Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part Two – Establish a Planning Committee

This is part of a series of posts which is based on a 3-hour hands-on workshop I offer on this topic. Be sure and check out the preceding post:

Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Overview
Technology Solutions Planning in Libraries: Part One – Develop the Project Plan


Create a Planning Committee

Establishing a planning committee with whom you hold occasional meetings is a great way to gain buy-in as well as to assure that you are on the road to making the right decisions for your organization


Key Members

  • Director of Education/Business Principal
    • These members of the planning committee will help guide your business goals for the project
  • High Level Technologist
    • It is vital to get the technology department behind you in the early stages of your project. They can help you avoid potential time wasters such as; researching a solution which is incompatible with your existing systems, or considering a technology which is out-dated, etc.
  • Primary Decision-Makers
    • Involving key decision makers from the first to the last step of the process not only allows you to provide them with hard data about your recommended technology solution, but instills them with confidence that this is a worthwhile project/purchase
  • Board Member with Area Expertise
    • If you and your staff don’t have the experience or expertise with the technology that you are seeking and a member of your board does, you may want to ask them to join your committee. They may provide you with valuable insight about the market or software features, etc.
  • Support Staff
    • Your support staff will need to use whatever technology you decide upon and will likely have to be trained to learn a new skill. Having a support staff member of the planning committee can go a long way towards creating an environment of empowerment and enthusiasm rather than resistance to change



Form Subcommittees

Subcommittees can be an invaluable way to allocate responsibility and to brainstorm about the focused needs of the project. Members do not need to come exclusively from the larger planning committee.


Business Subcommittee

This subcommittee can be organized to determine the business needs or “requirements” of the technology solution and can be comprised of:

  • Business Principals
  • Director-level Librarians


Functional Subcommittee

A functional subcommittee should be formed to take on tasks such as documenting existing workflow as well as establishing the functional requirements of the software and can consist of:

  • Support Staff
  • Long-time staffer who knows how everything is actually done


Technical Subcommittee

The technical subcommittee will determine the technical specifications which are necessary of the technology and can be made up of:

  • High-Level Technologists
  • Librarian-friendly Techies


Next: Gain Market Intelligence