Who is going to be affected?
Who is responsible?
Who is writing the business case?
- The person writing the business case needs to have an understanding of: the digital content to be preserved, the challenges associated with it that need to be solved, the basics of digital preservation and the broader context of the organisation.
- This needs to be collaborative.
Who are you writing the business case for? What sort of language is needed?
- A critical part of writing the business is understanding the intended audience and this is likely to vary from case to case. You will need to understand the structure of your organisation and the decision making bodies and/or senior managers who will consider your case. You will also need to understand what they are expecting i.e. the format and structure of the business case, and the detail required.
What is a stakeholder?
- A stakeholder is a person who has an interest or may be affected by your business case or the resulting implementation
What is the main risk to your digital preservation activity
- Losing a key member of staff with unique digital preservation skills can set back your organisation's progress in this field more than any other risks
- Think carefully about staff retention and support. Share skills via internal training, job shadowing and workshops.
Who owns the functional and management responsibilities for digital preservation? Taking full control and accountability for digital preservation
The adoption of, or alignment with digital preservation actions demands formalising ownership and accountabilities for the data curators, data preservationists and adjustment/deployment of relevant IT processes. Ownership requires a value assessment (link to value assessment) in the form of an estimation of the consequences and potential costs of lost data integrity/data unavailability. This might, in the case of (deposit) libraries and archives not lead to direct financial losses, but might entail legal costs and reputational damage. Data curators and repositories need to take accountability for bit preservation. No one else in the organisation can do this other than higher management.
It might be tempting when outsourcing e.g. IT storage management to believe the storage vendor is responsible for maintaining data integrity and availability. Likewise, when storage management services are provided in-house, it is tempting and easy to believe that the data are owned by IT and that IT is responsible for maintaining data integrity and availability. But as data curators, the initiative, decision-making and responsibilities must come from the higher management and the role of the IT service provider, whether in-house or outsourced, should be one of implementation. Depending on the way your preservation actions are put into operation, they could be defined as part of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) or as part of an [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Technology_Infrastructure_Library Information Technology Infrastructure Library framework. Repository management remains responsible and accountable for the actual result and therefore policies need to be reflected in SLA type agreements with the executing party.
Who is affected inside and outside of the organisation?
- Who else in the organisation needs to be involved?
- Who will do the DP work? Roles and responsibilities
- Who decides how it is catalogued, stored, etc.?
- Who has responsibility for curation?
- Who is the collection owner?
- Who is supporting the case externally?
- A stakeholder analysis will help you to understand who else in the organisation needs to be involved. You should have an answer to each of these questions and understand the impact on each group. Different people will have different expectations of the activities involved and the outcomes, you need to understand how these relate to each other and how what you are asking of people fits into their priorities.
Who are your supporters and who are your detractors?
- Some people will see benefits in what you are trying to achieve. Others will see problems and conflicts with other objectives. For example they may have to give up resource from other areas to fund digital preservation and may not be willing. Anticipate their objections and prepare responses. Digital preservation can be seen as just another activity that will put pressure on short term deadlines, despite often streamlining activities and making them more efficient (in harmony with good project/process management).
Who is supplying the assets?
- You must determine whether you can meet their expectations - quality of service, volume of material, richness of user experience, long-term commmitment, rights transfers and controls.
Who are the designated user community?
Who is demanding value from the assets?
- You must understand their requirements and capabilities. Different requirements will determine different approaches to preservation - do they expect to see the originals? Do they want copies in modern formats? Do they plan to use certain research methodologies? Do they understand licensing conditions? Do they have the technical awareness to use the content as it is provided?
Who will determine the value of the assets?
- Why are the assets important and to whom? This will help you determine which are important and prioritise what you need to do. It will also help you identify support for your business case. Consideration of who is responsible for longevity of the asset. Should we be doing this is a fundamental question.