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Moving Beyond RACI in ITIL v3, Part II

Sep 18, 2009

D'Arcy McCallum

In addition to being authorized, the person must also be:
  • Competent meaning that they have the required skills and training to execute the activity; and
  • Empowered meaning they have the required access to any tools, services and facilities need to execute the activity.

Going further, you have to ensure that the person assigned to fill the role and thus execute the activity is both available to execute it, and that they have the capacity to do so. Without this check, it would not make any sense to hold a person accountable for executing the activity. Yet, unfortunately, we see this all too often.

In the real world, people always have more things to do than hours in the day. It means that one more factor that needs to be clear to both the individual and the people and organizational structures they report to―the priority tasks they have in queue. Establishing priority, we all know, requires that we evaluate two factors impact―the significance or value the activity, and, urgency―how much delay can be tolerated.

When setting out the activities in a process it is wise to pre-establish a priority for the activity or provide a formula for calculating the impact and urgency aspects of the activities so that those assigned to execute them through a role they fill will have some way of prioritizing that activity compared to the other activities they have been assigned.

To wrap up, while RACI is a very useful way of adding rigor to a process specification, there is some additional guidance you can provide to process designers to help them get the most use out of it, and quite a few operational considerations that they can think through and document at design time that will help ensure that the process will be operational successful.

D’Arcy McCallum is the director of Education for Consulting-Portal. He has an extensive background as an IT service management consultant, educator and implementer, with ITIL Manager’s certification, GE's Six Sigma Quality Black Belt certification and a certificate in Adult Education.