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What Kind of Review is Right for You? Donna Bourne-Tyson University Librarian, Dalhousie University Martha Whitehead University Librarian, Queens University.

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Presentation on theme: "What Kind of Review is Right for You? Donna Bourne-Tyson University Librarian, Dalhousie University Martha Whitehead University Librarian, Queens University."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Kind of Review is Right for You? Donna Bourne-Tyson University Librarian, Dalhousie University Martha Whitehead University Librarian, Queens University Canadian Library Association Conference, May 2013

2 Overview Reasons for Reviews & Types Consultants or Colleagues Case Studies Recommendations Discussion

3 Reasons for Reviews & Types Culture of Assessment Accountability versus continuous improvement; false dichotomy? Analysis of outcomes and performance at high level (positive and negative consequences) Expectation of a response and implementation of recommendations

4 Reasons for Reviews & Types Reasons for Reviews Mandated (legislation, Senate policy) Desire or need for change (change in leadership or user requirements) Funding constraints Other?

5 Reasons for Reviews & Types At least four types, some overlap: Governance – focus on high-level decision making, authority, oversight, often considering Board health Organizational – focus on organizational effectiveness, HR issues, succession planning, aligning structure with strategies, capacity Operational – more detailed focus on low-level operations, workflows, processes, aligning services and staffing External – focus varies based on terms of reference, generally not as detailed as Operational Review

6 Reasons for Reviews & Types Commonalities Should link to strategic plan, mission & vision Timelines wont mesh with your schedule Deadlines frequently missed; budget inadequate One review leads to another Follow-up often insufficient

7 Consultants or Colleagues Facilitator or Consultant? Facilitator: in-house team contributes own expertise and experience to address the problem; facilitator encourages ideas and discussion, keeps everyone on track, captures the content Do you have enough expertise and experience? enough perspectives? enough time? Are you at an impasse? Are engagement and commitment key objectives?

8 Consultants or Colleagues Engagement and commitment are always key objectives: form a steering group to Represent stakeholders Develop project objectives Identify consultants/colleagues Approve consultation process Advise on communications Regular check-ins, troubleshooting Deliver report and enable next steps

9 Consultants or Colleagues Consultants Professional expertise Breadth of experience / customers Beware the cookie cutter: it is all about you Business relationship – RFP, selection, contract, deliverables

10 Consultants or Colleagues Colleagues Domain expertise, peer respect Depth of experience Theyve walked in your shoes Collegial relationship – limitation on time expectations, service/reputational motivation

11 Case Studies – Governance CRKN - Why a governance review Ongoing commitment to good governance: assessment CRKNs 10 th anniversary Questions of size and composition – still ok? Scope Assess the appropriateness of the governance structure in the context of CRKNs mission, vision, values and strategic directions.

12 Case Studies – Governance Specific objectives 1.To review the size and composition of the Board, including all forms of representation; 2.To identify specific issues or concerns with respect to the current Board structure; 3.To consider possible mechanisms for addressing these issues; 4.To achieve compliance with pending legislation for not-for-profit corporations; 5.To recommend any changes to governance structure that would achieve organizational goals and serve members more effectively.

13 Case Studies – Governance Process Existing committee, selective use of consultants Phases Information gathering and analysis (included meeting with external expert re board trends, developments and best practices in not-for-profit and academic organizations) Issue identification, interim report Member and stakeholder engagement (consultant for survey design) Recommendations to the Board for changes Ratification of changes by voting members.

14 Case Studies – Governance Success factors External expert on selected topics Periodic concentrated in-person meetings Facilitative team members Communication with large, diverse community Learnings from implementation The topic may not be as engaging for your stakeholders as it is for you! Impact of change may be more change

15 Case Studies – Organizational OCUL – Why a Review Services have grown dramatically over time Economic circumstances in university sector New partnership opportunities

16 Case Studies – Organizational What is an organizational effectiveness review* Think organization (how things work) + effectiveness (how well things work) Focuses on three key questions: What are we trying to do? What resources and structures do we require to accomplish the goal/tasks? How do we know we are making progress? *Snowdon and Associates

17 Case Studies – Organizational Goals To ensure that OCUL has good strategic oversight, good resource allocation oversight, open assessment processes and that members engagement is aligned with the OCUL mission; To ensure that all members are able to participate and potentially contribute at all levels of OCUL program management; To ensure alignment with members needs and transparency concerning activities, priority setting and resource allocation.

18 Case Studies – Organizational Process Executive committee defined requirements for a consultant and provided project oversight Methodology: interviews, survey, information review Analysis answered the three key questions Drafts to Executive Report and recommendations to Directors Actions

19 Case Studies – Organizational Success factors Consultant with a deep understanding of sector and a perspective external to organization Time (of content experts) devoted to check-ins Opening doors for new conversations Learnings from implementation TBA from this one, but from others… communicate, engage, continually evolve

20 Case Studies –Operational Current Institution – Why? Contradictory recommendations in previous studies Systematic analysis had not been undertaken in recent memory; mergers, technological changes Need to redeploy significant number of staff to develop new services

21 Case Studies –Operational Scope Constrained to some extent by budget Model comparable to DIY renovation on HGTV Time for implementation doubled for DIY Opportunity to create a learning organization

22 Case Studies –Operational Specific objectives 1.To ensure alignment between strategies, services and staff 2.To identify activities that can be discontinued 3.To recommend workflow changes to achieve efficiencies 4.To then redeploy staff to emerging service initiatives 5.To develop internal capacity to redesign workflows and plan for new services collaboratively

23 Case Studies –Operational Process Engage consultant, design review with handoff to staff for completion and implementation Methodology: interviews, survey, process mapping, meetings, information gathering from comparator institutions Analysis framed around six key environmental factors; 22 recommendations Drafts to Senior Management Team Report distributed to all staff, opportunity to respond Implementation ongoing over 8 months; staff team of nine co-leading implementation

24 Case Studies –Operational Success factors Consultant able to share knowledge of best practices at comparable or aspirational institutions Staff willing to engage and work hard Shared recognition that something has to give Learnings from implementation Communicate, engage, use review as a touchstone

25 Case Studies – External Previous Institution – Why an External Review? Mandated by Senate but institution had not enforced the schedule No review had been done in over 9 years Significant leadership turnover; services not keeping pace with user expectations

26 Case Studies – External Scope Senate Guidelines and specific questions posed by VP Academic All aspects of Library operations, relationships, capacity, performance considered fair game

27 Case Studies – External Process Three person review team; two external, one internal (Chair of Senate Library Committee) Methodology: Self-Study Report, interviews, information gathering from comparator institutions / reviewer expertise Analysis framed around questions of capacity and communications; 26 recommendations Recommendations reviewed by Senate Committee; separate set of recommendations issued by Senate Committee to prioritize

28 Case Studies – External Success factors Reviewers respected by community and respectful of community; system constraints recognized Recommendations ranged in scale and scope; some achievable as early wins Internal review committee member – sustainability Learnings from implementation Easier to introduce change advocated by experts and endorsed by Senate

29 Recommendations Manage expectations (yours and others) Not a replacement for leadership Select your colleagues or consultants yourself Build implementation phase into following years goals and budget, ensure accountability, shared commitment to implement recommendations

30 Discussion How does your organization make review and assessment sound normal, not scary? What have you learned from past reviews? What worked well? What would you do differently? How has a consultant or facilitator been effective? What issues has a review helped your organization tackle?


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