The management plan for 2012-2015 : the story of work in progress
The guiding lines of the new management plan were debated at the May 2001 meeting of the Board of Directors. ABES subsequently began to draw up the text summarising the management plan which the Board of Directors will vote on in November2011.
July 2011: we welcome your remarks!
In autumn 2010 ABES began work on its second management plan which will run from 2012 to 2015 the context of which is radically different from that of the previous plan (2008-2011). Since 2008, the whole university and STI landscape has been undergoing profound upheaval and the extent of the effects currently remains unclear. Among the main changes we may cite the Law concerning the Freedom and Responsibilities of Universities (LRU, Loi relative aux libertés et responsabilités des universités), the drive to bring universities and the research world closer together under the authority of a Ministry for Higher Education and Research with a modified role and finally the creation of the Bibliothèque Scientifique Numérique (BSN, French National Digital Library Infrastructure ).
The main guiding principles of the 2012-2015 management plans have been defined by the ABES Board of Directors. They are the fruit of ongoing work which began in autumn 2010 and included the report by TICER (Tilburg Innovation Centre for Electronic Resources), input from ABES, the workshops run with the institutions concerned on May 16th 2011 and opinions provided by the Board of Directors and Scientific Committee.
The project will be further enhanced by input from:
- the results of the user satisfaction survey and the June-July 2011 focus groups;
- the feedback from user communities during the on-line consultation period (July 14th to September 30th 2011).
The definitive version of the management plan will be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval on November 24th 2011 following the Scientific Committee’s verdict thereon.
May 2011: three workshops with our partner institutions
ABES’s governing authorities, the Board of Directors and Scientific Committee, are currently working hard on the study phase for the new 2012-2015 management plan using input from the study of ABES’s international environment, the user satisfaction survey and focus groups and internal seminars. A consultation period is scheduled regarding the key features of the management plan along with the project evaluation provided by AERES (Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education)
ABES has added direct interaction with the institutions concerned to this study phase. The ABES days in May were a prime opportunity for this with many of our colleagues joining us in Montpellier. An afternoon of debates and exchanges made up of 3 workshops was organized on the day before:
March 2011: submission of the study of ABES’s international environment
M. Hans Geleijnse, a consultant with TICER (Tilburg Innovation Centre for Electronic Resources, University of Tilburg) was asked to carry out a study of ABES’s international environment to contribute to the preparation of the 2012-2015 management plan.
October 2010 : Work phases
The first ABES management plan (2008-2011) is coming to its end and work is now in progress on the 2012-2015 management plan.
A national context of profound change
In autumn 2010 ABES began work on its second management plan to run from 2012 to 2015. The 2008-2011 plan was the first in the young life of ABES. The upcoming plan will rely on the experience acquired in the 2008-2011 period while putting right what may be called “errors of youth”.
The context now is radically different. Since 2008, the whole universities and STI landscape has been undergoing profound upheaval and the extent of the effects currently remains unclear. Among the main changes we may cite the Law concerning the Freedom and Responsibilities of Universities (LRU, Loi relative aux libertés et responsabilités des universités), the drive to bring universities and the research world closer together under the authority of a Ministry for Higher Education and Research with a modified role and finally the creation of the Bibliothèque scientifique numérique (BSN, French National Digital Library Infrastructure ).
The creation of the Scientific Committee and an increased role for the Board of Directors
The major new change within the ABES structure is the creation of the Scientific Committee which will play a crucial role in advising the Board of Directors on future developments liable to have an impact on ABES’s work and role.
This work plan and schedule diagram for the elaboration of the 2012-2015 management plan as approved by the ABES Board of Directors provides for the Board to play a pivotal role in the elaboration of the project whereas in 2008 its involvement came later in the process.
A year of study, thought and consultation
The work plan diagram shows that input for the Board of Directors’ study work will be provided from several sources:
- User institutions
A questionnaire and focus groups, in the first quarter of 2011 and a consultation process (going further than just university libraries) regarding the major guiding lines of the project in May.
Two seminars have been held. A management seminar took place in October 2010 (self-diagnosis, analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) followed by a second seminar in March 2011 where all ABES staff made a deeper analysis of the themes brought out at the October seminar.
- a study of ABES’s international environment
TICER (Tilburg Innovation Centre for Electronic Resources) from the University of Tilburg were asked to analyse ABES’s work and evolution in the context of the main similar organisations both in Europe and further abroad.
- the Scientific Committee
The Scientific Committee has met twice since it was set up. In December 2010 it was convened to reply to the order letter written by the Board of Directors as a result of its November 2010 brain storming session and on April 5th 2011 there was a joint Board of Directors/Scientific Committee seminar.
Rethinking ABES’s missions and future
Although the deadlines are tight, the work is fascinating and exciting because this is an opportunity to totally rethink ABES’s missions and future. This is not a theoretical exercise because, as we have seen, the governing bodies will play a central role in both the decision-making process and the elaboration of the project. Also, their ideas will be based on your suggestions.
There remains one unknown factor - how will the management plan and the contract with the State dovetail? Also what will AERES’ involvement entail?
Unlike with the first management plan, the intention now is for the Agency to have a valid contract with the Ministry for Higher Education and Research.
The 2008-2011 ABES management plan
6 main guiding lines, 93 objectives
The 2008-2011 management plan was submitted to AURA (Association of the Network of ABES User Institutions) for comments and was approved by the Board of Directors on June 6th 2008. It was the fruit of a lengthy, in-depth audit allied to a collective effort involving all ABES staff and directed by the project leader, Raymond Bérard. It produced 6 main guiding lines and 93 stated objectives for the project.
ABES was aware that its organisation was no longer adapted to the stakes it faces in today’s environment and therefore launched a large-scale reorganisation initiative.
With its rich talents and projects, ABES will be able to find its place in the research and the development of new tools and services by taking into account the diversity of user behaviour, the wealth of content and the flexibility offered by new web technologies.