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Governance

This section of the toolkit is focused on activities that will help you with planning how to establish, stabilize, and evolve sustainable governance for your program. It is designed to help you structure discussions and gain consensus about next steps for sustainable governance for your OSS program. It is not a toolkit for day to day governance.


Definition: A governance model describes the roles that project participants can take on and the process for strategic and tactical decision making within the project. In addition, it describes the ground rules for participation in the project and the processes for communicating and sharing within the project team and community. 


Instructions

Brand new to It Takes a Village in Practice? Check out our Getting Started Resources before jumping in! 

Review the activities and goals below to select ones you want to use for sustainability planning. These activities are designed to help you move from one phase to the next and can be used in any order. You can use any or all of them. Suggested persona pathways are outlined at bottom of page, but it is not expected that programs would do all activities.    

These activities are currently available for beta testing.   As you use them, the ITAViP Co Directors are eager for feedback via ITAV@lyrasis.org

Some beta testers have kindly provided samples of their work with activities. They are included below as available.



Pre-Work

These are activities that may be helpful if you haven’t already done strategic planning.

A. Mission / Vision

Goal: To enable program governance to consider and create a Mission and Vision Statement if you do not already have one. Having a Mission and Vision Statement are helpful for many of the ITAV activities.   Examples: Mission  Vision


PDF w/ worksheet

B. Strategic Priorities

Goal: To enable program governance to consider and create some high level strategic priorities if you do not already have them. These are helpful for many of the ITAV activities. 

DOCPDF

C. Who is Your Community?

Goals: To identify community stakeholders, consider goals for each stakeholder group, and prioritize community stakeholders 

This is helpful as pre-work, but also for programs in any phase. Note, there is a fuller version of this in the Community Engagement Facet.

DOCPDF




Phase 1: Establishing Governance

Phase 1 Objectives include: Define the Need for Governance; Review Existing Governance Models; Select the Governance Model that Works Best Now, and Communicate Changes to Stakeholders

1. Catastrophizing

Goals: Understand how the program’s current governance model (or decision making) works with unexpected issues; Understand if the model works well or has gaps; and Identify and document issues that need to be solved.

Note: This activity is valuable for any phase.

Examples:  Ideate, Prioritize, Gap

Related Objectives: Define the Need for Governance

DOCPDF

2. Checklist of Governance Elements

Goals: Understand the elements of various governance models, and determine which your governance structure currently has.

Related Objectives: Review Existing Governance Models

DOCPDF

3. Understand Governance Models and Process Impact

Goal: Understand the range of various governance models, how they function, and what they could mean for your own program. 

Related Objectives: Review Existing Governance Models

DOCPDF

4. Structure: How Much Works Best for Your Program Now

Goal: Understand program needs in terms of more or less formality in governance structure.

Related Objectives: Review Existing Governance Models; Select the Governance Model that Works Best Now

DOCPDF

5. Select a Governance Model that Fits Your Program Needs

Goal: Choose the governance model that most closely aligns with your program’s priorities and values.

Related Objectives: Select the Governance Model that Works Best Now

DOCPDF

6. Articulate the Case for Change

Goals: Draft your communication strategy and communicate change to your stakeholders.

Related Objectives: Communicate Changes to Stakeholders

DOCPDF

7. Evaluate Communication Campaign Feedback

Goal: Evaluate how well your communication campaign was received.

Related Objectives: Communicate Changes to Stakeholders

DOCPDF




Phase 2: Stabilizing Governance

Phase 2 Objectives include: Document Existing Governance Practices. Evaluate Each Element of Existing Governance, Increase the Level of Community Engagement, and Evaluate Long Term Home Organization Options

8. Catastrophizing

Goals: Test resiliency of current model; Understand how the program’s current governance (or decision making) works with unexpected issues; Understand if the model works well or has gaps; Identify and document issues that need to be solved.

Examples:  Ideate, Prioritize, Gap

Related Objectives: Evaluate Each Element of Existing Governance

DOCPDF

9. Pack Your Bags - Mapping Decision Journeys

Goals: Enumerate the strategic and tactical decisions the program stakeholders are faced with; Enumerate the paths those decisions take before they are finalized; For decisions that have no path, identify choke points, redundancies; and Identify gaps or areas of governance or program management that need improvement.

Related Objectives: Evaluate Each Element of Existing Governance

DOCPDF

10. Financial and Organizational Stability Assessment Checklist

Goals: Assess the financial and organizational stability of your program’s governance, and identify gaps or areas of governance that need improvement.

Related Objectives: Evaluate Each Element of Existing Governance

DOC - Activity

DOC - Checklist

PDF - Activity

PDF - Checklist

11. Position Descriptions for Elected Leaders

Goals: Create, update, or confirm position descriptions for elected leaders; Help elected leaders and community members understand the roles and responsibilities of each position; and Facilitate succession planning.

Related Objectives: Document Existing Governance Practices

DOCPDF

12. Create Personas

Goals: Create more explicit stakeholder personas to help guide community efforts.

Related Objectives: Increase the Level of Community Engagement

DOCPDF

13. Recognition and Contributions

Goals: Understand how the program currently recognizes contributions; Understand how recognition and contributions are incorporated into the program; Understand the kind of recognition that is most appreciated/motivating to each kind of contributor; and Discover how the program can improve in this area.

Related Objectives: Increase the Level of Community Engagement

DOCPDF

14. Org Home: Requirements Gathering and Assessment

Goals:  Determine if you need a new organization to provide functions; gather requirements for assessment and decision.

Related Objectives: Evaluate Long Term Home Organization Options

DOCPDF

15. Five Elements Assessment

Goals: Evaluate the program’s current governance structure, determine potential needs, and prioritize work going forward.

Related Objectives: Evaluate Each Element of Existing Governance

DOCPDF




Phase 3: Evolving Governance

Phase 3 Objectives include Support Consistent Structures, Continue to Evaluate and Evolve Governance Practices and Expand Community Participation in Governance

16. Succession Planning

Goals: Identify critical positions within your organization; Identify future staffing needs; Identify people with the skills and potentials to perform future roles; Develop action plans for individuals to assume those positions.

Related Objectives: Continue to Evaluate and Evolve Governance Practices; Expand Community Participation in Governance

DOCPDF

17. Continuing Education

Goals: Determine what information is necessary for Board members to feel invested, informed and engaged; Identify topics that inform Board discussions and decisions; Create a continuing education plan (schedule and content) based on those topics for Board members.

Related Objectives: Support Consistent Structures

DOCPDF

18. Catastrophizing     

Goals: Test resiliency of current model; Understand how the program’s current governance (or decision making) works with unexpected issues; Understand if the model works well or has gaps; Identify and document issues that need to be solved.                          

Examples:  Ideate, Prioritize, Gap

Related Objectives: Continue to Evaluate and Evolve Governance Practices

DOCPDF

19. Representative Governance Assessment Checklist     

Goals: Evaluate if governance structure is representative, prioritize any gaps, document or revise governance policies or decision making process, and devise a plan to make change to practices.

Related Objectives: Continue to Evaluate and Evolve Governance Practices; Expand Community Participation in Governance

DOC - Activity

DOC - Checklist

PDF - Activity

PDF - Checklist

20. Expand Community Participation

Goal: Develop a plan to expand community participation in governance. 

Related Objectives: Expand Community Participation in Governance

DOCPDF


  


Anchor
SuggestedGovPathways
SuggestedGovPathways
Suggested Pathways

You can use any of the activities in any order but we have designed some suggested pathways based on a few personas: 

    • Post Grant: Your program has been grant funded for some time and you are looking to transition governance to a post grant configuration A, 8, 9, 12, and 13
    • Newbies: You are new to governance structures and trying to decide what works best but need a bit more context  A, 3, and 5
    • Major changes: Your main stakeholder/decision maker has left and you are now looking to transition governance  A, 1, 5, 6, and 7