Matrix Responsibility Chart/Linear Responsibility Chart

A project achieves specific objective within constraints of time, cost and quality. In project, there are several participants which are as follows:
General Manager: Executive chief of the organization
Manager of Projects: Chief of project department
Functional Managers: Chiefs of functional departments
Project Manager: Chief of a specific project

The authority and responsibility of the various project participants in the activities and decisions of the project can be:
a) Actual responsibility for getting the job done.
b) General supervision responsibility.
c) Must be consulted.
d) May be consulted.
e) Must be notified.
f) Must approve.

There should the clear authority-responsibility relationships among the project participants so as to remove confusion and conflicts in project. The main mechanism for such purpose is Matrix Responsibility Chart (MRC).

Linear Responsibility Chart is also known as linear chart (LC), Matrix Responsibility Chart (MRC), Responsibility Interface Matrix (RIM), Responsibility and Accountability (RAM). It is the chart of responsibility which identifies the project participants and shows authority and responsibility relationship among the project participants due to their overlapping involvements in project management. The participants may be general manager, manager of projects, project manager and functional managers. It clearly specify the authority and responsibility relationships of project participants to avoid confusion and conflicts. Specially, it is used in matrix organization structure in order to minimize the confusion and conflicts between project manager and functional managers. It explains what and who of project work. It links the project activities or task to the responsible person which ensures effective implementation of project to achieve defined objectives within constraints.

LRC is prepared to find out responsibility center of all key activities in the project and for those purpose, LRC is divided into rows and columns and numbers. The rows of LRC indicate activities, responsibility and authorities. The columns identify the position of the project participants and numbers indicate the degree of authority and responsibility existed between rows and columns of LRC, the numbers can be symbol.

The Matrix Responsibility chart is divided into:
a) Rows: They indicate activities, responsibilities, authority.
b) Columns: They identify position of project participants.
c) Numbers: They indicate the degree of authority-responsibility existing between the rows and columns. They can be symbols.
Linear Responsibility Chart
Symbols/ Codes:
1 = Actual responsibility
2 = General responsibility/ General Supervision
3 = Most be consulted
4 = May be consulted
5 = Must be notifies
6 = Must approve
The advantages of Matrix Responsibility Chart or Linear Responsibility Chart are as follows:
  • It describes the role of project participants in project matters. Authority, responsibility and accountability for project activities are delineated among various project participants. Problem-solving becomes easier.
  • Communication is facilitated. It cuts red tape.
  • It is a useful tool for supervising of authority and responsibilities.
  • There is delegation of authority.
  • It postures coordination because it clarifies rules and responsibility, authority and responsibility relationships for project activities among the participates. It reduces confusion and conflict between project manager and functional managers. It helps to monitor responsibility of project participants. It combines organizational structure with work breakdown structure which makes easy to fix responsibility to project participants.
The disadvantages of Matrix Responsibility Chart or Linear Responsibility Chart are as follows:
  • It does not describe about people interactions in the project. It is a mechanical aid.
  • All relationships may be difficult to delineate.
  • Customer-imposed requirements may limit its usefulness.
  • It acts as mechanical tools for fixing responsibility only but not defines the relationship between project participants. It tries to express authority-responsibility relationship in specific terms. But situation and degree of all relationship may be difficult to express. Project is customer oriented and always impose requirement. The requirement may limit the usefulness of LRC.

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