Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Quick Explanation of RAPIDs

As FST Phase 3 continues, we’ll all be hearing about RAPIDs more often as key project decisions get made.

RAPID is an acronym for a decision-making structure. The goal for using such a structure is to have an organized approach to identify the decision-maker for important decisions and define the roles of others contributing to the process.

Here’s what the acronym RAPID stands for:
  • Recommend: To kick off the process, someone recommends that a decision be made. This person or group will identify options to share with others involved in the process and do the appropriate research, seeking input (the I), to contribute to an informed decision.
  • Agree: After a recommendation made, a person or people must agree to proceed with the process. If they disagree, more input may be required to revise the recommendation or the process may be discontinued.
  • Perform: After a decision is made, a group of people implement it. This group often includes some of those who provided input earlier in the process.
  • Input: Important stakeholders contribute to the process by providing input. Their feedback may be solicited at one or more points in the process.
  • Decide: A person (or people) ultimately make the decision.

Don’t let the organization in the acronym confuse you. In practice, it’s more like RIDAP, but that’s not as catchy and sounds like a confused frog instead of a decision structure.
The process can be more iterative than that as well. For example, people may provide input to inform what is recommended and then again after agreement, giving feedback about the options moving forward.

It’s common in RAPID lingo to refer to participants in the process with their letters. For example, you may hear something like, “She’s an A,” or “He’s an I.”

Large-scale decisions that affect a lot of people or resources, for example, need a RAPID. Though encouraged for all, not every decision requires a RAPID. Other smaller-scope decisions can be made effectively without it. The project team has developed a specific decision-making framework to assign decisions to tiers based on their scope and impact. Which tier a decision falls into then determines if a RAPID is required or optional. The FST decision-making framework will be shared soon.

As FST decisions are made using RAPID decision-making, the documentation about the decisions will be shared on the FST website to enable everyone in the University community to see what has been decided and who has been involved in the process. More info about that repository soon, too!

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