Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Governance & decision making during implementation

It’s been a week since I posted about governance & decision making.  And I mentioned that I would post another article about the process during the implementation phase.  It’s taken me a week to get to it because I have spent 2 days on the Board tour, had house guests over the weekend, spent today hosting the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee.  And tomorrow I have to present a paper to the Libraries Australia Forum – so I have been preparing my paper during this time as well.

Anyway – I’ve finally grabbed a few moments to add the next instalment about this topic.

I want to talk about the section from the diagram of 18 October which shows the Transitional User Group reporting to the PLS Standing Committee.  This is the phase we are now moving into.  The role of this group is to assist the consortium to establish the ways that it will operate.  This will necessitate the members of the Group providing leadership, consulting widely across the network, reconciling diverse points of view, and providing feedback to all libraries about the decisions being made.

You will see on the diagram that the Steering Committee is transitioning its responsibilities to the PLS Standing Committee, and the the Interim User Group is transitioning into the Transitional User Group.  These changes are indicated by the dotted lines.

The Terms of Reference for the Transitional User Group can be found on the Intranet if you are interested in them.

I can’t stress enough that the role of the group is to consult and recommend rather than decide.  The Group will be making recommendations to the PLS Standing Committee which has the delegated responsibility from the Libraries Board to make decisions.  To ensure accurate communication the Chair of the Transitional User Group will be a member of the PLS Standing Committee.
The initial group of people on the Group will be the managers or representatives from each of the “Year 1” libraries, along with several libraries who were represented on the Interim User Group – who are not in the year 1 group.  This will ensure continuity, and diversity in the Group.

The Libraries Board’s aim for this project is 100% participation by libraries over time.  Therefore it is important that those libraries not participating in year 1 are consulted and their voices are heard.  This will ensure that everyone feels that they have had an opportunity to influence and argue for particular positions that they may have.  Obviously, members of any group endeavour will not always get 100% of what they want, but they need to be given opportunities to influence decisions.

The Group meets for the 1st time next Monday, where some preliminary work will be done on some high level policies.  In the first instance there will be a look at existing policies and practices within our network to see whether we can align LMS consortium practices with current intent.  We will also map out a process for communication and what other decisions needs to be made in coming months.  Some of these decisions will be critical to allowing the supplier to configure the LMS database.

Once the group has met we will let everyone know the “where to from here” in the medium term.

I should add that as we move into subsequent years we will be looking to ensure that each library joining in a particular year will have a the option of a seat on the Transitional User Group.  That way, as we move from year to year all participating libraries will have an opportunity to participate in the decision making process.  At the end of the formal implementation phase we will move to the final User Group model which I will write about soon.

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