Show Me the Money, How to Find it

March 29, 2009

Show me the money, but where do you look?

If you are looking for areas to reduce cost, then analyze your data and find your own gold.  In order to keep focus, follow these simple dimensioning techniques and then dive into the details.

Dimension By

  • Relevance
  • Size of Benefit
  • Potential Penetration
  • Ease of Capture
  • Sustainability

When you add a dimension to your analysis either through a data warehouse, or through simple thought experiments you can quickly pinpoint the quick hits to that of the slow brew money makers.

When you look at the relevance you are exploring weather the opportunity ties to a key value driver, and when you look at the size of benefit you need to tie in the estimated saving potential time frame.  Likewise, will the potential penetration get you more than 50% of the value.  Remember, your resources are scarce so pay particular attention to the ease of capture dimension.  Lastly, will the cost saving initiative be sustainable or will it only be a quick hit that will quickly dissipate over time.

A visual analysis of this technique is shown below.  Hopefully some of this information will lead you through a  thought provoking analysis that will help you find your money quicker through a cost saving portfolio of projects.

Additional filters to apply to the analysis will be:

  • Your current organizational skills
  • Your current knowledge
  • Your prior initiatives and how closely they dovetail with your short list of opportunities

Enjoy and remember, Show me the money!

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Who Holds The “R”, The RACI Chart

March 26, 2009

Who Holds The R, Exploring the RACI model

The RACI model is a powerful tool utilized to define roles and responsibilities. In general, you match up roles and responsibilities with processes. The tool is extremely useful when rolling out a new change management program, or just uncovering the processes that make your organization function and identifying the participation in those processes. First let’s discuss what RACI stands for:

RACI Legend

RACI Legend

R–Responsible-The buck stops here. Whoever is responsible needs to make sure that the process works as planned. The R owns the process/problem or project.

A–Accountable-This is the person who is delegated the task of completing the Activity. They support the person who owns the R.

C–Consult-This person usually have in depth knowledge of the process in question and all major decisions need signed off by this individual.

I–Inform-The people who need informed of activity taken, but not necessarily consulted.

Each individual who is involved in a process is either identified as an R, A, C, or I. No two individuals in one process should both have the R.

RACI Chart

RACI Chart

Typical steps in designing a RACI process:

  1. Identify the process in question completely. Start from a top down approach viewing the large picture and map out the process in enough detail to support your requirements. You may only need the top level processes, but in order to define or accomplish the task at hand defining the sub processes, tasks, or steps may be required. Each program is unique. List the process steps horizontally down the left hand side.
  2. Identify the roles that will be impacted by the program/process, and those that will implement the program/process change and list these vertically across the top.
  3. Each role will have an owner. You can list the person here if you want, but in order to make the process timeless you should list the role and assign the role to an individual.
  4. No identify who has the R first and then complete the ownership of A, C, and I. Remember, no two people holds the R for a single process. The buck needs to stop somewhere….This is where the phrase who hold R comes from.
  5. Review any gaps in the process, make sure only one R is in each process, make sure each process has an owner. Sometimes when you have arguments of who holds the R for any given process, the resolution usually resides in looking into the process further, maybe you need to explore the sub-processes, the roles, or the tasks associated with the process. Once you get to a point that only one person holds the R you have dove deep enough into the process.
  6. One exception to multiple R’s in one process may entail the difference between who is responsible for the Initiative, and who is responsible for the Process. This at first seems like the difference between the Responsible and the accountable party here, but with the correct boundaries set up this can be a powerful concept especially when considering the interaction of a Program Management Office PMO with a large organization. I have included this as an example in the RACI chart view. Be careful with this concept!

An example of a RACI chart for the top view of a sales process is shown to help visualize the RACI diagram. Note how colors are used in the matrix, this makes it easier for others to quickly understand the relationship of the process. An excel template you can use to start you next project, or process improvement initiative is attached here.

One very important step in any project or improvement initiative is the understanding and mapping of the underlying process that support the program being implemented or enhanced. Check back soon for an installment of defining and implementing a process map.

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Free Tools

Explore these free tools which hopefully will make your life a little easier.