Over a six month period University of Michigan’s Electronic Records and Database Management (ERDM), which includes Electronic Access, Electronic Acquisitions, and the Electronic Cataloging units, undertook a comprehensive workflow analysis in preparation for the implementation of Innovative’ s ERM. A two tiered task force was established, which included librarians as well as staff, a charge was written, and an interview schedule was established. Each of the 18 staff members was interviewed at least once by two members of the task force and the results were analyzed as the project moved along.
This was an intense process and our talk will outline our charge, the difficulties of conducting such an intensive review in such a short amount of time, and our results. The final report contained over 15 workflow charts, a staff responsibility matrix, network diagrams that demonstrated the amazing reach of our units, and a written report with many recommendations. Our recommendations were broken down by unit and for the ERDM as a whole. For example, we have emphasized for each of the units within ERDM the need for a move from specialization to generalization so that all staff can participate in the work of the unit as a whole to prevent backlogs. At the time of the conference we will be able to discuss how our report has impacted the work of the units, particularly our E-Acquisitions unit, which is heavily involved in the ERM implementation and has had a serious shift in staffing due to retirement. We will also show how we were able to shed some light on our ‘invisible’ electronic resources and the staff who manages their life cycle.