Tuesday, 18 October 2011

LMS Governance & Decision Making (part 1)

I mentioned the other day that we have been working on ensuring that we have the correct governance and decision making processes.  As I have mentioned in a number of forums and documents, this work has been ongoing, since before the Request For Proposal was issued, & it continues to evolve.  We have worked with the Libraries Board, the Local Government Association and the Public Libraries SA Executive to ensure that we have the structures and processes that allow for effective consultation and decision-making.

Rather than creating a whole new decision making process we have used both existing Libraries Board decision-making structures and utilized existing mechanisms which are used in local government as much as possible to establish how decisions will be made regarding the LMS establishment, configuration and longer term management.

The structures and processes are best viewed at a high level using the table below.  While no diagram is perfect or can explain everything, it is a good place to start. 

On the left hand side of the table you can see the processes that were in place during the procurement phase of the project.  The Libraries Board established a Steering Committee, which signed off on an Evaluation Plan (EP) and managed the Request For Proposal process.  The Steering Committee utilized an Evaluation Team to undertake the evaluation of the various RFP responses.  As identified in the EP the Evaluation Team established a number Subject Matter Expert groups (the red boxes) that provided advice to the Evaluation Team.  This process has stood us in good stead in ensuring wide engagement in the process, with coordinated access to many experts who could provide their expertise to the process.

Towards the end of the evaluation process the Steering Committee established an Interim User Group.  The role of this group was to identify all of the questions that we would need to answer to ensure that we have a consortium that has a set of known policies, procedures and processes that will govern interactions between libraries and with library customers.  This group was not asked to answer these questions, but to identify what the questions were.  The significant question which hung over the work of this group was which decisions would be made locally and which would be made as a consortium.  The other issue was, “What is the capability of the (at that time unselected) LMS to deal with complexity and diversity?”  The membership of this group was self-selecting through an expression of interest process that was open to all in the public library network.  This group has done a great job in asking the questions that we now need answers to. 

So we’ve now got to the conclusion of the procurement process & we know what the LMS can do.  So on this basis we will soon be moving from procurement to implementation.  I will provide a similar post soon about the decision making process during the implementation phase of this project, where the Transitional User Group will operate & then follow it up by writing about the final shape of the governance and decision making process post implementation.

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