Friday, 15 March 2013

Project Responsibility Matrix - growing in importance

Just in case you need a refresh, a responsibility matrix is a tool used in general project management and is useful in iMedia project management especially when there are multiple projects with many people overlapping the tasks they have to perform. It can become confusing knowing who you are responsible to, who has the authority to vary your time allocation on projects and who is accountable for what. So if any of these aspects strike a chord with you, you might well benefit from drawing up a responsibility matrix for your project (especially if you are the project manager), or, asking your project manager to draw one up to help all of you if you are a team member.

If you need a template to help you, see the one that is in our book (MS Word format), Managing Interactive Media, Page 68, or, do a Google search for responsibility matrix template and choose one that will suit your needs. The project template attached is more for a project level. You might need a RACI Matrix where accountability for management functions at company level is more of a focus. You can search our blog here for more on RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed).

It isn't easy achieving this matrix and you may meet resentment. It might help for you to understand what might lie behind this negativity. Accountability and responsibility for results have been equated with finger pointing (blame) if and when things go wrong. It's no wonder people shy away from accepting them. Kevan Hall describes the blame culture in Hannah Prevett's Sunday Times article (17.3.13). This negativity is easy to understand but not easy to overcome. You'll need all your negotiation powers to arrive at a solution especially if people have seen negative results in your organisation for accepting accountability and responsibility. Kevan suggests balancing a negative culture with a positive one where success is celebrated. Often successful projects are just accepted rather than celebrated. Is that true for you?

The importance of your ability to influence those around and above you is highlighted by Tristan Wember in the Leadership Thoughts blog (mid February 2013). He gives some sound advice and demonstrates what can go wrong in his case study if you use a threat/blame culture.

Well then, is using responsibility matrix growing in importance? It would appear so. Many job descriptions for management positions, especially Project Managers, are mentioning the use of these matrices/processes as a skill that is wanted. This includes iMedia Project management positions. It is good to note that there is more parity between the older team leader concept used in emerging iMedia companies and general project management now. As a confirmation, take a look at aamanyire’s article, in ProjectSmart, Competencies Every Project Manager Should Have (25.2.13). The responsibility matrix is mentioned under processes and people skills. It's nice to have it located in the other skills you need as an iMedia Project manager too.

This description may well serve you as confirmation of the importance of your role and one that is at management level, particularly if you have an annual review - as long as you are covered for the other skills too.

1 comment:

  1. After thinking over for quite a while about whether to go for PMP or SCRUM certification, I opted for a PMP prep course , Instructer was too good and I passed with relative ease. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP classes in my company.