One of the first things I did when I sat down with the project manager and service managers on a SharePoint deployment is RACI charts. I’m a big fan of them. It gets a lot of the arguments flushed out for who is responsible. More than that it shows accountability and who needs to be consulted and ultimately the informed. Sure no one wants to be left out, but some times it just needs to be spelled out clearly, so the teams and parties involved can understand how this virtual team is being built. I’m a huge fan of virtual teams and project plans that help illustrate these responsibilities across the virtual teams. RACI charts are a convenient tool in the initial planning process. I find it convenient for keeping everyone on the same page in the deployment and moving forward especially when it comes to required documentation since the ops teams hate doing documentation, and the project manager wants to have them all when anyone asks what’s going on.
To fill out a RACI chart, first determine the documents, specs, projects, diagrams, outlines, functions, decisions, and/or activities that will make up your foundation for your deployment. Then, you decide who will be your project’s participants using team names and then individual names as those teams provide input. The tasks will make up the rows and the columns are the teams or individuals assigned in the chart. To complete the chart, simply fill out the grid, identifying how each participant is involved with each. There you have the responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed… The convenient color coding makes it easy to identify. The idea of these charts is for simplicity. Live by the KISS Principle in planning as well. Many of your docs are much easier to consume and will actually be consumed if you can keep them short (1 pagers with diagrams are much more frequently read than 40 pagers).
You can even track RACI charts in your actual project plan. The Project Team blog has a good example of using RACI charts in Project.
I’ve uploaded this example RACI Chart for your use on slideshare.net. You can download the FREE SharePoint RACI chart Excel template. Note you should add the relevant documents and teams. This will obviously vary based on the size and complexity of your company.