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Tapping Your Inner CEO: Management Tips to Stay on Budget and Deadline
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Tapping Your Inner CEO: Management Tips to Stay on Budget and Deadline

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Use business principles to stay on budget and deadline in archival digitization projects.

Use business principles to stay on budget and deadline in archival digitization projects.

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  • 1. By: Kim Schroeder Tapping Your Inner CEO: Management Tips to Stay on Budget and Deadline
  • 2. Digitization Projects and Fears
    • Most of our professional literature talks about the fear of obsolescence in context to these projects.
    • While that is a fear not to be minimized, there is another fear that archivists have and that is running out of budget. Whether not imagining they have enough money to even begin or anxiety over running out in funds in the middle, these fears hamper digital projects and success.
      • How to avoid this is not well documented and yet business processes are clear and supportive.
      • We need to stop making solo archivists re-invent the wheel when embarking on a digital project.
  • 3. Business Principles
    • Sound business principles exist for a reason.
    • Businesses that diverge from them, impact employees, company survival and even sometimes the world economy.
    • Using these tools we can attain efficiency and a certain comfort zone.
  • 4. Business Principles
    • Few archivists have a business background.
    • Many have an impression of business as something they are removed from.
    • We need to be involved in ACTIVE management of these projects.
    • As we are so understaffed, much of our time is spent reacting to users and issues rather than proactively managing.
  • 5. Business Principles
    • We need to actively plan out how much effort the project will take.
    • How much money we have or need.
    • How much money we think that we can obtain.
    • Set deadlines and milestones.
    • Build in the promotion, fund-raising and outreach of these collections.
    • Let’s begin where most archivists do…
  • 6. Pricing
    • There is much talk on the listservs about what to charge for various services in libraries and archives.
  • 7. Pricing
    • There is much talk on the listservs about what to charge for various services in libraries and archives.
    • What is wrong with this?
  • 8. Pricing
    • Addressing what a patron can afford is important. So is looking at the market rate to make sure you are not missing something in determining your price and set it unreasonably too high or low.
    • BUT…
  • 9. Pricing
    • You need to know how much your COST is.
    • Example:
      • Your institution will provide on-demand scanning of archival materials (within reason). How much do you charge?
  • 10. Pricing
    • You need to know how much your COST is.
    • What costs go into this determination?
  • 11. Pricing
    • You need to know how much your COST is.
    • What costs go into this determination?
      • Fixed Costs
      • Variable Costs
  • 12. Pricing
      • Fixed Costs
        • Costs spread throughout the institution for it to exist.
      • Variable Costs
        • Depends on the type of service and may vary on a case by case basis.
  • 13. Pricing
      • Fixed Costs
        • Might include building costs, staffing, utility bills, office supplies, etc.
      • Variable Costs
        • Might include ink that varies in annual cost based on how many prints you make.
  • 14. Pricing
      • Fixed Costs
        • Costs spread throughout the institution for it to exist.
          • Might include building costs, staffing, utility bills, office supplies, etc.
          • Building - Annual Lease - $100,000
          • Staff Salaries and Benefits - $250,000
          • Utilities - $10,000
          • Supplies - $1500
          • Insurance - $2000
          • Total - $363,500 / 2,000 open hours = $181.75 per hour base cost
  • 15. Pricing
          • Variable Costs
            • Might include ink that varies in annual cost based on how many prints you make.
          • Ink Cartridge - $50 (used half of it)
          • Paper - $1.00
          • Staff Scanning/Research Time = 1 hour
          • Total Cost to make a patron scan = $207.75
  • 16. Budgeting
    • Knowing your internal costs allows you to determine your real budget.
    • Hidden costs, not knowing internal cost, fees, and timing all create failing budgets.
  • 17. Budgeting
    • Defining a digital service is important. For instance, developing a Twitter project to help you promote your digital collection is a reasonable option. Let’s look at the real costs.
  • 18. Sample Twitter Project Costs (Assuming no Technology Investment Needed) Needs Assessment 5 hrs $25 x 5 = $125 Developing Content for Twitter/ Competitive Research 10 hrs $25 x 10 = $250 * You should start with a backlog of content Developing Institutional Process 5 hrs $25 x 5 = $125 * Minimum! Setting up Account .5 hrs $25 x .5 = $12.50 Monitoring Account 2.5 hrs $25 x 2.5 = $62.50 * Per Week Minimum! Uploading Content 2 hrs $25 x 2 = $50 * Per Week Minimum! On-going Develop of Content 2 hrs $25 x 2 = $50 * Per Week Minimum! Totals $512.5 Start-up Staff Time $162.5 On-going Weekly Costs
  • 19. Budgeting
    • Developing a digital project budget is quite a bit more complicated and often takes a team of people to review for accuracy.
  • 20. Budgeting
    • Simple Budget:
  • 21. Budgeting
    • Simple Budget:
  • 22. Budgeting
    • Simple Budget con’t:
  • 23. Budgeting
    • Advanced Project Budget:
    On-going IT Administration Vendor Management Network Back-ups Folksonomies? User Access Search Methodology Interface Design
  • 24. Vendor Relations
    • Hidden costs are rampant with vendors and this is a problem on both ends.
    • Arguing over money ruins many marriages and a business relationship is no different!
    • Understand the fine print, the amount of maintenance now and in the future, fees, upgrade issues, etc.
    • Consider capping service hours.
    • Be sure to specify in contracts what is a working product or service. Completion is not competency.
  • 25. Tracking
    • Report generation is something that is often put to the side.
    • It is vital for management
    • You can feasibly track EVERYTHING.
      • Staff time on the Internet
      • Average chat reference length
      • Satisfaction with reference interaction
      • Improvement in digital response, breadth of content, depth of content, user volume, etc.
  • 26. Sample Time Ticket 115 9     100 8           15 1 QC-001 55 10             45 8 10 2     Index - 0002   6                 60 6     Index-0001 65 13         40 8         25 5 Scan-0003 0 2                       2 AMP-002 DAM Meeting HO prod# HO prod# HO prod# HO prod# HO prod# HO prod# HO prod# Totals Sat/Sun Friday Thursday Wednesday Tuesday Monday Client/Work Order   8/15/2010 Week Ending: Willie C. Durant Employee Name: 220 Bagley, Suite 828, Detroit, MI 48226, phone: 313-963-6355, fax: 413-383-9946 Daily Time Sheet Archive Media Partners, Inc.
  • 27. Sample Time Ticket
    • From this simple format the following data can be generated:
    • Average scans per hour
    • Percentage of time for each task per employee
    • Overall production
    • Amount of time spent on tech problems
  • 28. Adjusting
    • Tracking is of no value if the data is not analyzed and acted upon.
    • A good project management practice is to define the process but leave room for adjustment for optimal efficiency.
  • 29. Workflow Tables
  • 30. Workflow Table
  • 31. Data Sample
    • Example: The weekly time ticket report generates the following. What does it tell you?
  • 32.  
  • 33. Reading the Data
    • 1) The through-put of the scanning is making the goals but the through-put for the other tasks is holding the entire project behind.
    • 2) More staff needs to be given to indexing and qc or decreasing scanning might be an option.
    • 3) The backlog of quality check is increasing at a faster rate than indexing. This might mean that there are issues with the training of the staff or an increase in questions with the indexing. The indexing process might need to be examined as well.
    • 4) Looking at increases month to month might be important rather than quarterly.
    • If nothing is done, you risk having your collection piled high in incomplete stacks instead of fully digitized and refiled.
  • 34. Reading the Data
    • If nothing is done, you risk having your collection piled high in incomplete stacks instead of fully digitized and refiled.
    • You also risk not completing a task at all.
  • 35. Feedback
    • Staff, management and patrons all deserve to be given feedback. In a service business we all need communication of our mutual goals, successes, failures and (hopefully) improvements.
    • When issues arise that hold up a smooth workflow, the entire team should be asked for input. This has to be done in a comfortable atmosphere so that true suggestions will be offered.
    • Even if your team is making its goals, regular solicitation of staff for ways to be more efficient should be executed.
  • 36. Feedback Tools
    • Suggestion Box – Posted in a clearly marked area of the workroom. It should be reviewed each week.
    • Announcing Open Door policy for all staff to suggest improvements to management.
    • Hiring a consultant to moderate and document suggestions and an optimal process.
    • Create an online survey of staff in Survey Monkey or others.
    • Hand out surveys to staff.
  • 37. Feedback Tools
    • Sample questions:
    • What are typical problems that you encounter in ______?
      • (Scanning, indexing, quality control, etc.?)
    • If you were to re-do the process, what would you change?
    • If we had an unlimited budget what would you like to see done to the process?
  • 38. Evaluation
    • Evaluating how your budget is progressing is important. A weekly or monthly review is recommended and even more frequently if needed.
    • This means that overages can be caught before the it is too late.
    • In the previous example, we see a few things that affect the through-put for hitting completion but what about the impact on budget?
    • Not enough is typically done to think about the dollars that are now needed. The impact of slow-downs in tasks might be greater search time to answer a user research request or it might mean the project goes tremendously over budget.
  • 39. Evaluation and Quantification
    • Does the backlog in indexing mean that we are pulling other staff off of other vital tasks?
    • Analyzing the data and adjusting the workflow is critical to staying on budget and deadline.
    • The quantification is one side of it, but quality is a big half of this. The quality of work and quantifying that is often a tough aspect for archives.
    • It is possible to create this type of numerical support and create a business case? Yes, it is.
  • 40. Evaluation and Quantification
    • Akin to public libraries that look at their circulation numbers for the year and multiply out the cost per book to get a total purchase price for books and magazines that shrinks the cost of a millage. Creating these numbers is an important selling tool in developing your budget.
    • Perhaps, you plan to digitize your 75 most requested images. This will then cut down on repeat questions and create an economy of scale.
    • This when uploaded to your website also creates a buzz about your archive and its valuable contents. Media coverage can be quantified.
    • The more people know about your archive, the more they will use it and sustain it.
  • 41. Time Studies
    • The results of the time tickets can give you great information about how much time it takes to do each task.
    • When comparing it to the time expected it is a strong tool for managing a digital project that is on a limited budget.
  • 42. Time Studies
  • 43. Time Studies
    • This tells us that:
  • 44. Time Studies
    • This tells us that Henry and John should not be scanning?
    • Mary is a stronger scanner?
    • If Henry did all of the scanning for 1000 images then it would take him 400 hours. If Mary did it, she would take about 143 hours. With a rate of pay of $20 per hour the cost difference IF quality is the same would be:
    • Henry $8000 vs. Mary at $2860 with a dollar difference of $ 5140.
  • 45. Time Studies
    • Money is part of the picture.
      • Quality is the other side.
        • How often do each of them make mistakes?
        • The quality control aspect has to be part of this story problem!
  • 46. Tools Re-cap
    • Spreadsheets
    • Tracking Forms
    • Time Tickets
    • Charts!
    • Surveys
    • Suggestion Boxes
  • 47. Sample Tracking Forms Included
    • Workflow Tables/Charts
    • Time Studies
    • Production Reports
    • Time Tickets
  • 48. Contact Information
    • Kim Schroeder
    • Adjunct Faculty
      • Wayne State University
        • School of Library and Information Science
        • [email_address]
      • President/Consultant
        • Archive Media Partners
        • [email_address]
        • Professional Blog to talk about these issues:
          • www.archivemediapartners.com/AMPed
          • Note: a link to this presentation is available via the blog