User-Friendly RASCI Accountability Matrices

Right now, you’re probably thinking that’s a statement of opposites. Something dreamed up by a consultant to impress, or just to fill a blog page. But wait. What if I taught you to create order in procedural chaos in five minutes flat? ?Would you be interested then?

The first step is to create a story line ?

Let’s imagine five friends decide to row a boat across a river to an island. Mary is in charge and responsible for steering in the right direction. John on the other hand is going to do the rowing, while Sue who once watched a rowing competition will be on hand to give advice. James will sit up front so he can tell Mary when they have arrived. Finally Kevin is going to have a snooze but wants James to wake him up just before they reach the island.

That’s kind of hard to follow, isn’t it ?

Let’s see if we can make some sense of it with a basic RASCI diagram ?

Responsibility Matrix: Rowing to the Island
ActivityResponsibleAccountableSupportiveConsultedInformed
PersonJohnMarySueJamesKevin
RoleOarsmanCaptainConsultantNavigatorSleeper

?

Now let’s add a simple timeline ?

Responsibility Matrix: Rowing to the Island
?SueJohnMaryJamesKevin
Gives Direction??A??
Rows the Boat?R???
Provides AdviceS????
Announces Arrival??AC?
Surfaces From Sleep???CI
Ties Boat to Tree??A??

?

Things are more complicated in reality ?

Quite correct. Although if I had jumped in at the detail end I might have lost you. Here?s a more serious example.

rasci

?

There?s absolutely no necessity for you so examine the diagram in any detail, other to note the method is even more valuable in large, corporate environments. This one is actually a RACI diagram because there are no supportive roles (which is the way the system was originally configured).

Other varieties you may come across include PACSI (perform, accountable, control, suggest, inform), and RACI-VS that adds verifier and signatory to the original mix. There are several more you can look at Wikipedia if you like.

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Is Change Management a Myth or a Possibility

The theory that it is possible to manage organisational change (Change Management) in a particular direction has done the rounds for quite some time, but is it true about Change Management. Was Barrack Obama correct when he said, ?Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.?
Or, was business coach Kelly A Morgan more on the button when she commented, ?Changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to, and work through the change process.? Let us consult the evidence and see what statisticians say.

What the Melcrum Report Tells Us

Melcrum are ?internal communication specialists who work alongside leaders and teams around the globe to build skills and best practice in internal communication.? They published a report after researching over 1,000 companies that attempted change management and advised:

? More than 50% report improved customer satisfaction

? 33% report higher productivity

? 28% report improvements in employee advocacy

? 27% improved status as a great place to work

? 27% report increased profitability

? 25% report improved absenteeism

Sounds great until we flip the mirror around and consider what the majority apparently said:

? 50% had no improvement in customer service

? 67% did not report increased productivity

? 72% did not note improvements in employee advocacy

? 73% had no improved status among job seekers

? 73% did not report increased profitability

? 75% did not report any reduction of employee absenteeism

This shows it is still a great idea to hear what all parties have to say before reaching a conclusion. You may be interested to know the Melcrum report gave rise to the legend that 70% of organisation change initiatives fail. This finding has repeated numerous times. Let’s hear what the psychologists have to say next.

There is a certain amount of truth in the old adage that says, ?You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.? Which of us has not said, ?Another flavour of the week ? better keep heads down until it passes? during a spell in the corporate world. You cannot change an organisation, but you can change an individual.

At the height of the Nazi occupation of 1942, French philosopher-writer Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry said, ?A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral?. Psychology Today suggests five false assumptions change management rests upon, THAT ARE SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

1. The external world is orderly, stable, predictable and can be managed

2. Change managers are objective, and do not import their personal bias

3. The world is static and orderly and can be changed in linear steps

4. There is a neutral starting point where we can gather all participants

5. Change is worthy in itself, because all change is an improvement

Leo Tolstoy wrote, ?Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.? A prophet can work no miracles unless the people believe. From the foregoing, it is evident that change management of an organisation is a 70% impossibility, but encouraging an individual to grow is another matter.

A McKinsey Report titled Change Leader, Change Thyself fingers unbelieving managers as the most effective stumbling stones to change management. To change as individuals ? and perhaps collectively change as organisations ? we need to ?come to our own full richness?, and as shepherds lead our flock to their ?promised land?, whatever that may be. Conversely, herding our flock with a pack of sheepdogs extinguishes that most precious thing of all, human inspiration.

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IT Systems Implementation

Are you ready to find out how your newly accepted IT system fares in the real world? Although a rigorous Acceptance testing process can spot a wide spectrum of flaws in a newly constructed IT system, there is no way it can identify all possible defects. The moment the IT system is delivered into the hands of actual end users and other stakeholders, it is effectively stepping out of a controlled and secure environment.

Thus, it is during this phase wherein issues having direct impact on the business can arise.

It is our duty to ensure that the Systems Implementation phase is carried out as thoroughly, professionally, and efficiently as possible.

Thoroughly, because we need to include all relevant data and other deliverables, eliminate hard-to-detect miscalculated results, and substantially reduce the probability of business and mission critical issues popping up in the future;

Professionally, because it is the best way to address the sensitive process of turning over a new system to users who have gotten used to the old one;

And efficiently, because we want to minimise the duration over which all stakeholders have to adapt to the new system and allow them to move on to the process of growing the business.

Preparation

Louis Pasteur once said, “Luck favours the mind that is prepared.”

While we certainly won’t leave anything to chance, we do put substantial weight on the Preparation stage of Systems Implementation. We’re so confident with the strategies we employ in Preparation, that we can assure you of an utterly seamless Deployment and Transition phase.

By this we mean that issues that may arise during Deployment and Transition will be handled smoothly and efficiently because your people will know exactly what to do.

Here’s how we will prepare your organisation for Deployment:

  • Identify all key players for the Systems Implementation phase and orient them on their specific roles. We’ll make sure they know what possible hitches may come their way and how to deal with them.
  • Identify all end users and their corresponding functions, then assign appropriate access rights.
  • Draw multi-layered contingency plans to capture and address each possible concern that may crop up during Deployment.
  • Prepare a systematic step-by-step procedure and checklist for the entire Deployment stage. Both of them should have been copied from a similar procedure and checklist used in the Acceptance testing phase.
  • Make all stakeholders understand the conditions required before Deployment can commence.
  • Set the appropriate environment so that all stakeholders know what to expect and when to expect them the moment Deployment commences.
  • Prepare Technical Services and Technical Support personnel for the gruelling mission ahead.
  • Make sure all communication processes are well coordinated so that everyone affected will know who to contact and how to get in touch with them when a problem arises.
  • Plan and schedule training sessions so that they can be conducted “just in time”. Training sessions conducted way ahead of Deployment are often useless because the trainees tend to forget about what they learned when the time comes to apply them. Similarly, training sessions conducted way after Deployment also become useless because trainees are seldom able to internalise instructions delivered during crash courses.

Deployment

There are two sets of issues to keep an eye on during Deployment:

  1. Issues directly related to the technology itself, e.g. application functionality and data integrity, and
  2. Issues emanating from the end users, i.e., their unwillingness to use the new system. One reason may be because they find the interface and procedures too confusing. Another would be due to other inconveniences that come with adapting to a new set of procedures.

Despite all the meticulous scrutiny employed during Acceptance testing, there are just some problems that are made obvious only during Deployment. Issues belonging to the first set are dealt with easily because of the plans and procedures we put in place during the Preparation stage. As an added measure, our team will be on hand to make sure contingency plans are executed accordingly.

While the second set of issues is often neglected by many IT consultancy companies, we choose to meet it head on.

We fully understand that end users are most sensitive to the major changes that accompany a new system. It is precisely for this reason why our training activities during Deployment are designed not only to educate them but also to make them fully appreciate the necessity of both the new system and the familiarisation phase they will need to go through.

The faster we can bring your end users to accept the new system, the faster they can refocus on your company’s business objectives.

Here’s what we’ll do to guarantee the smoothest Deployment process you’ve ever experienced.

  • Employ the procedure and checklist formulated during the Preparation stage.
  • Ensure all end users are well acquainted with any additional tasks they would need to perform (e.g. filling up manual logs).
  • Assess which legacy systems can still be used alongside the new technology and which ones have to be retired.
  • Supervise the installation and optimal configuration of all supporting hardware and software to make sure the likelihood of errors originating from them are brought to near-zero levels.
  • Supervise the installation and optimal configuration of the products themselves.
  • Carry out data migration tasks if necessary.
  • Organise and oversee parallel runs to check for data and report inconsistencies.
  • Conduct training sessions in a professional and well-timed manner to eliminate end-users’ feelings of agitation and to take advantage of memory absorption and retention duration as with regards to their assigned duties and responsibilities.

Transition

Do you often feel uneasy whenever the reins to a newly purchased IT system are handed over to you? Perhaps there are some issues that you feel haven’t been fully settled but, at the same time, find it too late to back out, having already invested so much time and resources.

Alright, so maybe the thought of “backing up” never crossed your mind. However, the concern of being “not yet ready” is raised by many organisations towards the tail end of most Deployment stages. This usually drags the Deployment stage into a never-ending process.

Our team of highly experienced specialists will make sure you reach this point with utmost confidence to proceed on your own.

To wrap up our comprehensive IT Systems Implementation offering, we’ll take charge of the following:

  • Verify that all deliverables, including training materials and other technical documentation, are accomplished and expected outcomes are realised.
  • Make sure all technical documentation are placed in a secure and accessible location.
  • Institute best practices to ensure the IT system becomes fully utilised and to reduce its exposure to avoidable risks.
  • Establish open communication lines with the Technical Support team to enable quick resolution of issues.
  • Ensure complete knowledge transfer has been fully achieved so that your people will spend less time calling Technical Support and more on operations contributory to business growth.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Climate change creates a loud buzz across the globe. People are talking about how extreme the weather is, how polluted the environment has become or how devastating the results of carbon emissions are. While it is true that humans contribute a large impact to the worsening climate situations, people are also the most influential key towards making this world a better place. As much as the increase in carbon emissions results from what you do, the healthy change can also start in you.

Although it is a bit difficult to determine what you can do to help the society, do not be disheartened. The devastating forces may be massive for you to work through, but there are countless simple actions?you can take to reduce your carbon footprints day by day.

Home

While you are in the comfort of your home, you can start saving energy to reduce your carbon emission. You could’replace your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. A compact fluorescent bulb saves more than 2/3rds or up to 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. This bulb contains mercury, so make sure to choose a brand that has lower mercury than others.

Another thing, you can do to reduce your carbon footprint at home, is to mind your electronics. When you do not use your gadgets and appliances, make sure you unplug them. If you buy new ones, take time to look at the energy rating of the electronics to save you more energy in future use.

Alternative renewable energy is also a good thing to shift into. Try solar, hydro or wind power at home. Setting up your own residential solar panels and building your own turbines are excellent ways to choose green energy.

Food

The food industry is one of the largest contributors of carbon emissions. You may not have control over the food processing, but you can lower your carbon footprint by buying local products in the market. These local products are not transported from far off places, so the carbon dioxide released from them is lower compared to imported ones. Take a look at the packaging as well; less packaging means less waste.

If you have a big backyard, you could use your it to grow food. ?Eating food, either fruit or vegetable, which you grow at home is energy efficient. No more fuel combustion from transportation and other consequent food processing.

Travel

When you have your own car, accelerating it slowly and smoothly, as well as maintaining speed while driving will help lower your carbon emissions. If you drive a lot, it would be better to get a green car. As of now, you can consider using?public transportation and go for road travel rather than air travel when you take long distance trips. But when you need to take planes, better choose a non-stop flight instead of connecting ones.

Indeed, there are many ways you can combat global warming and climate change. The road to improved life quality through energy efficiency might be hard, but a transformed lifestyle can make a big difference. Start now ? lighten your carbon footprint and help save the world.

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