Task Responsibility Matrix Formats


Quick Summary
Formats and example contents for a team Responsibility Matrix


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What this is

Formats and example contents for a team Responsibility Matrix, used to document and communicate the type of involvement of each team member and/or different functional groups and the ownership of specific tasks.


Why it's useful

Responsibility for project tasks, decisions, and deliverables needs to be clearly understood and communicated. Various team members need to be involved in important ways. Assignment of each task to a specific owner is critical in enabling the best performance within the project team. Co-ownership can create ambiguity, which dilutes accountability.

While your full project schedule eventually will likely have resource names assigned to each task, responsibility assignments are crucial well before the time when you can reasonably have created a full schedule. The Responsibility Matrix provides an easy-to-scan condensed format to record important team member responsibilities from the beginning. It also helps ensure that the responsibility and involvement for "hidden" items (items that might not show up explicitly in your schedule) - such as key review attendance or key decisions - are explicitly documented as well.


How to use it

  • Think about the kinds of tasks, decisions, reviews, deliverables etc. that you want to highlight in the matrix, and what people and/or groups should be included. Think back to past projects for insights into items that should be included. Did you have a requirements review or design review that didn't include everyone it should have, resulting in a later project issue? Then include those reviews in the responsibility matrix to help make sure all the right people are included this time around.
  • Select a matrix format and responsibility letter designations to use.
  • Create your own tailored template. You can use a spreadsheet or word processing table tool to create such a matrix for the entire team, including all or core cross-functional team members
  • Create a draft matrix early in the project as the team is formed; the early phase work is being defined. The initial matrix can concentrate on tasks from the early phases, plus perhaps standard major milestones, activities, or approvals later in the project.
  • Update the matrix throughout to clarify who has responsibility for and inputs to the different areas of project work identified during your investigation and planning work.
  • Publish the matrix to the team and to cross-functional managers whose people's responsibilities show up in the matrix.
  • Refer to the matrix when you plan activities such as design reviews, end-of-phase approvals, customer acceptance, etc. If you've included these items in your matrix, you can use it to ensure important people aren't inadvertently left out of those key activities.

This template requires a Premium Subscription
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