The Library Business Continuity Program was implemented to help staff manage major disruptions, such as the Macquarie University train station closure (Sept 30, 2018), by minimizing negative impacts to Library operations and quality service provision. Flexible work arrangements are considered pivotal to this.
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During the LBC Pilots all participants and their Manager’s completed several surveys on their experience of the pilot/s. You can find here a summary analysis of the data collected from these surveys.
All Staff Meeting (August 2018)
The Library Business Continuity program is a combination of various streams, running both concurrently and consecutively. Whilst the streams build on each other, the impending train station closure has called for a fast and agile approach where streams run in parallel with each other.
The Consolidation stream combines, and analyses information gathered to date – aiming to create a standard approach to Library operations. Made up of three workshops, this stream analyses the findings from the Task Analysis and Pilot streams against a backdrop of other operational evidence. The data is being considered from a wholistic perspective – asking the questions:
- what might Library Operations look like during a time of disruption?
- what does volume look like?
- what tasks are daily critical?
- what operations require onsite attendance?
- what operations can be performed offsite?
The consolidation stream also offers the opportunity to further explore and confirm the underlying principles of the program. Work undertaken during the peer support network stream will consolidate the processes that underpin these principles.
The Pilot stream tests the viability and/or challenges of staff ideas around business continuity and flexible approaches to work. Ideas gathered from previous workshops were distilled and seven pilots were chosen for further exploration at a design workshop held in December 2017. Five of these pilots were selected for testing and evaluation. Volunteers participated in these pilots from March to the end of May 2018, providing detailed feedback via numerous Qualtrics surveys. Evaluation of this data is scheduled for June and July 2018.
We selected two of the pilot design ideas to form the basis of the Peer Support Network.
The Task Analysis stream combines information gathered at three workshops held throughout the October 2017 to March 2018 period. These workshops were an opportunity for participants to explore those tasks considered vital to effective Library operations. All Library staff were invited to attend and share their knowledge and experience.
Participants considered the tasks in a ‘current’ state, exploring the volume, scope and flexibility of the processes or actions related to the tasks. Whilst not an aim of the workshop, some groups identified areas for process improvements.
Information Gathering Brainstorm
The Brainstorming stream was the first stage in this program. With news of the imminent station closure gaining University wide attention, several information gathering workshops were held in the Library during the second half of 2017.
The first workshop was a brainstorm session for Managers and Team Leaders. Subsequent workshops were open to all Library staff. Initially workshops aimed to identify the concerns staff had in relation to the forecast station closure. Once those concerns were identified, we moved on to exploring ideas around how best to deal with the challenges and the negative impacts of the closure.
Reducing negative impacts on staff and services, and by association reducing cartrips, were the guiding premise for these sessions. Flexible work arrangements were highlighted as a tool that could assist the Library in meeting those challenges.
Peer Support Network
The goal of the Peer Support Network (PSN) is to support Library staff and Team leaders as they implement, manage and achieve successful outcomes using flexible work during times of disruption and beyond. The Macquarie University train station closure (Sept 30, 2018) was the impetus for launching this group and ties in, but is not exclusive to, the Library Business Continuity program. The Peer Support Statement for the Network is as follows:
The PSN is a Collective effort to support each other and teams in order to:
- Maintain library business continuity
- Minimise the negative impacts during disruption
- Maintain & improve productivity & quality outcomes
A major aim of this program is to develop a standard approach to operations for flexible work across the Library. This standard approach has at its core, three main principles.
- enable the same or improved productivity
- reduce stress and negative impacts for staff around the disruption to work/travel
- reduce car trips and transport difficulties
In addition, work arrangements need to:
- work for the client, the Library, the teams and the individual (respectively)
- be appropriate for the work that needs to be done
- include agreed ways of communicating availability
- be sustainable and adjustable to meet changing circumstances
Using an agile, collaborative and evidence-based approach, the program extends the Library’s current flexible work practices using a mixture of new ideas and existing technologies that are available to staff.