Develop a structure for the business case toolkit and preservation support pages

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Brain storm for the development of the business case for preservation

Neil Grindley reporting back his breakout group: Useful to think about a simple interrogatory approach ... When, Why, What, How, Who

  • when:
    • Is this the right time to be writing a business case? Does it fulfil a need that the organisation has?
    • Can link to maturity assessement tools and approaches (e.g. AIDA).
    • long term vision/approach
    • short term components - staff, storage, etc
  • who:
    • Who is writing the business case and for whom they are writing it.
    • And who else in the organisation may need to be involved who isn't engaged at the moment (e.g. financial officers who may need to place preservation as a budget line within the organisation)
    • also, the who are the community/stakeholders for which the preservation will be done. Spell out that the material should be considered as digital assets, and assets have value and that value is realised over time by means of preservation/curation. Value must accrue to some stakeholders and this is a process of describing and identifying the supply and demand issues. Who is supplying the assets (and providing the curation service) and who is demanding value from the assets - the users, consumers.
    • type of organisation - business objectives, documentation,scale & maturity
  • what:
    • Once we know who we need to communicate with we then can start looking at what we've got ... We can describe the assets that we have.
    • characterisation
    • case studies
    • content audit etc
  • why:
    • benefits - state the benefits
    • risks
    • threats
  • how:
    • For some recipients of the business case (the sponsors) they may wish to think of curation/preservation as a black box. Don't want the technical detail broken down by cost. Others may want more detail in this area.
    • costs
    • audience/language
    • granularity over time
    • financial and non-financial

Maureen Pennock reporting back: Define what we thought should go in a business case then work back to what we might need to help people right. this breaks down into a series of tasks:

  • Exec Summary
  • Strategic vision (where do we want to be)
  • Understand the collection
  • Understand the context / landscape
  • Fit to organizational mission
  • What are the risks facing the collection / institution
  • Prioritisation of risks
  • List of benefits - Value, ROI
  • Costs of action and inaction
  • Resources needed, institutional readiness (Skills / resourcs / stakeholders)
  • Practical recommendations over a short period (and risks associated with them)

Discussion These are noticeably different approaches but they reinforce each other. The when/who/what/how questions are 'real english' and they work well to provide questions that are useful and also immediately understandable. But it won't steer you through a large wad of stuff. The headings are more 'cookie-cutter' giving the outline of everything that would be needed. These two approaches are not mutually incompatible.

Sections to work on - first cut: