Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

The Three R’s: RAM, RACI, and RBS

The risk management plan is rooted in the notion of providing management guidance. It is less about what work is being performed and more about how processes are ultimately going to be managed. Roles and responsibilities for these processes need to be clearly delineated. The clearer the understanding of what roles need to be filled, the easier it will be to minimize bias within the process. Bias often asserts itself when roles are established ad hoc and when consistency doesn’t exist across RMP approaches.

Consistency is much easier to achieve when the same documents exist within an enterprise to identify the roles essential to carrying out risk management planning. Key among those documents are

  • The responsibility assignment matrix

  • The responsibility/accountability/consultation/information grid

  • The risk breakdown structure

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)


The responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in risk management is a simple list of the risk processes to be implemented and the roles (or individuals) responsible for carrying them out. Ideally, to make the RAM function more effectively, the responsibilities are assigned by role, rather than individual names. Although individuals will fill those roles, the use of the role affords the project the ability to absorb team member loss or organizational shifts more readily.

One of the major advantages of the RAM is its simplicity. It doesn’t require extensive education to understand or interpret what the chart means. Table 5-2 provides an example of a simple RAM.

Table 5-2 Risk Management Plan Responsibility Assignment Matrix



Executive Sponsor

Project Manager

Product Owner

Data Capture








Lexicon Maintenance





Escalation Protocol





To apply the RAM, one needs to go no further than to identify the process and look for the “X.” Note that the only named individual in the sample chart is Martine. If something should happen to Martine, this document will have to be updated. For the other processes, if there are organizational shifts, the roles become all important, rather than named individuals. When an individual is critical to the process, the individual should be named.

For a risk manager, this document facilitates the assignment of process owners, making it easier to track down responsible parties and get their help in serving those process steps.

RACI (Responsible Accountable Consult Inform) Chart


The RACI chart in risk management is an expansion of the traditional (simpler) RAM. For most managers, the RACI is better known by its acronym than the words the acronym represents. In an exam where most of the acronyms have been abolished, RACI remains. The major difference between a RAM and a RACI is that the RACI has additional information regarding the other participants in any risk process. In addition to responsibility (as found in a RAM), this chart also identifies three other factors. The four factors found in a RACI each have a distinct meaning:

  • Responsibility: The role or person who will actually perform the process step

  • Accountability: The role or person who will be held liable for the success or failure of the process step

  • Consult: The role or person who might be able to provide supplemental information about the nuances of implementing the process step

  • Inform: The role or person who should be apprised of the progress or status of the process step

As with the RAM, it doesn’t require extensive education to understand or interpret what the chart means. Table 5-3 provides an example of a simple RACI chart.

Table 5-3 Risk Management Plan RACI Chart



Executive Sponsor

Project Manager

Product Owner

Data Capture








R, A


Lexicon Maintenance

R, A


C, I


Escalation Protocol


R, A


C, I

To apply the RACI, it’s important to understand that no process step can have more than one accountable individual. Although there might be several roles working on a process, and even more who need to be informed, only one person or role can ultimately be accountable for the work.

The Risk Breakdown Structure


The name of the risk breakdown structure (RBS) is most appropriate when discussing it in the context of the risk management plan. That’s because it’s a structure. It’s a framework into which risks will ultimately be incorporated. It is not the risks themselves, but instead is the decomposition of the source of risks as they are identified or about to be identified.

The sources of risks for an RBS may be generic (like the prompt list PESTLE) or enterprise specific. They can go down several levels through decomposition. The risk management plan documents this structure, because it might be applied and reapplied multiple times throughout the life of a project.

In its lowest levels, the RBS can highlight some of the most pervasive risks faced by an organization, and the set of sources at those low levels can ultimately become the foundation for risk process checklists.

If the organization seeks to maintain consistency, ownership of the RBS might rest with the project management office, at least at the higher levels of the structure. At the more detailed levels, more project-specific risk sources might surface. Table 5-4 provides an example of a simple RBS.

Table 5-4 Risk Management Plan Risk Breakdown Structure

Risk Breakdown Structure Level 0

Risk Breakdown Structure Level 1

Risk Breakdown Structure Level 2

All Project Risk Sources


National political movements

Community political movements

Internal enterprise politics


Market growth




Media narratives

Social media presence

Community perceptions


New tech


Technological acceptance







Regional environment

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020