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Louise Barber28-Feb-2024 09:12:155 min read

RACI Demystified: Your Secret Weapon for SAP S/4HANA Implementation

So, what is a RACI on S/4HANA programmes?

On major IT programmes like an S/4HANA implementation, a RASCI (or RACI) is likely one of the first programme documents you will make - along with your plan. 

RASCI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Supporting, Consulted and Informed.

It's a matrix used in project management to define and clarify roles and responsibilities within a team or organization. 

It's a great programme planning tool because - in short - it explains who is doing what on your S/4HANA programme.

But your RASCI isn't just for programme planning - it's a powerful tool that can support every phase of your S/4HANA implementation.

Let's take a look at the different stages of a programme and understand how a RASCI can help to keep you on track to success. 

The S/4HANA Programme Planning Stage

Why use a RACI in S/4HANA programme planning? 

During the planning stage, the project team needs to establish clear objectives, scope, timelines, and resource requirements. The RASCI helps define who is responsible for creating the project plan, who is accountable for its overall success, who needs to be consulted for specific expertise, and who should be informed about the progress.

When to use a RACI in S/4HANA programme planning:

Use the RASCI when developing the project plan, defining the project scope, and assigning responsibilities for various tasks. This ensures that everyone involved understands their roles and contributions during the planning phase.

At this stage, you're also establishing a project governance structure that outlines decision-making processes, escalation paths, and communication channels. This is a good time to identify key stakeholders, define their roles in project oversight, and log it on your RASCI.

You can then use the RASCI matrix to assign specific responsibilities within the governance structure.

For example, you can clarify:

  • who is responsible for overall project governance
  • who is accountable for strategic decisions
  • who should be consulted for expertise
  • who needs to be informed about project progress.

The S/4HANA Delivery Stage

Why use a RACI in S/4HANA programme delivery? 

The delivery stage involves the actual implementation of the S/4HANA system. Clear roles and responsibilities are critical to ensure that tasks are completed on time, within budget, and according to the project plan. A RASCI helps prevent confusion and ensures that each team member knows their role in the delivery of the S/4HANA system.

When to use a RACI in S/4HANA programme delivery:

Apply RASCI during the execution of the project plan. Assign responsibilities for configuring the S/4HANA system, data migration, integration with existing systems, and other delivery-related tasks. This helps in maintaining accountability and preventing bottlenecks.

At this stage, you're implementing regular project reviews, milestone assessments, and risk management processes. Ensure that the project team adheres to the established governance framework and that any deviations are addressed promptly.

Integrate RASCI within the governance processes. Clearly define responsibilities for project delivery, risk mitigation, and issue resolution. Ensure that the accountable parties are empowered to make decisions within their areas of responsibility.

The S/4HANA programme Testing Stage

Why use RACI during S/4HANA testing? 

Testing is a crucial phase in SAP projects to ensure that the system meets the specified requirements and functions as intended. The RASCI helps in clearly defining who is responsible for designing and executing test cases, who is accountable for the overall quality of the system, and who needs to be consulted for troubleshooting and issue resolution.

When to use a RACI in S/4HANA programme testing:

Implement the RASCI during the testing phase to assign responsibilities for unit testing, integration testing, user acceptance testing (UAT), and resolving defects. This ensures that testing is thorough and that issues are addressed promptly.

At this stage, you should establish quality assurance processes and testing standards. Monitor and assess the testing phase to ensure that it aligns with project goals and meets organizational standards.

The RASCI is used to assign roles and responsibilities for test planning, execution, and validation. Clearly defining who is responsible for ensuring the quality of testing, who is accountable for overall testing success, and who should be consulted or informed during testing activities.

The S/4HANA Adoption Stage

Why use a RACI for S/4HANA training and change management?

The adoption stage involves transitioning from the project team to the end users. The RASCI is essential to define responsibilities for training, communication, and ongoing support. It helps in ensuring a smooth transition and user acceptance of the new SAP system.

When to use a RACI in S/4HANA training and change management:

Apply the RASCI during the adoption phase to assign responsibilities for training end users, providing ongoing support, and communicating changes effectively. This ensures that users are adequately prepared and supported during the transition to the new S/4HANA system.

At this stage, you should develop a change management plan that includes communication strategies, training programmes, and ongoing support mechanisms. Monitor the user adoption process and gather feedback to continuously improve your SAP system.

It is also useful to apply RASCI to the governance of change management. Clearly outline responsibilities for communication, training, and ongoing support. Define who is responsible for ensuring a smooth adoption process, who is accountable for the success of user adoption, and who needs to be consulted or informed about user feedback.

The S/4HANA Post-Implementation Stage

You've done it, you're implemented but that doesn't mean you can forget about your RASCI.

This is a critical transition in an S/4HANA project lifecycle. This transition involves handing over the system from the project team to the business users and support teams for ongoing operation and maintenance. Effective governance and clear roles and responsibilities, as outlined by the RASCI matrix, are crucial during this phase. 

Here are some final tips for using a RASCI during your S/4 go-live:
  • Establish a post-implementation governance structure that defines ongoing responsibilities, decision-making processes, and escalation paths.
  • Ensure that there is a mechanism for ongoing monitoring, continuous improvement, and feedback loops for the ERP system.

How can the RASCI help here:

  • RASCI clearly defines roles and responsibilities for the ongoing operation and maintenance of your SAP system. This includes system administrators, support personnel, and end users.
  • Assigns responsibilities for monitoring system performance, addressing issues, and implementing continuous improvements.
  • Identifies who is accountable for the overall success of the SAP system in the BAU phase.

And that's it, RASCI demystified. 

Get it right, and your RASCI can be the secret weapon in your S/4HANA arsenal, providing value throughout the life of your S/4HANA system - not just during the planning phase.