It takes a while to mature


I wrote in my last post about how I was looking for more resource so I can make progress on various outstanding preservation tasks. This is not a speedy process so in the meantime I am looking at ways to help in the search for more resource and also the ways in which I should be deploying the resources I do have. It seems like a good time to write a roadmap which will hopefully help articulate the vision of where we are headed, identify concrete objectives and priorities to help others understand the work we are trying to do.

First of all I would like to undertake some sort of audit of where we are as an organisation. I have long been an advocate of the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation and if you have met me you have probably heard me banging on about them. I even have them pinned up next to my desk (I stole this idea from Jen Mitcham) alongside my favourite xkcd cartoon

My desk

These are a great starting point but I’m looking for something a bit more in-depth.  This  is where I’ve turned to Maturity Modelling which is a method of assessing where an organisation is at in different areas and scoring to help define where improvements could be made and highlight areas which need the most attention. To help me undertake this assessment I looked at the suggestions on the Digital Preservation Coalition Preservation Handbook and also turned to Twitter, not least because that’s a place where many of those who have developed these models are to be found.



The Digital Preservation Capability Maturity Model referred to above is definitely one I am interested in and can be found here. The Assessing Organisational Readiness toolkit proved harder to track down (as the twitter conversation suggested there was a link rot issue) but I managed to get hold of a pdf version with another call out to Twitter (it would be great if there was some way of hosting it somewhere…).  The AOR toolkit is also very useful; based on the 2009 Jisc AIDA toolkit (also hard to find) and the CARDIO Research Data Assessment. This is also helpful as Warwick’s Research Data team have been developing their own roadmap using CARDIO and we are obviously keen to develop our services in a joined up and collaborative way.  The third suggestion which I’m going to look closely at is the Kenney and McGovern “Five Stages of Digital Preservation ( which was not hard to track down and has its own DOI, giving at least some guarantee that the link rot will be less likely.

I’ve started going through these models and each has different things to offer which are more or less useful to my particular situation. Every institution has its own priorities and ways of working and there is no one approach to digital preservation which will be applicable across the board. The roadmap I want to develop will hopefully help in the following areas:

  • establishing my digital preservation priorities
  • working out how to develop and move forward with preservation activities
  • highlighting areas for collaboration within the organisation
  • raising the profile of digital preservation work within the organisation
  • help make the case for additional resources based on an analysis of our current position

Using my assessment tools I can then identify my stakeholders and work towards a better understanding of where we are as an organisation and how we move forward.

So for now it’s back to my beloved spreadsheets and time to do some scoring!

One thought on “It takes a while to mature

  1. Pingback: Memory Makers 2018 – An Old Hand Digital

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