[Asis-l] espida Project Conference 2007 - British Library

Joy Davidson british.editor at erpanet.org
Mon Jan 15 12:47:18 EST 2007

 ***Apologies for cross-posting***

 Articulating value in the digital world
A conference on the espida Approach
  Producing a realistic assessment of the benefits of IT or Information
projects is tough.  This conference will be of value to both the managers of
resources (decision makers, funders, etc.) who are seeking to understand
what they might get for money expended and those that prepare business cases
for projects who want to convince those with the money that what they
propose is worthwhile.  It will explain the background to the problem, ways
that it has been addressed in the past, the approach developed in the espida
Project and the perspectives of funders, decision makers and others on the
problem and this approach.

  The rapid pace of change in Higher and Further Education means that
decision-makers and funders are frequently required to evaluate project
proposals that have serious implications for their institutions. There are
never enough resources available to fund more than a small fraction of the
proposals and decision makers are keenly aware that the size of the resource
pool is fixed and that every pound spent on infrastructure and
administration is a pound not spent on 'primary production': learning,
teaching and research.

  Costs of projects are relatively straight-forward to define, but benefits
that are not expressed in financial terms can be very difficult to
communicate and measure. These intangible benefits are frequently a major
feature of business cases and are often expressed in vague prosaic language.

  This conference, held by the espida Project will offer an approach that
can help construct and communicate intangible benefits in such a way that
informed and transparent decisions can be made for the benefit of the
organisation. Speakers will present a view of the economic background to the
issue of understanding intangibles, the espida Approach itself, and examples
of how the Approach can be used successfully in different types of

  How are business cases for resources made within your organisation? Are
hours spent carefully crafting purple prose to convince senior management
about the merits of your work? Do management find it hard to understand the
benefits of the proposal?

  The espida Approach was initially developed as an aid to securing
resources for actions to preserve digital materials, helping to define the
value of such work in a language that senior management can understand. In
addition to the digital preservation community however, the Approach has
high relevance for areas that measure their outcomes, not with financial
indicators but rather more intangible results. These include records
management, knowledge management and IT. In general, any business case that
must convey outcomes that are not purely financial may benefit from applying
the espida Approach.

  The Approach helps users:

  a)      Figure out what the benefits of their proposal really are,

  b)      Express these benefits in a way that communicates them

  c)      Identify outcomes in a systematic fashion.

  This conference, held by the espida Project, will offer an Approach that
can help communicate intangible benefits in such a way that proposers can
increase the chances of their proposal being understood and resourced.

  Speakers include:

  Helen Shenton (British Library)

  Professor Sir Laurie Hunter (University of Glasgow)
  Setting the scene

  Dr. James Currall & Peter McKinney (University of Glasgow)
  The espida Approach

  Alice Colban (JISC)
  The Approach in the context of Funding Bodies

  Dugald Mackie (Vice-Principal, University of Manchester)
  The Approach in the context of HE decision-making

  Julie Carpenter (Director, Education for Change)
  The Approach in the context of consultancy in Heritage

  Conference details:
  Monday 12th February
  British Library Conference Centre

  Cost: Free

  To register for the conference please visit the website

  Contact Joan Keenan for further information (J.Keenan at lib.gla.ac.uk).

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