One of the critical success factors of any SAP project is: clear definition of roles and responsibilities for each project participant and key stakeholder. Regardless of how thorough and detailed a project plan, any misunderstanding and oversight of team member roles and responsibilities will create project havoc.
Unnecessary team misunderstandings can be avoided by up-front integration of the RACI (Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed) model for successful change management. A responsibility assignment matrix, RACI is a practical approach to defining and documenting project roles and responsibilities. Integrating the RACI model into your SAP projects ASAP methodology creates a powerful combination that boosts and expands project results.
Four Pillars of the RACI* Model
The RACI model creates clarity and definition in describing stakeholder roles within an SAP project. It’s a matrix to clarify individual responsibilities and confirm that project requirements are assigned a corresponding doer.
To apply the RACI model, list every task, deliverable, work package, and then clarify who is Responsible, who is Accountable, who needs to be Consulted, and who needs to be Informed.
Responsible: People or stakeholders who do the work or deliverables. They must complete the work package and/or make the decision. Several people can be jointly Responsible (e.g. Functional Consultant).
Accountable: Person or stakeholder who is the owner of the task. They must sign-off or approve when the work package or decision is complete. This person must be fully aligned with the overall RACI matrix to ensure responsibilities are assigned for all related tasks and activities. Best Practices state that there is only one person Accountable (e.g. Project Manager).
Consulted: People or stakeholders whose input is needed before the work package or decision can be completed and signed-off. These people are often referred to as ‘in the loop’ and active team members (e.g. Subject Matter Expert).
Informed: People or stakeholders who are kept in the picture. They require updates on project progress and/or key decisions, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the work package or decision (e.g. VP, IT).
The following steps can be used to create a RACI model for your SAP project:
- During the Project Planning Phase, identify all tasks required to deliver the project and list them vertically on the left-hand side of the chart – typically in completion order. For SAP projects, this is most effectively addressed by incorporating in-scope, ASAP methodology deliverables.
- Identify all affected project stakeholders and log them horizontally along the top of the chart.
- Complete the interior cells of the model by identifying who has Responsibility (R), Accountability (A); and who will be Consulted (C) and Informed (I) for each task.
- Ensure every task has at least one Responsible stakeholder.
- No tasks should have more than one Accountable stakeholder. Resolve any conflicts where there is more than one for a particular deliverable or work package.
- Collaborate and confirm alignment of the RACI model with your project stakeholders at the start of the SAP deployment. This includes resolving any conflicts.
* Note that an alternative version of the RACI Matrix includes RASCI, which incorporates Support personnel into the responsibility matrix.
RACI Benefitsf or Managers and Leaders
Leveraging a RACI matrix can help uncover common organizational pain points and allow management to remedy challenges with regards to perceptions, role expectations, and performance.
Perception: How resources perceive their individual roles and required tasks become much clearer. Managers and Leaders can better determine if people are properly aligned with respective positions.
Role Expectations: Resources in the organization can visualize responsibilities for themselves and others, and see when associated tasks should be completed.
Performance: The RACI Matrix tool can foster positive performance guidance as resources are clear about what activities they should be doing and how and when they need to do it.
With clearly defined roles and responsibilities, you help can ensure the success of your SAP project. When people know exactly what is expected of them, it’s easier for them to complete their work on-time, on-budget, and to the best of their ability.
For more tips on securing the success of your next SAP project implementation, email
Bill Marson, PMI, B4 Consulting Project Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org.