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Building GBIF Nodes I: creating a strong case for your Node

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This presentation focuses on how to create a (business) case for your GBIF node, that can be used to refine plans, to request funds, to focus promotion and outreach efforts upon and much more.

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Building GBIF Nodes I: creating a strong case for your Node

  1. 1. GB20 Nodes training course Building GBIF Nodes I: Creating a strong case for your Node Alberto González-Talaván Senior Programme Officer for Training GBIF Secretariat 4 October 2013
  2. 2. Summary Business cases are tools used very frequently to present proposals, defend positions, convince audiences, etc. GBIF Nodes can benefit from using this framework as it requires going through a systematic process of planning and critical thinking that pays off in the future. In this module we will work with business cases as a generic tool. Other modules will give you additional insight on how to complete your business cases with relevant content. This presentation corresponds to Module 1 of the GB20 Training course for Nodes hold in October 2013 in Berlin, Germany.
  3. 3. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  4. 4. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  5. 5. Rationale: definition A business case is: “A communication tool, composed in a language that the target audience understands and with enough detail to facilitate decision making on his/her part” From Ilya Bogorad, 6 Essential Elements for a Winning Business Case, Tech Decision Maker, July 19, 2011
  6. 6. Rationale: definition A business case is: “A communication tool, composed in a language that the target audience understands and with enough detail to facilitate decision making on his/her part” From Ilya Bogorad, 6 Essential Elements for a Winning Business Case, Tech Decision Maker, July 19, 2011
  7. 7. Rationale: what form can it take? A high-level proposal to a Ministry to join an organization such as GBIF An action plan for a national agency for the creation of a BIF and a node (or its maintenance) An annual plan A project proposal to a funding agency to support data digitization A proposal for a collaboration agreement between organizations A talk in a national symposium to encourage data publishing and open access
  8. 8. Rationale: why having one? Establish the Node position and scope Secure funds Ensure sustainability Be better prepared for unexpected challenges and opportunities Increase the success rate of your proposals Influence your professional career
  9. 9. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  10. 10. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  11. 11. Characteristics • Written for the decision maker • Easy to follow and understand • Well structured • Clear and concise • Rigorous • Relevant • Solid
  12. 12. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  13. 13. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  14. 14. Know your audience! Who will be taking the decisions? Who can influence their decisions? Institutional policies / mission Individual interests Adjust your language & jargon level Include the adequate level of detail Explore other previously approved projects Try to get their opinion early ?
  15. 15. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  16. 16. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  17. 17. Components 1. Executive summary 2. Background information 3. The problem/need/opportunity statement 4. Analysis of the situation and future impact 5. Proposed solutions and recommended alternative 6. The implementation plan 7. Cost/benefit analysis 8. Conclusions and reasoning 44 55 66 77332211 88
  18. 18. Components: executive summary High level view Condensed view, with all components Plain language It is the key to the rest of the document Last part to be written 4 5 6 73211 8
  19. 19. Components: background info Just enough basic information that the stakeholders need to know to understand the proposals and the current situation More important when presenting cases to external audiences Make sure your sources are reliable i.e. a description of the current way of dealing with biodiversity information and resources, including relevant actors at the national level. 4 5 6 732211 8
  20. 20. Components: the problem The reason you are creating the case. It could be: • A problem, a situation that needs to be fixed • An opportunity to generate benefits, revenue, reduce costs, increase efficiency, etc. • A formal requirement, a mandatory change Important to be objective, neutral. i.e. inefficiency dealing with data, lack of (unified) data access, inability to optimally manage natural resources, international commitments not fulfilled, repeated investments to collect similar data. 4 5 6 7332211 8
  21. 21. Components: the analysis Additional information on how the situation came to be as it is It provides projections on how the situation can continue if nothing is done A preamble of the next section You can use generic analysis tools such as SWOT. i.e. financial costs of continuing things the same way. Scalability issues. International image. 44 5 6 7332211 8
  22. 22. Components: the solutions Description of SEVERAL ways to deal with the situation (3-4 is a good number) Sufficient detail to be understood Sufficient data so the different options can be compared One of them must be identified as the preferred solution. Anticipate objections i.e. organizing an independent national information system, copying the system used in another country, re-focusing an existing system, etc. 44 55 6 7332211 8
  23. 23. Components: implementation plan It should provide enough detail on how the preferred solution could be implemented No need for an exhaustive plan Make the links with the problem and analysis section. Include a risk assessment section i.e. you can include details about scope, governance, work teams, roles and responsibilities, external resources, communication plans, schedules, risk management. 44 55 66 7332211 8
  24. 24. Components: cost/benefit analysis The level of detail can , but always REALISTIC. Highlight quantitative AND qualitative benefits and costs. Consider direct and indirect costs. Try to use ‘their’ data i.e. Quantitative: Direct savings due to increased efficiency and investments already done by others. Qualitative: international and national positioning, transparency, adoption of best practices, improved information access, increased capacity, etc. 44 55 66 77332211 8
  25. 25. Components: the conclusions Motivational summary that refers to the points included in the previous sections. Includes the main points and figures Works as a call for action i.e. Investing X € will generate Y € in savings and will produce the A, B, C immediate benefits. 44 55 66 77332211 88
  26. 26. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  27. 27. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  28. 28. Best practice 1. ALWAYS adapt to your situation and audience 2. Give real alternatives as solutions 3. Find out where the opposition is likely to come 4. Make your audience ‘own’ the data 5. ‘Test the waters’ early 6. Be concise, clear, logical and persuasive 7. Be ready to discuss your proposal in 30 seconds, 5 minutes and 30 minutes.
  29. 29. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  30. 30. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  31. 31. Resources: specific for Nodes Global Biodiversity Informatics Outlook http://www.gbif.org/orc/?doc_id=5353 GBIF Strategic plan http://www.gbif.org/orc/?doc_id=2792 Benefits of participating in GBIF http://www.gbif.org/participation/outreach How to create strategies and plans for Nodes → Module 2A. How to strategically position your Nodes → Module 2B. Uses of data → Modules 4A, 4B.
  32. 32. Resources: about business cases Jonathan Wu, 2001, Creating a successful business case to advance your initiative. http://www.information-management.com/news/4330-1.html Ilya Bogorad, 2011, 6 essential elements for a winning business case. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-decision-maker/6-essential-elements-for- a-winning-business-case/. Margaret Rouse, 2012, How to write a business case document. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/How-to-write-a-business-case-document. Bizvortex Consulting Group Inc., Business case template. http://new.bizvortex.com/products/. Ilya Bogorad, 2010, Thirty tips for a better proposal or business case. http://bizvortex.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/. Bizvortex Consulting Group Inc., 2010, Business case tips. http://new.bizvortex.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Business-Case-Tips.pdf Steven Gara, 2013, How to build a project’s business case. http://news.dice.com/2013/04/12/how-to-define-a-business-case/. More info at http://community.gbif.org/pg/pages/view/36138/
  33. 33. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  34. 34. Outline 1. Rationale 2. Characteristics of a successful case 3. Know your audience! 4. Components of a business case 5. Best practices 6. Resources 7. Conclusions
  35. 35. Conclusions Business cases are a good tool when presenting proposals related to your Node Helps to go through a process of analysis and planning that pays off Helps you to catch opportunities and adapt to changes They can be applied at very different levels Adapt them to the audience and the situation
  36. 36. GB20 Nodes training course Building GBIF Nodes I: Creating a strong case for your Node Alberto González-Talaván Senior Programme Officer for Training GBIF Secretariat 4 October 2013

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