty assignment matrix links resources to the tasks or work packages they must do, but it does not indicate when they will be required to do their work.

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Kevin D.Davis

Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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A template-based approach for responsibility management in executable business processes

Cristina cabanillas.

a Institute for Information Business , Vienna University of Economics and Business , Vienna, Austria

Manuel Resinas

b Depto. Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos , University of Seville , Seville, Spain

Antonio Ruiz-Cortés

Process-oriented organisations need to manage the different types of responsibilities their employees may have w.r.t. the activities involved in their business processes. Despite several approaches provide support for responsibility modelling, in current Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) the only responsibility considered at runtime is the one related to performing the work required for activity completion. Others like accountability or consultation must be implemented by manually adding activities in the executable process model, which is time-consuming and error-prone. In this paper, we address this limitation by enabling current BPMS to execute processes in which people with different responsibilities interact to complete the activities. We introduce a metamodel based on Responsibility Assignment Matrices (RAM) to model the responsibility assignment for each activity, and a flexible template-based mechanism that automatically transforms such information into BPMN elements, which can be interpreted and executed by a BPMS. Thus, our approach does not enforce any specific behaviour for the different responsibilities but new templates can be modelled to specify the interaction that best suits the activity requirements. Furthermore, libraries of templates can be created and reused in different processes. We provide a reference implementation and build a library of templates for a well-known set of responsibilities.

1. Introduction

Organisations need to manage the different types of responsibilities that their employees may have with respect to all the activities that are daily carried out within them. Process-oriented organisations need to do it, in addition, in accordance to the business processes in place. In this context, responsibilites are defined at different levels. As evidenced by several studies, there are four acknowledged process positions (business process director, business process consultant, business process architect and business process analyst) and a specific set of responsibilities associated to each of them (Antonucci and Goeke 2011 ). However, organisations need to control not only the execution of processes as a whole but also the execution of every single activity carried out within them, which relates to a key role in process execution: the process participants. Activities often require the collaboration among several people with different responsibilities, e.g., people responsible for performing the work, people acting as consultants who provide valuable input for the completion of the activity, and people accountable for the results. Therefore, there are also responsibilities at activity level involving, among others, accountability and consultation.

Business Process Management Systems (BPMSs) stand out of Process-Aware Information Systems (PAISs) as a mechanism for process automation. Specifically, the purpose of a BPMS is to coordinate an automated business process so that the work is done at the right time by the right resource (Dumas et al. 2013 ). They rely on the description of business processes as process models represented with different notations, such as (EPC) (Mendling, Neumann, and Nüttgens 2005 ) or the de-facto standard Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) (OMG 2011 ). However, although BPMSs use business process models for automation, there is still a gap between these executable process models and business-oriented process models used for communication and analysis. Because of their intent, the latter are not as precise and complete as an executable process model must be (Dumas et al. 2013 ). As a consequence, different methodologies (Dumas et al. 2013 ) and techniques (Graml, Bracht, and Spies 2008 ; Caron and Vanthienen 2016 ) for transforming business-oriented process models into executable ones have been developed. Still, this transformation is known to be slow and error prone (Alotaibi and Liu 2017 ).

In this paper, we focus on this issue in the context of responsibility management. Nowadays, BPMSs are increasingly providing support for modelling activities that involve several people with different responsibilities using advanced resource assignment languages (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ) or supplementary models like RACI matrices (Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés 2011b ). However, this support tends to be limited to documentation and reporting purposes. Just a few BPMSs consider several responsibilities associated to an activity during process execution and the existing support suffers from generalisability and flexibility issues. Concepts like accountability or consultation, common in the domain of responsibility management, have to be implemented during the transformation from business-oriented process models to executable process models by manually adding activities for them. Furthermore, this has to be done for each activity that involves several responsibilities in all automated business processes in the organisation, which is time-consuming and error-prone as these transformation tasks usually are (Alotaibi and Liu 2017 ). Moreover, if the responsibilities defined for an activity change, the activities added manually to the process model may also change, which adds additional work that may be significant given the continuous organisational changes (Aldin and de Cesare 2011 ).

Two facts have contributed to the lack of advanced support for responsibility management. First, most process model notations used in current BPMSs for process execution support only one type of responsibility by default, despite some of them like BPMN allow including additional responsibilities in an ad-hoc fashion (OMG 2011 ). This lack of standardisation for managing various types of responsibilities discourages BPMS developers to support different responsibilities in their systems. Second, the way people with different responsibilities interact within an activity is domain-specific. At least, it depends on the organisation and the activity. For instance, some activities may require partial approvals of the work being performed for their completion, whereas for others, such an approval may only be required at the end of the execution or not required at all. Therefore, supporting different responsibilities is not only a matter of assigning new tasks to a worklist, but it is also necessary to find a mechanism that coordinates them in a flexible way.

In this paper, we automate this transition from busines-oriented to executable business processes in the context of responsibility management by enabling current BPMSs to execute processes in which people with different responsibilities interact to perform process activities. The approach involves two artifacts. On the one hand, we address the modelling of different responsibilities by extending a (RAM) (Website 2016 ) with information required for process execution. On the other hand, we introduce a template-based technique for transforming such information into BPMN elements that can be interpreted by a BPMS so that existing BPMN execution support suffices to automate process models that involve activities with several people with different responsibilities. This idea was previously described in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2012 ) but the work has been extended in several directions, in particular: (i) our current approach does no longer enforce any specific behaviour for the people with different responsibilities that work together in an activity, but new templates can be modelled to specify the interaction that best suits the requirements of each activity. In fact, the whole template-based mechanism is new; (ii) our current approach is not limited to a restricted set of responsibilities anymore, hence gaining generalisability; and (iii) we have refined the previous metamodel and its semantics has been properly defined.

Our approach has two additional advantages. First, it is independent of the platform and hence, the models obtained can be used by any BPMS that supports BPMN . Second, the original structure of the process model remains unchanged after including the templates defined for modelling responsibilities, since the modifications are done at subprocess level. This provides transparency and does not affect the readability of the original model.

The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 describes a scenario that will be used throughout the paper as a running example. Section 3 summarises the related work. Section 4 motivates the work in line with the research method used. Section 5 presents our approach for modelling responsibility aspects in process activities. Section 6 introduces our template-based approach for generating resource-aware BPMN models. Section 7 describes the ways in which we have validated the approach. Section 8 reflects on advantages and limitations of the approach. Finally, Section 9 outlines the conclusions and directions for future work.

2. Running example

The following example is used to illustrate the importance of supporting the collaboration of several people with different responsibilities in a process activity.

Table 1 depicts an excerpt of an organisational model for a project called HRMS. Specifically, it shows the organisational roles assigned to the resources that contribute to the project. 1 Figure 1 shows a simplified version of the procedure to manage the trip to a conference according to the rules of the University of Seville (Spain). In particular, it represents a collaboration between two processes modelled with BPMN 2.0 2 (OMG 2011 ): one process is developed at pool Research Vice-chancellorship and the other at pool ISA Research Group , to which the organisational model previously described belongs. That process starts when a researcher requests for authorisation to attend the conference, for which an authorisation form is filled out with the details of the applicant and the funding source, and sent for external assessment to the Vice-chancellorship. After evaluation, a notification from the Vice-chancellorship is received informing about the approval or rejection of the request, which will be checked by the researcher . In the absence of problems, the researcher must register at the conference and make the reservations required.

Excerpt of the organisational model for project HRMS (WP = Work Package).

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Business process to manage the trip to attend a conference.

The previous description of the process is only half of the picture because it assumes that only one person is involved in each activity, in this case a certain researcher. However, for most activities several people are actually involved in them with different responsibilities. For instance, the coordinator of the project that will finance the trip expenses is accountable for activity Prepare Authorisation and the clerk of the project helps the researcher in this task by providing the information required about the funding source; in addition, the account administrator and the leader of the project’s work package related to the subject of the paper to be presented in the conference (or the subject of the conference, in case of no accepted publications) must be informed about the trip request. Following up on this, the project coordinator and the account administrator are informed about the result of the request when executing activity Check Response. In activity Register at Conference, the project coordinator can be consulted about details on the registration process, such as the type of registration, and both the project coordinator and the account administrator must be informed after the registration has been done. Finally, in activity Make Reservations, the clerk of the project can help the researcher, if required, and the account administrator and the project coordinator can also be consulted about details on this activity.

The challenge is to model all those details and come up with a responsibility-aware process model that can be executed taking the responsibilities into account.

3. Related work

Responsibility management in business processes is a part of resource management in business processes, which involves the assignment of resources to process activities at design time as potential participants and the allocation of resources to activities at run time as actual participants.

Resource assignment languages (van der Aalst and ter Hofstede 2005 ; Cabanillas et al. 2015b ; Bertino, Ferrari, and Atluri 1999 ; Strembeck and Mendling 2011 ; Casati et al. 1996 ; Scheer 2000 ; Du et al. 1999 ; Tan, Crampton, and Gunter 2004 ; Cabanillas et al. 2015a ; Wolter and Schaad 2007 ; Awad et al. 2009 ; Stroppi, Chiotti, and Villarreal 2011 ) serve the former purpose by enabling the definition of the conditions that the members of an organisation must meet in order to be allowed to participate in the activities of the processes executed in it, e.g., to belong to a specific department or to have certain skills. The outcome is a resource-aware process model . The set of conditions that can be defined depicts the expressiveness of the language and is usually evaluated with a subset of the well-known workflow resource patterns (Russell et al. 2005 ), namely, the creation patterns, which include, among others: Direct, Organisational, Role-Based , and Capability-Based Distribution , or the ability to specify the identity, position, role or capabilities of the resource that will take part in a task, respectively; (SoD) , or the ability to specify that two tasks must be allocated to different resources in a given process instance; and Retain Familiar (also known as Binding of Duties (BoD)) , or the ability to allocate an activity instance within a given process instance to the same resource that performed a preceding activity instance. A comparison of resource assignment languages can be found in Cabanillas et al. ( 2015b ).

Resource allocation techniques aim at distributing actual work to appropriate resources so that process instances are completed properly, e.g, in terms of high quality and low time and cost (Havur et al. 2015 ). All process engines must be provided with some resource allocation mechanism(s) in order to automate process execution.

Traditional resource management in business processes considers that a process activity requires the workforce of one single resource who is in charge of the activity from the beginning to the end of its execution. However, common scenarios like the one described in Section 2 show the importance of other types of responsibilities, which tend to be disregarded by existing resource management approaches. In the following, we review the current state of the art on responsibility management in business processes, which is the problem addressed in this paper, and then report on approaches for process modelling based on templates, which relates to our solution.

3.1. Responsibility management in business processes

In this section, we first introduce a generic responsibility management mechanism that is independent of process modelling notations or BPMS . Afterwards, we explore the related work for responsibility management in business processes in three groups: (i) the support provided by existing process modelling notations, (ii) the support provided by current modelling software tools and BPMS, and (iii) research proposals developed to bridge existing gaps.

3.1.1. Responsibility assignment matrices (RAMs)

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) provides a way to plan, organise and coordinate work that consists of assigning different degrees of responsibility to the members of an organisation for each activity undertaken in it (Website 2016 ). RAMs were defined independently of Business Process Management (BPM) and thus, they are suitable for both process- and non process-oriented organisations. In the context of RAMs, the different responsibilities that may be assigned to an activity are usually called roles or task duties (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ).

RAMs are becoming a recommendation for the representation of the distribution of work in organisations. As a matter of fact, a specific type of RAMs called RACI (ARIS 2012 ) is a component of Six Sigma, 3 a methodology to improve the service or product that a company offers to its customers. There are also ongoing efforts to map RACI to the LEAN and CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC) frameworks (Nuzen and Dayton 2011 ). The former defines a set of principles for continuous process improvement. The latter provides guidance for applying Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) best practices in a service provider organisation. Similarly, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework defines the ITIL RACI matrices 4 as the way to illustrate the participation of the ITIL roles in the ITIL processes. ITIL is the worldwide de-facto standard for service management. Specifically, it uses a modality of RAMs called RASCI (Website 2014 ), which relies on the following five responsibilities:

  • Responsible (R) : person who must perform the work, responsible for the activity until the work is finished and approved by the person accountable for the activity. There is typically only one person responsible for an activity.
  • Accountable – also Approver or Final Approving Authority – (A) : person who must approve the work performed by the person responsible for an activity, and who becomes responsible for it after approval. There is generally one person accountable for each activity.
  • Support (S) : person who may assist in completing an activity by actively contributing in its execution, i.e., the person in charge can delegate work to her. In general, there may be several people assigned to this responsibility for an activity instance.
  • Consulted – sometimes Counsel – (C) : person whose opinion is sought while performing the work, and with whom there is two-way communication. She helps to complete the activity in a passive way. In general, there may be several people assigned to this responsibility for an activity instance.
  • Informed (I) : person who is kept up-to-date about the progress of an activity and/or the results of the work, and with whom there is just one-way communication. In general, there may be more than one person informed about an activity.

Table 2 illustrates an example of a RAM for the scenario described in Section 2 , specifically a RASCI matrix. The rows represent the process activities, the columns of the matrix are organisational roles, 5 and each cell contains zero or more RASCI initials indicating the responsibility of that role on that activity.

RASCI matrix for the process at pool ISA Research Group.

Note that RAMs are intended to be a responsibility modelling mechanism and are not provided with support for automated analysis that could help to use them together with business processes during process execution. Their expressive power is high in terms of the number of responsibilities that can be assigned but low regarding the number of workflow resource patterns supported, as constraints like sod and bod cannot be defined.

3.1.2. Process modelling notations

The default support for responsibility management in current process modelling notations is limited. BPMN 2.0 (OMG 2011 ), the de-facto standard for process modelling, provides a mechanism to assign responsibilities to an activity. However, the only responsibility type that is defined by default is Responsible (so-called Potential Owner in BPMN). Other types of responsibilities can be added by extending the BPMN metamodel. In addition, nothing is said about the implications of adding new responsibilities during process execution.

The EPC notation (Dumas, van der Aalst, and ter Hofstede 2005 ) is more expressive than BPMN for resource modelling in the sense that it provides a specific representation of organisational units and allows defining organisational relations. However, to the best of our knowledge there is no support for responsibilities other than the resource in charge of executing the activity.

The so-called activity partitions of Unified Modeling Language (UML) Activity Diagrams (Russell et al. 2006 ) are classifiers similar to the BPMN swimlanes, although enriched with dimensions for hierarchical modelling. Therefore, they allow grouping process activities according to any criterion, which includes organisational information. Besides that, this modelling approach is very little expressive in terms of the support provided for the creation patterns (Russell et al. 2005 ). There is no notion of responsibility modelling either.

Finally, BPEL4People (OASIS 2009 ) is an extension of the BPEL notation (OASIS 2007 ) based on the WS-HumanTask specification (OASIS 2010 ), which enables the integration of human beings in service-oriented applications. It provides support for the execution of business processes with three types of responsibilities, namely: Responsible, Accountable and Informed. However, although it provides a rather flexible mechanism for defining the notifications that the people with responsibility Informed receive, the participation of people with responsibility Accountable is limited to intervening when a deadline is missed. Other forms of interaction, such as checking that an activity was correctly performed, are not allowed.

3.1.3. Modelling software tools and BPMS

Modelling software tools, such as Visual Paradigm, 6 facilitate the automatic generation of a RACI matrix from a resource-aware BPMN model. Specifically, the responsibility type Responsible can be automatically extracted and the RACI matrix can then be manually filled out to include information about the other types of responsibilities. However, the output is just used for documentation purposes, since BPMN does not support the definition of responsibilities Accountable, Consulted and Informed.

Signavio Process Editor 7 also allows for defining RACI responsibilities in process models by making use of BPMN elements. While those models can be used for generating reports subsequently, process engines will not take into account the responsibilities Accountable, Consulted and Informed for automatic process execution.

The support for responsibility management is a novel functionality in BPMSs . Bizagi 8 and ARIS (Scheer 2000 ) allow for the definition of RASCI responsibilities in BPMN models by making use of extended attributes in process activities. Nevertheless, similar to the tools focused on modelling, only the responsibility Responsible is considered for execution and the rest are used for process documentation and reporting. RACI matrices can be defined in the Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 9 aside of a process model for broader documentation of the responsibilities involved in the process (Cumberlidge 2007 ). To the best of our knowledge, only (YAWL) (Adams 2016 ) slightly supports responsibility-aware process execution by means of the concept of secondary resources (human and non-human), which may assist in the completion of the work (hence providing support). Any kind of support for responsibility modelling and execution other than Responsible is still missing, however, in other BPMSs, such as Camunda 10 and Bonita BPM. 11

3.1.4. Research proposals

Due to the limitations of the process modelling notations and systems for responsibility management a few research proposals have been developed to support the assignment of different responsibilities to process activities and the automation of such responsibility-aware process models. In particular, Grosskopf ( 2007 ) extended BPMN 1.0 to support accountability.

Resource Assignment Language (RAL) (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ; Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés 2011a ) is an expressive language for defining resource assignments that supports all the creation patterns (Russell et al. 2005 ). RAL is independent of the process modelling notation. Therefore, it can be decoupled from the process model or it can be integrated in it, as shown in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2011 ) with BPMN. Furthermore, RAL is suited to be used for modelling any kind of responsibility as long as that is supported by the process modelling notation with which it is used.

A graphical notation with a similar expressive power than RAL (RALph) was designed to allow for graphically defining resource assignments in process models (Cabanillas et al. 2015a ). Similarly to the case of RAL, RALph is not actually equipped with support for modelling specific responsibilities. Therefore, that support depends on the process modelling notation with which RALph is used. Otherwise, the notation should be extended.

To a greater or lesser extent, these proposals only address responsibility modelling and they do not provide details about the implications on the execution of the responsibility-aware process models generated.

Since process execution is also a concern and the different responsibilities modelled with a process should also be considered at run time, the approach described in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2011b ) presented a pattern-based mechanism for including specific activities in a BPMN model that represent accountability, support, consultancy and notification functions. The result is thus a responsibility-aware executable process model that can be automated by BPMN process engines. However, due to the extra elements added in order to include RASCI responsibilities, the model is likely to become unreadable and deviate from the original one, hence turning out to be less eligible for other purposes, such as documentation, due to the large amount of implementation details. As an illustrative example, applying this technique to the scenario described in Section 2 , the number of process activities would increase from 5 to 15. Moreover, the RASCI patterns defined are fixed and hence, there is no flexibility for adapting the joint use of the responsibilities to the organisational needs. Our preliminary work in this area (Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés 2012 ) also generated executable process models provided with RASCI information avoiding the aforementioned readability problem. However, flexibility remained an issue, as the way of including responsibilities in the process model was fixed.

3.2. Template-based process modelling

Process templates have been defined with different notations and used for different purposes and in different domains. For instance, BPMN templates were defined for generating so-called business process studios by means of model transformations (Mos and Cortés-Cornax 2016 ). Configurable processes rely on process fragments or templates for adapting an abstract process to a specific context. They have been used, e.g., for addressing the problem of variability in service implementation, a.k.a. service differentiation, with BPEL (Tao and Yang 2007 ) as well as the problem of reference model implementation with Configurable epc (C-EPC) (Recker et al. 2005 ). In addition, configurable processes have been applied in industry to solve real problems, as described in Gottschalk, van der Aalst, and Jansen-Vullers ( 2007 ) for SAP processes.

Most of these approaches, however, focus on control-flow aspects of business process and disregard other perspectives. Nevertheless, notations like the one presented in La Rosa et al. ( 2011 ) allow for defining configurable process models considering control flow, data and resources. These three perspectives are also supported by a template-based approach for modelling process performance indicators (del-Río-Ortega et al. 2016 ).

Support for responsibility management in business processes.  √ indicates that the feature is supported,  ≈  indicates that the feature is partly supported, − indicates that the feature is not supported, and n/a indicates that the evaluation criterion is not applicable.

All the previous approaches have shown benefits for the purpose they were conceived. However, none of them has taken into consideration activity responsibilities since they did not specifically focus on the organisational perspective of business processes.

4. Motivation and research method

To conduct this research we have followed design science principles as suggested by Hevner et al. ( 2004 ) and, in particular, we have applied the design science research methodology (DSRM) (Peffers et al. 2007 ) as follows:

  • The responsibilities supported, in most cases in terms of the well-known RASCI responsibilities (Website 2014 ).
  • The way in which responsibilities are modelled, differentiating between ‘in’ (i.e., the resource-related information is represented within the process model) and ‘out’ (i.e., the resource-related information is separated from the process model). This relates to the degree of decoupling.
  • The support for the automated execution of processes including the different responsibilities.

Several conclusions can be drawn from this analysis. First, many proposals from industry (notations, modelling tools and BPMS) recognise the importance of modelling different types of responsibilities for each activity and provide some kind of support for them, although this support is limited to modelling and documentation purposes, i.e., business-oriented process models.

Second, the RASCI concepts seem to be the most extended mechanism to model responsibility management in business processes. Indeed, many software modelling tools and BPMS use them and automatically generate RAMs to model or document responsibilities. The biggest limitation of this way of proceeding is that the expressiveness of RAMs for resource assignment in business processes is restricted to three creation patterns, namely, Direct-based Distribution, Role-based Distribution and Organisational Distribution . Patterns like SoD or BoD are not supported by default by RAMs . This is not a significant problem if RAMs are used solely for documentation purposes because they can be accompanied with a description of these concerns in natural language. However, it is an important limitation if RAMs were used as the model to guide the automated execution of a process in a BPMS.

Finally, the support for automating the resulting responsibility-aware process models is limited. When existing, it either does not cover all the RASCI responsibilities or is not flexible enough to accommodate different interaction patterns between the people that collaborate in an activity with different responsibilities.

The result is that there is a gap between the responsibility types that are modelled in business-oriented process models such as the one described in the running example ( Section 2 ) or the use case ( Section 7.3 ) and the ability of BPMSs to automate their execution. Consequently, to enforce their correct execution, it is necessary to implement them by manually adding activities for them in the executable process model. This is not desirable, especially when the process model has many activities (it is not uncommon to find process models with more than 15 activities (Mendling, Reijers, and van der Aalst 2010 )) and there are several responsibilities for each activity (which is not uncommon either, e.g., in best practice frameworks). For instance, in our running example, despite its small size, at least 8 activities have to be added manually to model all responsibilities, one for each responsibility type assigned to an activity. The problem gets even worse when either the process or the responsibility assignment changes, because the modified process has to be changed by hand again. This involves first checking what has changed, then understanding the impact of this change in the modified process model and finally, changing the modified process model appropriately. This time-consuming and error-prone task is the problem we are facing in this research.

  • G1. Generalisability: in order to adapt to the organisational structure, the responsibility modelling technique should be able to deal with any kind of responsibility instead of sticking to a predefined set of them
  • G2. Flexibility: in order to increase usability, the approach should leave freedom to each organisation to define how the interaction between the people that collaborate in an activity with different responsibilities takes place. Furthermore, the process flow chosen has a direct impact on process performance, as described in Lam, Ip, and Lau ( 2009 ).
  • Design and development phase : This phase involved the design and development of two novel artefacts, namely, (i) the RAM BI metamodel, which extends RAMs with information required for process execution (cf. Section 5 ), and (ii) a template-based technique called RAM2BPMN for transforming such information into BPMN elements that can be interpreted by a BPMN process engine (cf. Section 6 ).
  • Demonstration phase : This phase involved the development of a software prototype that effectively showed that it was possible to transform the information of RAM BI models into BPMN elements automatically using templates. Furthermore, it also showed that the solution is platform independent since it was used to generate process models that were executable in different BPMS (cf. Section 7.1 ).
  • Evaluation phase : The proposal has been evaluated in two different directions. On the one hand, we have used our approach to model interaction patterns between the people that collaborate in an activity with different responsibilities to validate that our solution was flexible enough to accommodate those interactions (cf. Section 7.2 ). On the other hand, we have applied our approach to two real scenarios in order to show its applicability and the advantages gained by its use (cf. Section 7.3 ).

These phases were developed by means of several iterative cycles. In an initial cycle, we partially defined the problem, reviewed existing research literature and current solutions from industry, and developed an initial solution that included a first version of the RAM BI metamodel and a predefined interaction for RASCI responsibilities (Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés 2011b ). Then, subsequent cycles were necessary to refine the RAM BI metamodel, to make the approach independent of RASCI responsibilities and to give flexibility to the approach by means of the template-based technique.

5. RAM BI : resource assignment matrices with binding information

A typical RAM enables an assignment of resources based on the organisational entities placed at the columns of the matrix, which usually are organisational roles. This limits the expressiveness of the resource assignments in two directions. On the one hand, it is not possible to set additional constraints related to the person assigned to the activity, such as requiring specific capabilities or excluding performers of previous activities to enforce an SOD . For instance, in the example of Section 2 the PhD student that is responsible for the activity Send Authorisation is not any PhD student but the one that prepared the authorisation form. On the other hand, it limits the ability to put additional constraints on the organisational entities used as columns. For instance, in the same example, the role project coordinator should not refer to any project coordinator, but the coordinator of the project to which the authorisation that is being requested belongs.

In the remainder of this section, we first introduce the RAM BI metamodel, then we present its semantics and at last, we provide details of a specific instantiation of the metamodel with a specific resource assignment language.

5.1. RAM BI metamodel

RAM BI matrices (i.e., RAMs with binding information) is the extension we propose to overcome these limitations of the expressiveness of RAMs. It complements a RAMs with binding information that provides the specific conditions that the individuals have to fulfil in order to participate with a specific type of responsibility in an activity.

These conditions are expressed using a resource assignment language. From an abstract perspective, a resource assignment language ℒ is composed of a set of expressions that use the different entities that are part of an organisational metamodel, such as people, roles or positions, for selecting elements of an organisational model defined according to the organisational metamodel. In other words, it can be seen as a query language for the organisational model. Accordingly, the semantics of a resource assignment language ℒ can be defined by a function m a p ℒ that maps each expression in ℒ to a set of elements of the organisational model that is being queried.

For instance, a resource assignment language ℒ that queries an organisational model defined according to the organisational metamodel depicted in Figure 2 could have expressions that select people that play a certain role (e.g., selecting all people that have the role researcher ) or that have performed a previous activity in the process (e.g., selecting all people that have performed activity Prepare authorisation in the current instance), amongst others. Furthermore, a resource assignment language also can have expressions to select not only people but other elements of an organisationl model such as organisational units or roles. For instance, we can query the model to obtain all positions that belong to an organisational unit.

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Excerpt of the organisational model described by Russell et al. ( 2004 ).

Using a resource assignment language, a RAM BI model can be formalised as follows.

Let 𝒯𝒟 be the responsibility types that can be used in a RAMs, and let ℒ be a resource assignment language where κ and χ are the set of expressions to select organisational entities and people, respectively. A RAM BI is a tuple M = (𝒜, 𝒪ℛ, ℬℛ,  o c ,  a r ) , where:

  • 𝒜 = { a 1 , ...,  a n } is the set of activities that appear in the rows of the RAM BI , 𝒜 ≠ ∅ .
  • 𝒪ℛ = { o r 1 , ...,  o r n } is the set of organisational roles that appear in the columns of the RAM BI , 𝒪ℛ ≠ ∅ .
  • ℬℛ ⊆ 𝒜 × 𝒪ℛ × 𝒯𝒟 is the set of BoundRole s defined in M . A BoundRole ( a ,  o r ,  t d ) represents a type of responsibility t d assigned to a Role o r of the organisational model for a given Activity a of a process. In other words, BoundRoles represent the letters that appear in the cells of a RAM.
  • o c :ℬℛ →  κ is a partial function that assigns an organisational context to a BoundRole .
  • a r :ℬℛ →  χ is a partial function that assigns additional restrictions to a BoundRole .

In this definition, the binding information is provided by functions o c and a r , namely: (i) o c indicates additional restrictions that apply to the organisational entity used as column, such as the organisational unit to which the role must belong for a specific BoundRole ; and (ii) a r is used to specify restrictions on the people that can have a certain responsibility in an activity, e.g., to have knowledge on a specific subject or to have performed a previous activity in the process.

Table 4 defines a set of auxiliary functions that are used in the following sections to manipulate the RAM BI matrix M .

Auxiliary functions for the RAM BI metamodel.

5.2. Semantics of the RAM BI metamodel

Giving semantics to a RAM BI means to determine which are the people that can have a certain type of responsibility in a given activity according to the information included in a RAM BI model. To do so, we rely on a function m a p ℬℛ that determines the people that fulfill the conditions of a BoundedRole . Intuitively, this function can be defined as follows:

  • If the BoundedRole b has no binding information (i.e., o c ( b ) and a r ( b ) are undefined), then the people that fulfill the condition of b are those people that play the role identified in the BoundedRole (e.g., any researcher).
  • If the BoundedRole b has an organisational context defined (e.g., a reserch project), then the people that fulfill the condition of b are those people that play the role identified in the BoundedRole within the organisational context provided (e.g., any researcher in a specific research project.)
  • If the BoundedRole b has an additional restriction defined (e.g., being responsible for activity Prepare authorisation), then the people that fulfill the condition of b are those people that play the role identified in the BoundedRole and fulfill the additional restrictions (e.g., researchers that are responsible for activity Prepare authorisation.)
  • Finally, if the BoundedRole b has both an organisational context and an additional restriction defined, then the people that fulfill the condition of b are those that play the role identified in the BoundedRole within the organisational context provided and fulfill the additional restrictions.

This can be formalised as follows.

Let O be an organisational model with P people. Let ℒ be a resource expression language that can query model O whose semantics is defined by function m a p ℒ . Let O C be the set of all possible organisational contexts for a role o r  ∈ 𝒪ℛ in model O , and let p ( o r ,  o c ) ⊆  P be the set of people that have role o r in context o c according to O . The semantics of each BoundRole of a RAM BI M = (𝒜, 𝒪ℛ, ℬℛ,  o c ,  a r ) is defined by function m a p ℬℛ :ℬℛ → 𝒫( P ) as follows:

This function gives semantics to the resource assignment specified in each BoundRole (i.e., in each cell of the RAM BI ). However, this does not specify the semantics when there are several BoundRoles with the same responsibility for the same activity (i.e., the same responsibility appears in more than one cell in the same row), which is common for responsibilities like Consulted, Support or Informed. Since no formal semantics for RAMs have been defined, several different interpretations can be done in different contexts:

  • Only one person can do the responsibility. This person must fulfil the conditions of the resource assignment specified in any of the bound roles defined for the same responsibility and the same activity.
  • Only one person can do the responsibility but this person must fulfil the conditions of the resource assignment specified in all the bound roles defined for the same responsibility and the same activity.
  • Several people can do the responsibility; one for each bound role defined for the same responsibility and the same activity. Each of these people must fulfil the conditions of the resource assignment specified for their respective bound role.

These interpretations can be formalised as follows.

Let M = (𝒜, 𝒪ℛ, ℬℛ,  o c ,  a r ) be a RAM BI model, and let 𝒯𝒟 be the type of responsibilities that can be used in M :

  • The semantics of the first interpretation is defined as function o r M a p M :𝒜 × 𝒯𝒟 → 𝒫( P ) as follows: o r M a p M ( a ,  t d ) = ∪ b r ∈ f i l t e r M ( a , t d ) m a p ℬℛ ( b r )
  • The semantics of the second interpretation is defined as function a n d M a p M :𝒜 × 𝒯𝒟 → 𝒫( P ) as follows: a n d M a p M ( a ,  t d ) = ∩ b r ∈ f i l t e r M ( a , t d ) m a p ℬℛ ( b r )
  • The semantics of the third interpretation is defined as function m a p M :𝒜 × 𝒯𝒟 → 𝒫(𝒫( P )) as follows: m a p M ( a ,  t d ) = { m a p ℬℛ ( b r )| b r  ∈  f i l t e r M ( a ,  t d )}

The additional constraints included by binding information may cause undesirable side effects if there is no person in the organisational model that meets all the constraints. This could happen, for instance, if we set as additional constraint for the clerk that is responsible for activity Prepare authorisation in the running example that she has the capability of speaking English and it turns out that there is no clerk with such a capability in the project. The identification of these situations is called consistency checking and it has been studied in detail in the literature (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ). Specifically, a resource assignment, such as the one specified by a RAM BI model, is consistent if it is always possible to find a potential participant for an activity during any execution of the process for any responsibility type that appears in the resource assignment.

Since inconsistencies are caused by the constraints included by binding information specified in a resource assignment language, the ability to check the consistency of a RAM BI model is directly related to the ability to check the consistency of the resource assignment language used in its binding information. This is possible with some resource assignment languages such as RAL (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ). In the next section we introduce RAL and detail how consistency checking can be implemented with it.

5.3. Using RAM BI with RAL

As discussed in the previous sections, a RAM BI model relies on an external resource assignment language to define its binding information. Next, we illustrate how RAM BI can be used with RAL (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ). We have chosen RAL because of its high expressive power, capable of supporting all the creation patterns (Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés 2011 ) and because it has a well-defined semantics that enable the implementation of analysis operations such as consistency checking. However, other resource assignment languages could also be used.

RAL is a modular (DSL) that specifies a set of expressions and constraints to define resource assignment conditions independently of any specific process modelling notation. It is composed of five modules:

  • RAL Core allows defining generic resource assignment expressions based on resource’s characteristics. For instance, it allows assigning an activity to one of two specific resources with the expression (IS Betty) OR (IS Anna) .
  • The occupies relation is supported by PositionConstraint , e.g., HAS POSITION AssistantProfessor.
  • The isMemberOf relation is supported by UnitConstraint , e.g., HAS UNIT InstituteForIB.
  • The participatesIn relation is supported by RoleConstraint , e.g., HAS ROLE Researcher, or HAS ROLE Researcher IN UNIT InstituteForIB.
  • The hasCapability relation is supported by CapabilityConstraint , e.g., HAS CAPABILITY PhDdegree.
  • RAL Data and RAL DataOrg allow selecting individuals, positions, roles or organisational units indicated in a data field of a data object of a process, according to the BPMN (OMG 2011 ) specification of the business process data perspective. 12 For instance, the following expression specifies that the resource allowed to execute an activity is indicated in the data field Applicant of the data object Application : IS PERSON IN DATA FIELD Application.Applicant.
  • RAL AC stands for RAL Access-Control and it extends RAL Core to enable the specification of access-control constraints, such as bod (e.g., IS ANY PERSON responsible for ACTIVITY SubmitPaper) and sod (e.g., NOT(IS ANY PERSON responsible for ACTIVITY FillForm)) .

The use of a specific resource assignment language in a RAM BI model has an impact concerning the type of binding information that can be used in it. Specifically, for RAL it involves the following aspects:

  • RAL has two expressions to select people according to roles, namely: HAS ROLE r and HAS ROLE r IN UNIT u . Therefore, the organisational context that can be given in RAL to an organisational role is always the organisational unit in which the role is played (e.g., the role Coordinator can be played in a department or a project.) Consequently, expression κ refers to an organisational unit and p ( o r ,  c ) can be resolved using RAL expression HAS ROLE or in UNIT c.
  • All previously described RAL resource assignment expressions can be used to add additional constraints to a BoundedRole . This means that all the creation patterns (Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés 2011 ) can be used to select people in RAM BI models. For instance, it is possible to add additional constraints related to the capabilities of the resource usingRAL Org expression HAS CAPABILITY capabilityID or based on the responsibilities it takes in other activities using aRAL AC expression such as IS ANY PERSON responsible for ACTIVITY a .

Figure 3 illustrates in a simplified way the use of the RAM BI metamodel with RAL using as example activity Register at Conference of the scenario described in Section 2 and Table 2 . As depicted in Figure 3(a ), the person with responsibility type Responsible is the researcher who prepared the authorisation request. Hence, there is a bod access-control constraint defined with RAL AC. As for responsibility type Consulted, it is assigned to the coordinator of the project that funds the trip to the conference, indicated in the data object Authorisation form . Therefore, the organisational context is defined with aRAL DataOrg expression.

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RAM-BI models and RAL expressions for activity Prepare Authorisation.

Finally, the well-defined semantics of RAL enables the implementation of several analysis operations such as consistency checking (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ). Therefore, to check the consistency of a RAM BI model that uses RAL as its language for binding information, we just need to translate a RAM BI model into a RAL expressions and then leverage the consistency checking operation that has been implemented for RAL . This translation can be easily done using RAL expressions HAS ROLE or for the case when o c ( b ) and a r ( b ) are undefined, HAS ROLE or IN UNIT u for the case when o c ( b ) is defined and the operator AND to compose expressions for the case when a r ( b ) is defined. The result is function m a p B R R A L : B R → R A L E x p r that can be defined as follows:

Finally, o r M a p M R A L and a n d M a p M R A L , both can be straightforwardly defined by joining the RAL expressions obtained by m a p B R R A L for each bound role defined for the same task duty and the same activity with OR and AND, respectively.

6. RAM2BPMN : using RAM BI with BPMN models

RAM2BPMN is our approach to enable current BPMS to execute BPMN processes in which people with different responsibilities collaborate to complete process activities. An overview of RAM2BPMN is depicted in Figure 4 . The core idea is to take a BPMN model without resource-related information and a RAM BI model as inputs and to automatically generate a new BPMN model in which the only responsibility defined for each activity is Responsible, but which includes new activities to model the semantics conveyed by the other responsibilities included in the RAM BI model. More specifically, RAM2BPMN turns every activity for which some type of responsibility different than Responsible is defined into a subprocess. We refer to the subprocesses created during the transformation as RAM subprocesses . A RAMs subprocess is a regular BPMN subprocess that includes the specific tasks for all the responsibilities that people may have during the execution of the activity of the original process. RAMs subprocesses are created from collaboration templates . A collaboration template specifies how people with different responsibilities interact with each other to carry out an activity of a process. The collaboration template used is chosen at design-time amongst a library of templates depending on the specific requirements of the activity.

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Overview of RAM2BPMN.

We have opted for this approach for several reasons. First, because it ensures that RAM2BPMN can generate models for any BPMS because the generated model only relies on defining the resource responsible for each activity, which is the only responsibility supported in BPMN by default. Second, because the additional complexity that results from including the information about different responsibilities is found only inside the RAMs subprocesses and hence, it does not affect the overall understandability of the initial process. Furthermore, the only difference between the resulting model and the initial one from the visualisation standpoint is that tasks are transformed into collapsed subprocesses.

Figure 5 depicts an example of template 13 that models the interaction of the RASCI responsibilities as it was introduced in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2011b ). This interaction establishes that the approval action (Accountable) takes place after the completion of the work developed for the activity (Responsible), and only then the notification action (Informed) can be performed. There is also a loop to redo the work in case it does not get the approval by the resource with the responsibility Accountable. Actions of responsibility Consulted and responsibility Support are considered to take place in parallel with the task performed by the resource with responsibility Responsible. Finally, the template includes two decision activities performed by the resource with responsibility Responsible to decide whether support or consultation are required. The template also has some placeholders that have to be filled with information that comes from the RAM BI model and the definition of the activity in the BPMN model.

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Example of a template that models the interaction of RASCI responsibilities as it was introduced in in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2011b ).

Another relevant aspect is that not all possible RAM BI models can be used with the template depicted in Figure 5 . In particular, it requires that there is exactly one bound role for responsibility responsible and at most one bound role for responsibility accountable for each activity, whereas there can be any number of bound roles for the other responsibilities. In general, each template may require a specific cardinality for the responsibilities of a RAM BI model.

The procedure that creates a RAM subprocess from a template for a specific activity of the process is the instantiation of a template . This procedure uses the information of the RAM BI and the BPMN models to fill the placeholders of the template with activity-specific information and to compose the RAMs subprocess, when necessary. For instance, Figure 6 depicts the result of the instantiation of the template in Figure 5 .

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Example of the instantiation of static template in Figure 5 for activity Register at Conference of the process defined in Figure 1 .

The advantage of using templates is that each organisation may define their own library of templates to specify how people involved in an activity of a process with different responsibilities interact with each other, thus providing flexibility on the way these interactions are carried out. Furthermore, although one template is usually used for all activities of a process or even several processes, it may be the case that for a specific activity (or process) one might be interested in using a different template. For instance, for a time-sensitive activity, one might be interested in a template in which the person accountable for the activity does not only supervise the outcome of the activity but also the completion time. This can be done, e.g., by designing a template in which the task performed by the person responsible for the activity has a timer that triggers a supervision task performed by the person accountable for the activity when a predefined time has passed. Section 7.2 discusses some examples of different templates that can be used with RASCI responsibilities.

The support for different templates for each activity in the process is modelled by means of function t e m p l that links each activity to the template that must be used:

(Assignment of templates to activities) Let A be the set of activities of a process and 𝒯 be the set of all possible templates, function t e m p l : A  → 𝒯 specifies which template is used for each activity of the process.

RAM2BPMN: Including resource assignment information from RAM BI into a BPMN model

1: IN : BPMN; M  = ( 𝒜; 𝒪 R ; ℬ R ;  o c ;  a r ); templ

2: Pre : 𝒜 ⊆ activities of process BPMN

3: Pre : The resource assignment of M is consistent with BPMN

4: Pre : compatible(M; templ)

5: OUT : BPMN’ model with resource information

6: BPMN ’ ← BPMN

7: for all activity a in the business process BPMN do

8:   if anyTD(a) then

9:    T ← templ(a)

10:    subprocess a ← instantiation of template T using BPMN and M

11:   replace in BPMN’ activity a by subprocess a

12:   end if

13: end fo r

14: return BPMN’

Based on the concept of template and its instantiation, the RAM2BPMN algorithm can be formalised as detailed in Algorithm 6. The input is a resource-unaware BPMN model, i.e., a model without resource assignments, ( b p m n ); a RAM BI model ( M ), and a t e m p l function.

The algorithm has three preconditions, namely: the activities of the RAM BI model must be a subset of the activities in the BPMN model (specifically, those that cannot be automated); the resource assignment of M must be consistent with bpmn (cf. Section 5.2 ), and the templates chosen by the t e m p l function must be compatible with the RAM BI model in terms of cardinality (cf. Section 6.1 ).

The algorithm can be outlined as follows. First, the b p m n model is cloned into b p m n ′ (line 6). Then, the following three steps are executed for each activity of the process (line 6) that has a resource assignment in the RAM BI model ( a n y T D ( a ) ) (line 6). First, the template associated to the activity is selected (line 6). Second, the template is instantiated using the resource assignment information provided by the RAM BI model (line 6). Finally, the activity of b p m n ′ is replaced by a subprocess created using the template instantiated in the previous step (line 6). The last step of the algorithm is to return the new b p m n ′ in which activities have been replaced by RAMs subprocesses (line 6.

Next, we delve into the two parts of the algorithm that require more details, namely: the concept of compatibility between RAM BI model and template (line 6), and the definition and instantiation of templates (line 6). The consistency checking has already been discussed in Section 5.2 .

6.1. Cardinality of templates

As discussed before, not all RAM BI models can be used with a specific template because templates may require a specific cardinality for the responsibilities of the RAM BI model (e.g., they may limit the number of people with responsibility Responsible to exactly one). The cardinality of a template is defined with the template together with the specification of the interaction it models, such as the one in Figure 5 , and can be formalised as follows.

(Cardinality of a template) Let T be a template and let 𝒯𝒟 be the set of responsibilities supported by T . The cardinality of each responsibility is defined by means of function c a r d T :𝒯𝒟 → IN 0  × (IN 0 ∪ { n } ) such that c a r d T ( t d ) = ( x ,  y ) means that the template requires at least x bound roles and at most y bound roles for a responsibility t  ∈ 𝒯𝒟 , such that x  ≤  y . If y =  n , then any number of bound roles greater than or equal to x is allowed.

For convenience, for each c a r d T ( t d ) = ( x ,  y ) we define functions m i n T ( t d ) =  x and m a x T ( t d ) =  y to represent the minimum and maximum number of bound roles for a responsibility t  ∈ 𝒯𝒟 .

Based on the cardinality of a template, the compatibility of a template and a RAM BI model for an activity can be defined. Intuitively, a template is compatible with a RAM BI model for an activity A if all responsibilities specified in the RAM BI model for A fulfil the cardinality restrictions specified in the template. This can be formalised as follows:

(Compatibility of a template) Let M = (𝒜, 𝒪ℛ, ℬℛ,  o c ,  a r ) be a RAM BI model , 𝒯𝒟 M be the set of responsibilities used in M , c a r d be the cardinality function of a template T , and 𝒯𝒟 T be the set of responsibilities used in T . The template T is compatible with the RAM BI model M for an activity a  ∈ 𝒜 iff the number of bound roles specified in M related to activity a for each responsibility is within the constraints specified by the cardinality function c a r d :

Finally, equipped with this definition, it is easy to define the compatibility of an assignment of templates to activities ( t e m p l ) with a RAM BI model as follows.

(Compatibility of an assignment of templates) Let M = (𝒜, 𝒪ℛ, ℬℛ,  o c ,  a r ) be a RAM BI model and t e m p l an assignment of templates to activities. The assignment of templates to activities t e m p l is compatible with M if and only if it assigns a template that is compatible with M for each activity in 𝒜 :

6.2. Definition and instantiation of templates

Figure 5 depicts an example of template for RASCI responsibilities. However, this shows just one possible way in which a template can be defined and instantiated. As a matter of fact, the only requirement imposed by the RAM2BPMN algorithm is that the result of the instantiation should be a subprocess configured using information from the BPMN and the RAM BI models. This means that different approaches can be used to define templates and their choice depends on the characteristics of the template that is being modelled as discussed in Section 6.2.3 .

In the remainder of this section, we detail two different approaches for the definition of collaboration templates and discuss their advantages and drawbacks, although other approaches could also be designed. To illustrate them, we use the aforementioned interaction of RASCI responsibilities introduced in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2011b ).

6.2.1. Static templates

A static template is a process model defined in BPMN (cf. Figure 5 ) that details the interaction between people with different responsibilities within an activity with just two peculiarities:

  • Placeholders are used in the resource assignments and the names of the activities that will be replaced with values obtained from the RAM BI and/or the BPMN models during instantiation.
  • XOR gateways are included in the process for enabling or disabling the activities specific to a responsibility. To this end, placeholders can also be used in the conditions of the gateways.

The instantiation mechanism of these static templates just involves the replacement of all the placeholders that appear in the template. This is done by iterating over all these placeholders and replacing their value by one obtained from the RAM BI or the BPMN model. Table 5 depicts a list of the placeholders that can be used in the static template and their replacement.

Frequent placeholders and their replacement.

Figure 5 depicts an example of a static template and Figure 6 depicts its instantiation. The template models the interaction of RASCI responsibilities introduced in Cabanillas, Resinas, and Ruiz-Cortés ( 2011b ) and includes gateways to bypass parts of the process in case the responsibility is not assigned for the activity. The template also has placeholders for the name of the activities so that they include the name of the activity for which the RAM subprocess is created, and the resource assignments (expressed using BPMN annotations in the diagram). In particular, activities Provide support, Provide information and Approve activity are assigned to the responsibilities Support, Consulted and Accountable, respectively. The other activities, which include the two decision and the two assessment activities, are performed by the responsibility Responsible. In the latter case, the RAL expression

is used. This allows every element within the subprocess to make reference to the performer of the activity (i.e., the new subprocess), since according to BPMN (OMG 2011 ) the allocation related to a subprocess is made before starting the activities that compose it. Note also that the responsibility Informed is different from the others because it refers to the target of the notification action (i.e., the people that are informed), not to the holder of the responsibility like in the rest of cases. Furthermore, given the definition of the responsibility Informed (cf. Section 3.1.1 ), it is reasonable to consider it an external participant of the process because, independently of her responsibilities with respect to other process activities, for the activity in question she is a target and not an executor. For this reason, the activities that correspond to the responsibility Informed are modelled as send tasks (OMG 2011 ).

6.2.2. Fragment-based templates

Static templates provide a simple yet useful mechanism to define templates. However, more complex mechanisms can be devised. One source of inspiration for these mechanisms are configurable business processes (La Rosa et al. 2011 ). A configurable process model captures a family of related process models in a single artifact. Such models are intended to be configured to fit the requirements of specific organisations or projects, leading to individualised process models (van der Aalst et al. 2010 ). Therefore, templates can be seen as a type of configurable business processes and their instantiation can be seen as a configuration of them (Kumar and Yao 2012 ). Consequently, most approaches for defining and setting up configurable business processes can be adapted for defining collaboration templates.

In particular, fragment-based templates are based on the approach proposed in Kumar and Yao ( 2012 ) for designing flexible process variants using templates and rules. The templates are made up of two different elements that can change from template to template, namely: a set of process fragments, at least one for each responsibility; and a composition algorithm that is used for putting together all those fragments and for enabling or disabling the tasks specific to a responsibility.

Fragments must be subprocess graphs with single entry and single exit nodes (also denoted as hammocks in graph literature (Weber, Reichert, and Rinderle-Ma 2008 )) that represent the tasks that are necessary to carry out a given responsibility. Not only the same placeholders as with static templates but also ad-hoc placeholders can be used in the fragments. The value for these placeholders must be provided by the composition algorithm. Figure 7 depicts an example of fragments that belong to a fragment-based template (more examples can be found in Section 7.2 ). Specifically, five process fragments named R-fragment, A-fragment, S-fragment, C-fragment, and I-fragment are defined, one for each RASCI responsibility. Each of them have their corresponding placeholders in the names of the activities and the resource assignments.

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Example of the fragments defined for each of the RASCI responsibilities in a fragment-based template.

Concerning the composition algorithm, the idea is to combine the accompanying process fragments in a meaningful way based on the information provided by the RAM BI model and the BPMN model. To describe how the process fragments are composed together, we suggest the use of change patterns (Weber, Reichert, and Rinderle-Ma 2008 ). Change patterns and in particular, a type of them called adaptation patterns, allow users to structurally modify a process model using change operations defined in terms of the process model (e.g., adding an activity in parallel to another one) instead of change primitives defined in terms of the underlying graph (e.g., adding a single node, two control flow edges, and the connectors between them) (Weber, Reichert, and Rinderle-Ma 2008 ). A consequence of this is that change operations provide a compact way of defining changes on a process because each change operation involves one or more change primitives (e.g., adding an activity in parallel involves up to seven change primitives). Furthermore, these changes tend to be easier to understand because they are defined in a higher-level way. All these reasons make change operations a suitable language to define these compositions. Table 6 shows a summary of the most frequent change operations.

Frequent change operations for the implementation of fragment-based templates.

Together with change operations, placeholders defined in Table 5 can also be used as variables and functions in the composition algorithm. The placeholders of the process fragments are replaced during the execution of the composition algorithm. This is done by means of function replace , which receives the fragment with placeholders and returns the same fragment with all placeholders replaced with their corresponding value. The values for ad-hoc placeholders must be provided as parameters of function replace .

Algorithm 2 shows an example of composition algorithm of a fragment-based template that composes the fragments defined in Figure 7 . This algorithm is executed as part of the instantiation of the fragment-based template it belongs to, which means that it would be invoked within line 10 of Algorithm 1. The algorithm starts by replacing the placeholders in the fragment for the responsibility Responsible (line 8). Then, if responsibility types support or consulted have been defined in the RAM BI model (lines 5 and 8) it inserts in parallel fragments for the responsibilities Support and Consulted (lines 6 and 9, respectively). Next, if responsibility type accountable has been defined in the RAM BI model (line 11), it inserts sequentially the fragment for the responsibility Accountable (line 12) and embeds the whole process in a loop based on the decision made by the person accountable for the activity, i.e., whether the work is approved or not (line 13). Finally, if responsibility type informed has been defined in the RAM BI model (line 15) it inserts a fragment for the responsibility Informed for each organisational role that must be informed. This is done in several steps. It iterates over all organisational roles with responsibility Informed defined in the RAM BI model for the given activity (line 17). For each of them, it obtains its resource assignment and name (lines 18 and 19) and it inserts in parallel fragments for each of them in a temporal variable i n f o r m F r a g m e n t (lines 20–23). Finally, it inserts sequentially all these parallel fragments contained in i n f o r m F r a g m e n t (line 26). Figure 8 depicts the instantiation obtained after executing the composition algorithm for activity Register at conference according to the RAM BI model depicted in Table 2 .

Example of the composition algorithm of a fragment-based template that support RASCI responsibilities

1: IN : 𝒯𝒟 = { R ;  A ;  S ;  C ;  I } are the RASCI responsibilities supported by this template.

2: IN : R – fragment; S – fragment;C – fragment;A – fragment; I – fragment are the fragments defined in Figure 7 .

3: OUT : composed fragment

4: base ← replace(R-fragment)

5: if hasTD(S) then

6:  base ← insertParallel(base, replace(S-fragment))

8: if hasTD(C) then

9:  base ← insertParallel(base, replace(C-fragment))

11: if hasTD(A) then

12:  base ← insertSequential(base, replace(A-fragment))

13:  base ← embedInLoop(base, not approved, approved)

15: if hasTD(I) then

16:  informFragment ← empty fragment

17:   for all br ∈ filter(I) do

18:    ra ← map M (br)

19:   name ← orM(br)

20:    if informFragment = empty fragment then

21:    informFragment ← replace(I-fragment, ra, name)

22:    else

23:    informFragment ← insertParallel(informFragment, replace(I-fragment, ra, name))

24:    end if

25:   end for

26:  base ← insertSequential(base, informFragment)

28: return base

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Instantiation of the template depicted in Figure 2 for activity Register at Conference.

6.2.3. Discussion

The decision on which template mechanism to use depends on the requirements of the specific scenario in which they are being applied. Fragment-based templates enable reusing fragments in different templates. So, one can have a repository of different fragments for the same responsibility and combine them in different ways with different composition algorithms. In addition, fragment-based templates allow a more flexible definition since the composition algorithm provides a more fine-grained control of the results of the instantiation. For instance, in Figure 8 several inform fragments were added, one for each organisational role with the responsibility Informed in the RAM BI model, which is something that cannot be easily done with static templates. Finally, the subprocess obtained from fragment-based templates tends to be easier to understand since it only includes the responsibilities that have been assigned to the activity.

However, static templates are easier to build since they do not need a composition algorithm and hence, it is not necessary to deal with its implementation. Moreover, in fragment-based templates, it is harder to detect deadlocks or livelocks introduced during the instantiation because the composition algorithm may change the control flow depending on which responsibilities are enabled for the activity at hand. This does not happen in static templates, in which the control flow is the same all the time.

Therefore, the conclusion is that fragment-based templates should be used in cases in which we are interested in building templates that have many commonalities or in cases in which we require a more fine-grained control of the instantiation. Otherwise, static templates are more appealing since that approach avoids the complexity of developing the composition algorithm.

7. Validation

We have validated the feasibility of the approach with a reference implementation, its flexibility with a repository of templates for responsibility modelling on the basis of the RASCI responsibilities, and its applicability by using the approach with a real scenarion from the railway automation domain.

7.1. Implementation

We have developed a reference implementation of the RAM2BPMN algorithm as well as an editor for RAM BI models and a repository of templates. Furthermore, we have also implemented templates according to the modelling alternatives for the RASCI responsibilities described in Section 7.2 . An overview of the architecture designed to support the RAM2BPMN procedure is depicted in Figure 9 . A use case for the whole architecture is described as follows:

  • A template designer builds a set of templates using a template editor and stores them in the template repository.
  • A RAM BI model is defined for each BPMN model whose resource assignment we want to extend. To this end, a process designer uses the RAM BI Model Editor to define the RAM BI for the given BPMN model. Furthermore, she also chooses the template that should be applied to each activity from amongst the templates stored in the template repository.
  • The RAM2BPMN engine uses the RAM BI model, the BPMN model and the templates from the template repository to obtain a BPMN with resource information.
  • The BPMN model obtained in the previous step is deployed into a BPMS for its execution.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is TEIS_A_1390166_F0009_B.jpg

Overview of the architecture implement to support the RAM2BPMN procedure.

The templates used by the architecture can be either static templates or fragment-based templates. Furthermore, the architecture has been designed so that new types of templates could be easily added to the system.

All of the components that make up this architecture have been integrated into Collection of Resource-centrIc Supporting Tools And Languages (CRISTAL) (Cabanillas et al. 2012 ), a tool suite that provides support for the specification and automated analysis of the business process resource perspective. Information about the system can be found at

7.1.1. Templates editor

In our current implementation, there is no dedicated template editor. Instead, a BPMN model editor is used to model the static templates or the process fragments for the fragment-based templates and then, they are manually stored in the templates repository.

7.1.2. Templates repository

The templates repository is a Java library that stores the templates that have been designed for the organisation. Each template is composed of a template description file, which details the name of the template and its cardinality (cf. Section 6 ), and a set of companion files that are specific of each type of template. For instance, in a static template there is only one companion file, which is the BPMN model of the template; and in a fragment-based template there is one companion file for each process fragment and another one for describing the composition algorithm. The current implementation of the templates repository relies on a file-based storage for both template descriptions and companion files.

7.1.3. RAM BI model editor

It is a Web application developed in Java that allows the user to define the resource information associated with the activities of a BPMN model by filling in a RASCI matrix (Website 2014 ) and optionally adding binding information with RAL (Cabanillas et al. 2015b ), as shown in Figure 10 . This editor also allows the user to specify the template that should be used for each activity in the process, i.e., function t e m p l . Both the RAM BI model and the function t e m p l are serialised into the JSON file format.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is TEIS_A_1390166_F0010_OC.jpg

Screenshot of the RAM BI Model Editor.

7.1.4. RAM2BPMN engine

The RAM2BPMN Engine implements the RAM2BPMN algorithm (cf. Algorithm 1). Specifically, it receives an XML file with the representation of a (resource-unaware) BPMN model, a JSON file with the RAM BI model and the function t e m p l , as well as a templates repository; and it returns the XML representation of the BPMN model with the RASCI information embedded in it. This functionality can be invoked from the user interface of the RAM BI Editor (cf. Figure 10 ) or from the command line.

The RAM2BPMN Engine supports the two types of templates described in Section 6 . Furthermore, the engine has been designed to allow new types of templates provided that the corresponding instantiation mechanism is integrated into the engine.

The resulting BPMN model generated is standard BPMN . Therefore, it can be manipulated in any process modelling tool and executed in a BPMN -compliant BPMS that has the required support for the resource assignment language used in the RAM BI model .

7.2. Modelling alternatives for RASCI responsibilities

One of the main advantages of our approach is that it does not enforce any specific behaviour for the people with different responsibilities that work together on an activity, but it allows the organisation to model the interaction that best suits its requirements. Furthermore, a library of templates can be created by the organisation so that they can be reused in different processes.

In the following we validate this flexibility by modelling alternatives that can be considered for RASCI responsibilities. We focus on RASCI responsibilities because they are a well-known responsibility set used in many different domains. The modelling alternatives are obtained from our experience in different projects in which RASCI responsibilities have been modelled as well as from patterns identified in both the industry (Effektif 2016 ; OASIS 2010 ) and the related research literature (Brambilla, Fraternali, and Vaca 2011 ; Barchetti et al. 2012 ). Because the requirements of each organisation may lead to different alternatives, this is by no means a complete catalogue, but rather an illustration of the wide variety of possibilities that our approach enables.

To avoid confusion, in this section we use activity to refer to the activity of the original business process for which a RAMs subprocess shall be created and we use task to refer to each of the activities that are part of the RAMs subprocess. The modelling alternatives are introduced using BPMN 2.0 modelling concepts (OMG 2011 ).

7.2.1. Responsible

This responsibility represents the execution of the activity itself and the coordination of other responsibilities involved in the execution of the activity such as Support, Consult or Informed. Therefore, the modelling alternatives for this responsibility come from the role it plays in the interaction with the other ones. Since these alternatives are also related to the other responsibilities, they are described in the section that discusses the respective modelling alternatives.

7.2.2. Accountable

The modelling alternatives of this responsibility are based on whether the accountability refers to the quality of the work performed or it also refers to the fact that the work is finished in a timely manner. The former is the typical interpretation of accountability whereas the latter is useful for time-sensitive activities.

If accountability refers to the quality of the work performed, it usually involves an explicit approval of the work previously performed by the person responsible for the activity. This implies adding a task for that purpose in the template. If the work is not approved, then a loop is in place so that the person responsible for the activity has to do it again. An example of this can be found in the task Approve Activity  <  activityName  >  of the template of Figure 5 . This behaviour has been identified as the Document Approval pattern in Effektif ( 2016 )

If accountability refers to making sure the work is finished in time, it involves the inclusion of a trigger in the process that notifies the person accountable for the activity that it has not been completed in a predefined amount of time. From a modelling perspective, this involves adding a time-based non-interrupting boundary event to the task performed by the person responsible for the activity such that if a certain time has passed and the task has not been completed, the person allocated to the responsibility Accountable is notified. This behaviour has been identified as the Timed Escalation pattern in Effektif ( 2016 ) and it is also the way accountability is dealt used in OASIS ( 2010 ).

Both alternatives are not exclusive and can be used together in the same template.

7.2.3. Support and consulted

The responsibilities Support and Consulted share some modelling alternatives because they have a very similar nature. Both of them involve a person to collaborate with the person responsible for the activity in its execution, being their degree of involvement in it the only difference between them. There is a wide variety of modelling alternatives for these two responsibilities based on several characteristics of the interaction, namely:

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is TEIS_A_1390166_F0011_OC.jpg

Template fragment that shows a modelling example for consult responsibility modelled as mandatory, done after some work, batches, group-based, system decided and not assessed.

  • The moment in which support or consultation takes place . There are two options: it can be done in parallel to the main task, or it can be done after some initial work is done. From a modelling perspective, the former case can be modelled as in Figure 5 in which support and consultation tasks are performed in parallel with task Perform activity . The latter case usually involves three stages: a first stage in which the person responsible for the activity performs a preliminary task; a second stage in which support or consultation is required; and a third stage in which the person responsible for the activity merges the contributions received. This general scheme is followed by several patterns identified in the literature. For instance, in the Collaborative Editing pattern described in Barchetti et al. ( 2012 ), the person responsible for the activity first creates a draft and then this draft receives contributions from all the people with the Support responsibility for the activity. Finally, the person responsible for the activity collects all contributions and finishes the activity. The same pattern but for the Consulted responsibility is described in Effektif 2016 ) as the Multiple Stakeholder Input pattern. This is the pattern depicted in Figure 11 .

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Object name is TEIS_A_1390166_F0012_OC.jpg

Template fragment that shows a modelling example for support responsibility modelled as optional, done in parallel, anytime, group-based, responsible decided and assessed.

  • The number of people that can provide support or be consulted . In this case, the support or consultation can be asked to one person at a time or to a group of people at the same time. Modelling the former is straightforward and an example is depicted in Figure 5 . The latter can be modelled using either several parallel tasks or a multi-instance task. Using several parallel tasks is more appropriate if we want to control exactly how many people can provide support or consultation in parallel. It is also useful to have a higher degree of control concerning who decides who takes the responsibility (see next characteristic). Instead, if we are interested in providing freedom of choice at run time, multi-instance tasks are more convenient because all their parametrisation in terms of the number of parallel instances and conditions for cancellation are defined using run-time process data. Figures 11 and 12 depict this alternative.
  • The decision on who performs the Support or Consulted responsibility . A RASCI matrix defines a set of candidates to provide support or consultation for a given activity. However, it does not mean that all of them have to provide it. Someone has to choose the specific people that shall be allocated to the responsibility. There are typically two options to do so: either the person responsible for the activity explicitly chooses the specific people from amongst all candidates, or the choice is done following the mechanisms provided by the BPMS. The former option requires having a task performed by the person responsible for the activity in which she chooses the people she wants for support or consultation. This choice is stored in a data object that is used to assign these people to the tasks that represent the support or consultation by means of RAL expression IS PERSON IN DATA FIELD x. An example is depicted in Figure 12 . This behaviour has been identified as the Required Role Assignment pattern in Effektif ( 2016 ). The latter option just requires using the RAL expression of the RASCI matrix assignment of the responsibility for the activity in the task that represents the responsibility. This is the way it is done in the template of Figures 5 and 11 .
  • The explicit assessment of support or consultation . If support or consultation is explicitly assessed, then a task performed by the person responsible for the activity should be added after the task that represents the support or consultation. An example of this is depicted in Figures 5 and 12 by means of task Assess support for  <  activityName  >  .

In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, it is also possible to model the support tasks in a more structured manner. For instance, one may create a template in which the support follows a divide-and-conquer approach. In this case, the person responsible for the activity may decompose the work to be done in small work items and assign each of them to people that provide support to the activity. After all the contributions have finished, the person responsible for the activity can merge all the work items into a final result. This pattern is typically used in crowdsourcing scenarios (Kittur et al. 2011 ).

7.2.4. Informed

This responsibility is modelled as a task that notifies the people that have to be informed about the state of the activity. Its modelling alternatives are based on the following characteristics of the interaction and a version of them are also present in the support WS-HumanTask (OASIS 2010 ) provides to responsibility informed:

  • The moment at which people are informed . The most typical behaviour is that people are notified at the end of the activity, i.e., after it has been performed and approved. This is how it is done in the example of Figure 5 . However, other moments for notification can be included in the template, such as when the work related to the activity has been performed and it is waiting for approval. One may also want to notify the state of the activity after a certain amount of time has passed. This can be modelled by attaching a notification task to a time-based non-interrupting boundary event placed in the task representing responsibility Responsible. Note that all these alternatives are not mutually exclusive and hence, they can be used altogether in the template.
  • The person in charge of informing . The Informed responsibility is peculiar in the sense that the people assigned in the RASCI matrix are not the ones who perform the activity, but those who receive the notification. This means that someone has to perform the action of informing. One option is that the notification is sent automatically by the BPMS, e.g., as an email. If, on the contrary, the notification has to be sent by a person, that person might be either the person responsible for the activity or a person that provides support for the activity, since sending notifications can be seen as a supportive task.
  • The way notifications are realised . The how is usually domain-specific and may cover a wide set of options that range from an email to a web service invocation or a telephone call, among others. Furthermore, how people are informed is strongly related to who performs the notification because some notification mechanisms are easier to automate than others. For instance, a notification that involves sending an email or an SMS is easier to automate than making a phone call.

7.3. Use case

We have applied our approch to a real scenario from industry in the railway automation domain, specifically to the process for releasing a new engineering system for a railway customer. The BPMN model of the process is depicted in Figure 13 .

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An engineering process in the railway domain.

The process starts when a new agreement with a client has been signed by the project management team. A new repository is then created for the customer data by a technician and, at the same time, possible additional data are requested from the client by the engineer project manager. The next step is the actual engineering of the system, a subprocess in which the new system is built. It thus involves a large variety of resources and data coming from different data sources. The engineering project manager orchestrates and monitors the engineering tasks. Once the system is built, it must be tested before it is released for its use. That procedure takes place in a laboratory and comprises two steps: the test setup and the test execution. Prior to that, the testing project manager has to check whether the lab spaces needed must be set up for the test. Specific information about the lab settings and the system developed might be required in order to make such a decision. The employees of the organisation involved in the test setup and run steps are specialised in the execution of specific testing phases for specific types of systems, i.e., there may be an engineer who can perform the setup for a system S 1 and the test execution for a system S 2 , another engineer who cannot be involved in the testing of system S 1 but can perform both activities for the system S 2 , and so on. The setup tasks usually require one lab assistant working on one unit for a specific type of hardware in the laboratory; and the run activity usually requires several employees for its execution, in particular, one engineer who is responsible for conducting the tests and one lab assistant who provides support. When the testing of the system is finished, the testing project manager is notified, as they account for this activity. They then check the results of the test. If the results are not satisfactory, the system must be re-engineered. Otherwise, the testing project manager writes a final report that is archived together with the information generated containing the description of the test cases, test data, test results, and the outline of the findings. Information from the engineers involved in the building of the system may be necessary for writing such a report. Once ready, the engineer project manager is informed and proceeds to deploy an already complete and tested version of the engineering system, most likely helped by an engineer. The system integration team will later undertake the installation of the product, which constitutes a different process.

Table 7 shows the RASCI matrix of the process excluding the two subprocesses and Figure 14 illustrates a template that models the interaction of RASCI responsibilities for activity Run test . The template is done by composing template fragments for the responsibilities involved. Note that the alternatives described in Section 7.2 must be considered for this purpose. In particular, regarding support, it is optional for the activity and, in case it is required, it can be requested at any time and will be carried out in parallel with the rest of the execution performed by the person responsible for the activity, i.e., the engineer in charge. Only one lab assistant supports the engineer in running the test. Assessment by the engineer is not necessary as the work will later be checked for approval. In order for that to happen, the testing project manager is informed about the completion of the work and proceeds to check the outcome, hence following the Document Approval pattern.

RASCI matrix for the engineering system release process.

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Object name is TEIS_A_1390166_F0014_OC.jpg

Composition of template fragments for activity Run Test.

8. Discussion

From the analysis of the research literature and the current approach followed in industry to responsibility management in business processes, it becomes apparent that there is an increasing demand and support for modelling activities that involve several people with different responsibilities. However, as far as process automation is concerned, the only responsibility that is managed during process execution in most proposals is the one related to carrying out the work required for the completion of the activity. Moreover, in the few cases that they support other types of responsibilities, this support is very limited in terms of generalisability and flexibility as discussed in Section 4 . This is a problem because the other responsibilities have to be implemented by manually adding activities for them in the executable process model, which is a time-consuming and error-prone task, specially for processes with a large number of activities or frequent changes in the resource assignment.

This paper introduces two novel artefacts, namely the RAM BI metamodel and the RAM2BPMN algorithm that contribute to improve the existing support for responsibility management in executable business processes in order to alleviate the aforementioned problem. Specifically, these two artefacts together enable the execution, in current BPMN engines, of business processes in which several people participate in the same activity with different responsibilities. This is done thanks to RAM2BPMN that automatically extends business process models to include in them the information about the people with different responsibilities that are specified in a RAM BI model. This extension is done leveraging templates that can be defined by the user and specify how the interaction between the people with different responsibilities must be carried out. Although the use of templates to transform BPMN models has been done elsewhere, this approach is the first time in which templates have been used to deal with the organisational perspective of business processes. Specifically, by using them, our approach fulfils the two goals defined in Section 4 , which are not supported by any of the proposals analysed in Section 3 , namely:

  • It is generic in terms of the types of responsibilities that can be used in it because it does not impose a predefined set of responsibilities, but it can use the most convenient set for each situation.
  • It is flexible in the sense that the interaction between the people that collaborate in an activity with different responsibilities is not predefined, but can be adapted to specific scenarios. Furthermore, our proposal enables the creation of libraries of templates that allows reusing different interaction patterns across activities, processes, and even organisations.

Furthermore, the way RAM2BPMN is designed provides the following additional advantages:

  • It is platform independent in the sense that the models obtained can be used by any BPMS that supports BPMN .
  • It is transparent in the sense that, although it transforms the original process model into a new one, the new elements are always embedded into subprocesses, which means that the original structure of the process model is unaltered. This is an advantage for the monitoring of the process and the understandability of audit logs because, although the information provided by the BPMS refers to the extended process instead of the original one, since the process structure is unaltered, it is straightforward to translate the information to the original process.

It is also remarkable that although we use BPMN as the process modelling language, the same ideas can be applied to other process modelling languages by adapting the details of the approaches described in this paper to their features. Similarly, where we use RAL one could use another language for defining resource assignments. In this case, the overall expressiveness would be that of the resource assignment language used.

However, our proposal has two main limitations. First, in the current approach, the template has to deal with the errors that occur during the process, e.g. a person that should be informed is not informed because the email server does not work. Although this is enough for most cases, it limits the ability to reuse error recovery strategies in different templates. One possible solution could be to extend RAM2BPMN so that the designer can specify which recovery strategy must be use in each activity independently of the template chosen. Second, since we are using RAL to define the resource assignments, mechanisms to process RAL expressions are necessary in order to be able to automatically calculate the potential holders of the responsibilities at run time; however, this support can be easily integrated into BPMS, as described in Cabanillas et al. ( 2015b ).

9. Conclusions and future work

In this paper we have presented an approach to extend the existing support for responsibility management in business processes. This approach is based on a metamodel and a technique to enable the execution, in current BPMN engines, of business processes in which several people participate in the same activity with different responsibilities. A prototype of the approach has been implemented, and it has been evaluated by modelling existing interaction patterns between people that collaborate in an activity with different responsibilities and by applying it to two real scenarios.

From this work we conclude that the existing support for responsibility management can be improved in several directions. On the one hand, our proposal of RAM BI models shows how modelling responsibility assignments can be decoupled from process models unlike what is usually done in languages such as BPMN that put together the information concerning control flow and human resources. This enables a separation of concerns between process behaviour and resource assignment, which provides a better visualisation of the information concerning resource assignment. This is especially useful when modelling complex processes or when the designs of the control flow and the resource assignments are done by different persons.

On the other hand, this work shows that it is possible to create a library templates that model different interactions patterns between people that participate in the same activity with different responsibilities. What is interesting is that these templates are reused across different activities and even different processes. This encourages a new research line focused on identifying these interaction patterns and determining in which situation they are useful. Some preliminary work already exists coming from industry (Effektif 2016 ) and academy (Brambilla, Fraternali, and Vaca 2011 ; Barchetti et al. 2012 ).

As next steps, we plan to explore additional use cases together with industry. In particular, we are interested in coming up with a set of interaction patterns that can be found in different cases and to define them using a similar approach to the design patterns in software engineering (Gamma et al. 1993 ). In addition, we also plan to extend our prototype implementation to integrate it into an open source BPMS such as Camunda. 14 Specifically the idea is to integrate the implementation as a plugin so that a model is transformed right after being deployed in the BPMS in a way that is transparent to the user. We think that this would contribute to the dissemination of the tool and its integration by startups or third party companies.

Funding Statement

This work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund [V 569-N31]; Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) [845638]; European Union’s H2020 Programme [645751]; Spanish R&D&I Programme [TIN2015–70560]; Andalusian R&D&I Programme [P12–TIC-1867].

1. Please notice that the values for roles and persons are fictitious.

2. In BPMN a process takes place within a single pool. Diagrams with two or more pools, in which messages between the pools are exchanged, are called collaborations.

3. http://www.sixsigmaonline.org/six-sigma-training-certification-information/articles/the-efficient-use-of-a-six-sigma-raci-matrix.html .

4. http://en.it-processmaps.com/products/itil-raci-matrix.html .

5. For the sake of simplicity, the organisational roles that are not involved have been omitted.

6. http://www.visual-paradigm.com/tutorials/racichart.jsp .

7. http://academic.signavio.com/help/en/responsibility_assignment_acco.htm .

8. http://www.bizagi.com/ .

9. http://www.jboss.org/products/bpmsuite/overview/ .

10. https://camunda.com/ .

11. http://www.bonitasoft.com/ .

12. A Business Process can have a set of Data Objects , which can contain one or more Data Fields , whose value may change throughout process execution.

13. From now on, when we use the term template , we refer to collaboration templates .

14. http://camunda.org .

Disclosure statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

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A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a chart showing the relationship between people and elements of work. It is created by combining two breakdown structures the work breakdown structure with the organisational breakdown structure.

A matrix with WBS on one side and OBS on the other

The matrix illustrates the allocation of activities, work packages or products to people, organisations or third parties. The RAM can be populated with information regarding whether someone is responsible or accountable, or should be consulted or informed. For this reason it is often known as a RACI chart.

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  4. RACI Matrix Template with 3 Formats

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  5. How to Make a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (Template Included)

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COMMENTS

  1. Responsibility assignment matrix

    In business and project management, a responsibility assignment matrix [1] ( RAM ), also known as RACI matrix [2] ( / ˈreɪsi /) or linear responsibility chart [3] ( LRC ), is a model that describes the participation by various roles in completing tasks or deliverables [4] for a project or business process.

  2. RACI Matrix: Responsibility Assignment Matrix Guide for 2024

    A RACI matrix is a document that clarifies which individuals or groups are responsible for a project's successful completion, and the roles that each will play throughout the project. The acronym RACI stands for the different responsibility types: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

  3. What Is A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)? Everything You Need

    The responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a form of project management that encourages everyone to understand every step of the project.

  4. How to Make a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (Template Included)

    A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a project management chart used to identify and define the various people and organizations and outline each of their roles in working on tasks or delivering a part of the project.

  5. RACI Chart: Definitions, Uses And Examples For Project ...

    A RACI chart, also called a RACI matrix, is a type of responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management. In practice, it's a simple spreadsheet or table that lists all stakeholders on ...

  6. Responsibility Assignment Matrix with Excel RACI Template

    A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a tool used in project management to clarify team and stakeholder roles for each project step. It paves the way for smooth collaboration by ensuring everyone knows what they need to do, who they need to talk to, and who has the final say on key decisions and deliverables.

  7. What Is a RACI Chart? Practical Examples & Project Uses

    A RACI chart—also known as a responsibility assignment matrix —is a diagram used in project management to define team roles across 4 categories: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. It helps clarify who does the work, who calls the shots, whose opinion matters, and who needs to stay in the loop for each task, milestone, or decision.

  8. Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI Matrix) Explained

    A RACI matrix is an essential project management tool used to define roles and responsibilities for a project or project task. It's about defining who's responsible for projects or tasks, and what level of input is expected of them. The acronym 'RACI' stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.

  9. RACI Charts

    A RACI chart (sometimes called a Responsibility Assignment Matrix) is a way to identify your project teams' roles and responsibilities for any task, milestone, or project deliverable. By following the RACI acronym, you can clarify responsibility and reduce confusion. RACI stands for: Responsible. This person is directly in charge of the work.

  10. What is the RACI Model?

    Responsible: a manager or team member who is directly responsible for successfully completing a project task. Accountable: the person with final authority over the successful completion of the specific task or deliverable. Consulted: someone with unique insights the team will consult.

  11. RACI model: A map for team structure [+ template]

    The RACI model, sometimes called a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), is a project management tool for assigning roles and responsibilities to the various stakeholders of a project. Think of it as a roadmap for who's doing what.

  12. What is the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI Chart)?

    Step 1: List the names of the people involved in the project - You'll need to determine if roles or specific names are appropriate. For example, if a single person holds multiple roles, you could specify by role, whereas if multiple people hold similar titles, you might need to specify by name.

  13. Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

    Definition: A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) describes the role and responsibilities of various people and/or organizations in completing specific tasks for a project. Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) Matrix A RAM is called a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) matrix.

  14. 9 RACI Matrix Examples for Project Management

    That's when the RACI matrix, also known as the RACI diagram or responsibility assignment matrix, comes into the picture. 🖼️ The RACI model helps with mapping all of the stakeholders' roles and responsibilities, bringing structure and clarity, and engaging everyone from the team in the successful project delivery so that miscalculations ...

  15. Responsibility Assignment (RACI) Matrix: A Comprehensive Guide

    Essentially, RACI matrix is a project management tool. RACI stands for R esponsible, A ccountable, C onsulted, and I nformed - the four roles assigned to team members. The tasks are normally listed in the first column of the matrix and the team members are listed in the top row of the table. Responsibility charting through creating a RACI ...

  16. How to Create and Use a RACI Chart in Confluence

    Click "Insert" on the top toolbar and select "Table" from the dropdown menu. In the table dialog box, select the number of rows and columns you need for your RACI chart. For example, if you want to create a RACI chart for a project with four tasks, you can create a table with five rows and five columns. The first row should contain the headers ...

  17. What Is a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)?

    A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in project management, also known as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, details all the necessary stakeholders and clarifies responsibilities amongst cross-functional teams and their involvement level in a project. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed and each letter corresponds to ...

  18. Responsibility Assignment Matrix

    The acronym RACI stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. These terms describe the levels of involvement and tasks for the various team members. Responsible --This person is ...

  19. Responsibility Assignment Matrix: Template, Example & Benefits

    A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), sometimes referred to as a RACI chart or RACI matrix, in project management identifies all relevant stakeholders and specifies roles for cross-functional teams and their level of involvement in a project.

  20. A template-based approach for responsibility management in executable

    We introduce a metamodel based on Responsibility Assignment Matrices (RAM) to model the responsibility assignment for each activity, and a flexible template-based mechanism that automatically transforms such information into BPMN elements, which can be interpreted and executed by a BPMS.

  21. Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI Model)

    Learn this important concept of the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, with RACI Model and other models used widely in project management and Six Sigma projec...

  22. Responsibility assignment matrix

    A responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is a chart showing the relationship between people and elements of work. It is created by combining two breakdown structures the work breakdown structure with the organisational breakdown structure.. If required, the work breakdown structure could be replaced with a product breakdown structure.

  23. The Significance of Responsibility Assignment Matrix in ...

    A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is similar to the RACI model in that it helps to define and communicate roles and responsibilities within a project team. However, a RAM provides more detail by identifying the specific tasks or activities that need to be completed and the individuals or roles that are responsible for each task.