On the Origins of the Project

The origins of this project stem from the original co-design meetings held in early 2013. A number of issues were raised by the co-design partners and one of these was Identity Management. This was initially raised by SCONUL as an area that needs to be resolved. It’s important to ensure that this project goes some way to resolving the requirements from the co-designers.

This post is a summary of the original idea taken from the template used to collect the details from the co-designers.

Idea Name
Addressing the social and political barriers to good identity management.

Description
This is an investigation into the cultural, social and political issues that are preventing excellent identity management in institutions. This investigation will explore the issue from a user’s point of view and will identify practical options for addressing the barriers identified. This project will take a library focus.

Success criteria
The ultimate aim of this work is:

  • Libraries stop being seen as a barrier
  • Improved user experience
  • Simpler access to resources

To be successful the taskforce needs to identify the issues and identify practical steps for addressing the issues and the people who need to be involved in those steps. This needs to be presented very clearly and in a non-technical manner.

The taskforce needs to identify strategic value of any recommended actions.

Approach
This project could be achieved by:

  1. Forming a taskforce of people with the skills required to identify and address access management issues for users. This should include people who are dealing with day to day issues as well as those from relevant access and identity management groups that already exist.
  2. Identify areas for quick wins
  3. Have a budget to direct at achieving quick wins
  4. Explore longer term issues and identify potential routes for dealing with these issues

Scope of this project could be challenging. The taskforce should consider picking a few specific challenges to work on while still considering the bigger picture. One example of a specific challenge is overseas students trying to access electronic resources either via a local campus or via their own network connection.

The taskforce should focus on user and service based issues, not technical ones, although some blurring of these boundaries will be inevitable.

The taskforce may also want to consider the barriers involved in providing support on access management issues.

Mobile devices are likely to be in scope. Overlap with other co-design ideas will need to be considered here.

The project will need to align with the work of a number of groups in this area. Particularly the SCONUL and UCISA access and identity management groups. The project will need to ensure that the risk of duplicating the function or plans of existing groups is managed closely.

Potential outputs

  • A report on the problems and barriers
  • A set of practical options
  • Some activities designed to achieve quick wins
  • Plans for dealing with longer term issues.

Sustainability
This work could lead to the need for an ongoing commitment to address the issues uncovered. This possibility will need to be addressed in planning the project.

The above was used as an input to the first face-to-face workshop for the Taskforce, where the issues around identity management and potential solutions were discussed in more detail. From this workshop a detailed plan was developed and a number of projects were identified and funded. As you can see, this original set of requirements was a key driver for the project.

Details of the workshop, plan and funded projects will be included in further blog posts.