RACI Accountability: How to get alignment when 2 teams feel they should be the Accountable?



  • 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.



  • 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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