Having gone through the exercise of scoping your Software Asset Management Programme, you will next be required to do some further planning prior to embarking on actually starting the work schedule that comes out of the maturity assessment/gap analysis.
Having used the SMART acronym (see previous article) some fine tuning may be required around allocating activities; and equally communicating the results or metrics that the goals and objectives produce.
At this point a RACI chart offers an ideal review, not just of who is accountable to carry out the objectives required for the Software Asset Management Programme to succeed, but also who might be managerially interested in seeing the functions or processes carried out:
The manager/department charged with overseeing that the function/process/activity achieves its business/IT objectives
The individual/team to whom the function-step/process/activity is given to as a piece of work to complete
The individual/department that might need to be engaged with to either make a decision within an activity, or whom to sound out for information/data that may be required to complete the process/activity
The individual/department that might not have any interest in how the function step/process is achieved, but would be interested in the results that are generated from it
As a minimum each function step (the subsets of a process/activity) should be allocated a person/team who demonstrates responsibility and accountability; however some steps may not consult or inform anyone. If any of your activities have no RACI assignment, then I would question the value of the activity to the business/ Software Asset Management Programme.
The “informed” element of a RACI plan raises an interesting aspect of Software Asset Management that is too-often over-looked, and that is the need for a communications plan. Organisations could leap into a Software Asset Management Programme with great gusto, not least off the back of the excellent 30 minute board presentation previously offered, only to disappear into hole to complete a hive of activity. Once your Software Asset Management Plan has been completed off the back of the Gap Analysis/Maturity Assessment, waypoints should be assessed to determine points of achievement and who needs to be informed of them once they are reached. That way, tangible progress is promoted and the Software Asset Management Project doesn’t enter “out of sight, out of mind” status. Equally, once the Software Asset Management Plan reaches BAU status, the activities may differ slightly from project status, and this too will have an impact on the communications offered and their frequency etc. (more on this later)
The structure of a RACI chart is largely a personal choice however a key will be needed to explain the RACI values for someone who is coming to such a document for the first time. Personally, I like to list the objectives and activities in sequential order down the left hand side of a spread sheet, and then list those individuals/groups across the top of the spread sheet. The resulting grid will offer you the space to place R, A, C or I values against each activity, and each individual/group. There is no problem with an individual/group being counted twice: i.e. they could be Responsible and Informed (or any combination thereof).