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Problem statement:

I've started on a new team in which there is lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities so I'm leading some RACI definition exercises.

For a few key activities, there are two different teams that feel their director should be accountable.

What I need:

  • I'm looking for techniques on how to evaluate who should be accountable and then get alignment from all teams involved.

About the business:

  • The organization has several programs to which people can apply to receive funding for their innovation projects.

The deliverables / activities in contention:

  • The business requirements and the functional requirements of a major digital transformation project

The teams in contention:

  1. The Business Architecture team. This is a very new team to the organization and, thus, they haven't yet clearly conveyed their role versus other teams that have been around for a long time. So far the team has been focused mainly on developing the Business Capability Matrix and Blueprint / Target Operation Model as per the Managing Successful Programmes methodology.
  2. The Operations team. This team oversees all the work done to review applications against qualification criteria and determine who gets what funding. The team uses the guidelines produced by the Program Guidance team.

Again, my question is not about who should be accountable but more so how to get the teams on this project (both the teams in contention and supporting teams) to align on who should be accountable since we keep going in circles with the discussions.

In particular, I'm looking for some hands-on exercises in the spirit of Design Thinking to see if that would be more effective than the discussions.

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    This reads less like an accountability issue and more like a power issue. It seems like the teams are fighting for control and power. May 18 at 12:10

3 Answers 3

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It's possible for more than one team to be responsible for an activity - i.e. they perform it - however it is not normally the case that more than one team (or person) should be ultimately accountable for ensuring it is done correctly, effectively, and efficiently.

Without knowing your specific situation, it is difficult to provide any specific guidance but I would suggest that you look again at the granularity of the activities. It could be that by breaking down the activities to a lower level - or even (less likely) combining them into higher level activities, you can find that there is more consensus on who is accountable for the individual activities.

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I would try an exercise like this:

Ask the teams to imagine a newspaper headline. You could actually mock one up if you like, but possibly just imagining it is good enough. The headline reads:

"[Your Company]'s Digital Transformation Project Misses Every KPI"

Sub-headline: "Director Fired"

Ask the teams to discuss which director they think should be fired, and why.

My hunch is that this should bring some clarity to the question of who should be Accountable.

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I think both directors in both teams should be made accountable for whatever role their team has to play in the project,making sure the responsible person or team knows the expectations of the project and completes work on time.this would help them come together and review better ways to resolve setbacks and brainstorm new ways to move the project forward.

Click here to get more insight on this ;https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/raci-chart/

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