Q. Why do I need a responsibility matrix?
A. When teams collaborate on a project, they can elevate the level of expertise but they almost always make workflow more complex. Defining responsibilities for each team will ensure the project is completed correctly and promptly. In construction, we work with contributors ranging from stakeholders to tradesmen. By using a responsibility matrix early on in project planning, we set ourselves up for clear communication between those moving parts and a smoother, more effective partnership.
A responsibility matrix identifies each element of a project and designates the specific responsibilities of all parties involved. The matrix can be created in a spreadsheet, showing teams across the top and listing activities on the left-hand side. This chart organizes who is responsible for which stage of work and ensures that resources are properly distributed. It streamlines a complex chain of events so that decisions can be made quickly and efficiently, and establishes accountability among team members. In some cases, the responsibility matrix can determine whether there are enough resources to complete a project in the allotted time. Taking the time to clearly define responsibilities can help find opportunities to save time and money, as well.