Ed Chamberlain, Head of Resources at the University of East Anglia recently joined us for a webinar to discuss how they went about building their successful business case for Talis Aspire Reading Lists. You can watch a recording of the webinar here and find out how he was able to win over the board and getting funding for TARL. Ed shared with us some of his top tips for building a case and for implementation.
Do your research
Ensure you know who the stakeholders are and what their roles involve to help you pitch the right message. Ed said, “I was able to lean on colleagues who were well integrated within the university for this knowledge”.
Find out what is important to your university. Look at the language they use and what goals and objectives they mention. This is key information to centre your business case around. In the University of East Anglia’s case it was all about the student experience. They had been thinking in a very library-centric way, but actually, the case was much more successful when they refocused and made it student-centric. They made sure to focus on improving NSS scores and of course improving the student experience through better and easier access to materials through better and easier access to materials along close integration with the VLE. It was important to mention the academic too, in fact the library was hardly mentioned in the final business case.
It’s a great bonus to have a specific staff member to focus on the project
Their business case included funding for a digitisation librarian to focus on implementation, do demos, talk with academics on a 1-2-1 basis and ensure everything is running well. This helps with time as there often isn’t enough resource between the team to implement this properly, it’s not just the case of bolting it on to someone’s role.
However, if you can’t get funding for additional staff, it’s important to consider putting other tasks aside so that you can properly implement the software and get academics on board.
The benefits are more easily shown in practice
It helped to show how the system works and how it will save time and effort by running through it, it’s much more convincing than on paper. The demos went down really well at the pitching stage, but also with academics during the adoption process. Using stats at this point is crucial – for example Ed’s team stated that it currently took 30-40 mins to process a request and they wanted to get this down to 15 mins including scanning. It helped to explain how this process would be shortened by running through the workflow.
Do you have any tips for building a business case? Please share them in the comments below!