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Who's in Charge Here? How to be Agile in a Large-Scale Consortial Alma Migration

Sommers, Hannah and Wrubel, Laura (2018) Who's in Charge Here? How to be Agile in a Large-Scale Consortial Alma Migration. In: ELUNA 2018 Annual Meeting, May 1-4, 2018, Spokane, Washington.

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Abstract

For organizations desiring to work in an agile fashion, large-scale complex projects with varied stakeholder interests present unique challenges. Governance is often at the forefront of these. But where there is challenge, there is also opportunity. This session will describe a decision-making landscape where actions taken for the benefit of a consortium's membership needed to be harmonized with the needs of one individual member library in the context of a migration from Voyager to Alma. The presenters will discuss the governance framework they developed to 1) address their university's business needs, 2) foster internal collaboration and teamwork, and 3) contribute in significant ways to the success of the larger consortium. All while respecting the existing governance structures of the consortium. George Washington University is part of the Washington Research Library Consortium, comprised of nine universities in the Washington, D.C. area. The consortium has operated an ILS on behalf of its membership for many years, and successful migrations have taken place in the past. But not for 20 years. When the moment came for us, as GW, to begin organizing ourselves to undertake data preparation activities, we immediately encountered challenging scenarios that tested our creativity. How could we balance the existing governance and decision-making structures of the consortium with our local need to prioritize data elements for review that pertained to local business cases? With a staff that was leaner than ever before, how would we find time to participate in meetings among GW colleagues and consortial colleagues and still get the work done? How would we be able to react to the new information that we would undoubtedly uncover in the process? We value agile project management principles as an organization -- how could we maintain an agile posture within the consortial project framework? Also, where would leadership come from? After some weeks early on, iterating different approaches, we hit upon a way to keep communication flowing, minimize time spent in meetings, and demonstrate to stakeholders how we were progressing toward our goal. Leadership has come from those who have expertise in the subject matter and business need rather than position in the org chart. Stakeholders have a way to see what work is happening locally AND across the consortium, get their questions answered, influence prioritization of work, and understand what may be getting in the way of progress. Although we have operated according to agile principles locally, we were able to adapt with minor adjustments once ExLibris project management resources came online to work with the consortium. Our story is still a work in progress, set to deliver in the summer. But at this time we can share lessons learned with others who may be approaching a migration as part of a larger consortial or system-wide effort. And who may be wondering about the challenges and opportunities of governance when there is more than one library involved, when the contract is with the consortium, and when it's not entirely clear at the outset exactly who is "in charge."

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Event Title:ELUNA 2018 Annual Meeting
Subjects:Alma
General Topics
Divisions:ELUNA Conference Proceedings
ID Code:1752
Deposited By: Al Cornish
Deposited On:12 Jun 2018 00:53
Last Modified:12 Jun 2018 00:53

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