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BPI Technique – Role Map Analysis – RMA

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Technique – Role Map Analysis – RMA


  • Helps to identify the relationships between the people who are accountable for leading change (e.g. project sponsors) and the people who will need to operationalize the change (e.g. affected or “targeted” employees). It also assists in highlighting potential difficulties relating to committed, ongoing project sponsorship.

When to Use

The Role Map Analysis can be used in two main ways.
  • To help structure the development of a Sponsorship Role Map
  • Because it is based on objectively accepted factors that ensure effective project leadership/ sponsorship, Role Map Analysis makes it easier for the joint client/consultant team to discuss and resolve sensitive issues at an early stage in the partnership. “Typical” sensitive issues include low commitment levels of potential sponsors to the proposed changes, lack of cross functional networking and ineffective leadership styles. The discussion and resolution of these issues sets an example for how to address similar issues, if and when they arise in later stages of the project.
  • Incorporate this analysis into project management
  • At every stage of the BPI project, there are decisions made concerning the sponsorship of the next stages. Role Map Analysis can help to highlight the importance of effective sponsorship by ensuring that each phase and each deliverable within the overall initiative achieves its expected results.


Initial drafts of the Role Map Analysis can be developed with the client team, or in a workshop with individuals familiar with the scope of the BPI initiative. The initial drafts are then refined through discussions with the leadership team.
  1. Identify the target groups of the BPI initiative, and map them against the current organization chart.
  2. Identify other groups that need to be engaged to successfully achieve change.
    1. For each target group, identify the leader or manager who is likely to be responsible for implementing specific changes. These people need to have the requisite accountability and budgetary decision-making to create the conditions for success.
    2. Identify the chain of leadership up to the point where someone can legitimately be seen to be accountable for the total BPI initiative.
    3. Indicate the likely reaction of each individual leader to the implementation of the BPI initiative:
      1. positive or supportive (+)
      2. negative or opposing (-)
      3. neutral or unknown (?).
  3. Draft the Sponsorship Role Map, and present it to the leadership team for discussion.



  • Sometimes, the people who need to strongly support the change may remain unconvinced about the need for change. It is critical that this issue be addressed. Involve these individuals in Case for Change exercises and coaching. In extreme cases, remove these people from their current sphere of influence. This will involve sensitive discussions with the Chief Executive and, where appropriate, the individual’s direct manager.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Take note of the guidelines in the Sponsorship Role Map deliverable, particularly regarding the use of language and the potentially dysfunctional configuration of roles.
  • Be aware that some targets will, in subsequent stages of the change process, become sponsors of specific elements of the overall BPI initiative.


  • Be aware that many external providers (i.e. IMA and ODR) have developed tools to assist in choosing effective sponsors, and identifying potential concerns regarding the choice of sponsors. These tools help to deepen the Role Map Analysis. These tools are proprietary to these vendors and are available directly through the vendors after proper certification.
  • Know that an alternative approach is to develop a client-specific tool. This is done in conjunction with the individual client. This approach has the added advantage of ensuring buy-in to the outcome of the Role Map Analysis as the client has been intimately involved in the creation of the framework used to analyze the potential difficulties associated with the choice of specific sponsors.

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