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As part of strategic planning, the Orbis Cascade Alliance Board and Strategic Planning Project Group want to invite any member from across the Alliance to propose and consider new projects the Alliance could add to its services and activities.   New projects can include things that the Alliance has never done as a whole before (e.g. Hathi Trust) as well as expansions of things we've already done (e.g. more central support for Alma process standardization).  We call all of these new Initiatives, and this overall step is to examine how we should invest in all Alliance work – through member staff work, central staff work, and funding during the next strategic plan.  We call this our Strategic Investment process.  

Definition: An Initiative is a new project centrally supported and/or managed by Alliance staff that has resources attached to it.  Examples: Courier, Hathi Trust, Shared Print Storage facility.

The overall strategic planning process:

Process Visual

The Strategic Investment Process (updated March 12, 2018):

March 7-9

Council meeting to determine Mission and Vision and begin work on Best Means and Intended Impact, and discuss how our work on Ultimate Aims and Premises / Assumptions (from November Council meeting and surveys) supports strategic planning.  [Refer to iceberg picture on this page.]

Criteria established: 

  • Alignment with Mission, Vision & Goals
  • Member Impact
    • Does it increase the efficiency of member staff work?
    • Does it benefit all members, or just some?
    • What are the risks of not doing it, beyond just increased local member staff work?
    • Is it best done by the Alliance, and not another organization?
  • Other considerations
    • Compliance issues - would ceasing (or not doing) work be dangerous/illegal?
    • Dependencies - does other work rely on this level of investment?
    • Risks - could we lose an opportunity if we don't make this investment?
    • Risk - how will it be shared equitably?
    • Leadership - will the Alliance maintain / be a leader because of this initiative?
    • Does this initiative add to our capacity to do other important work?
  • Resource use & availability
    • Do we have the resources required now? What would be necessary?
    • Re-allocate existing?
    • Find new?
    • How many resources (e.g. what level) would be used? What kind?
    • What is the source of these resources? From member staff, central staff, or both?

New Vision & Mission, effective January 2019:

VISION: The Orbis Cascade Alliance, an exemplary academic library consortium, is a vital partner in advancing transformative learning and research and creating equity in higher education.

MISSION: Orbis Cascade Alliance pushes the boundaries of what is possible in libraries through strategic collaboration in the Pacific Northwest. To advance member institutions, we create and deliver innovative, sustainable, and essential library programs and resources.

March 13- April 15 noon

        Member staff can record their interest in creating proposals to facilitate collaboration with others interested in the same Initiative. 

        Member staff may submit Initiative ideas using this link.  

April 16- April 30

Strategic Planning Initiatives Subgroup reviews all initiatives and ‘combines’ them as appropriate to reduce duplication and works to clarify unclear areas.

May 1- May 18

Staff from Alliance libraries may provide advisory comments and rank / provide prioritization for items they are interested in ranking.  

Responders provide Names and Affiliation when responding.  

Names / comments provided will be shared with the Board and SPG, but not listed publicly.

May 21 - June

         Survey feedback will go to current Alliance Teams for review, consideration, final comment and/or endorsement (due no later than June 4).

          Recommendations from the Teams and summary survey feedback will go to Board (June 14/15) for review, consideration, comment and/or endorsement.


Council meeting in July to review and endorse initiatives.  Council will receive:

       All initiatives submitted

       Those initiatives receiving endorsement from Board and/or Teams

       Information about Alliance resources available

If you want to propose an initiative, please do the following:

1. Review this page and the example forms (Shared Print example) (other examples forthcoming).  Please note that the examples are REAL requests for Strategic Investment, and will be considered along with any other Initiative.  We work with Alma / Primo for the next contract term, but all work of the Alliance will all be examined.

2. Consider listening to the webinar for more information

3. Consider your idea and the work that the Alliance already does by looking at the Alliance program pages, and this general list of existing initiatives below.  Teams will be working on proposing extensions and enhancements to the Initiatives below for investment, too, so feel free to reach out to the Program Manager and/or Team Chair for more information.

  • Alliance-wide event development and support
  • Alma Release Testing
  • Archives West -- development & management
  • ArchivesSpace hosting
  • Bibliographic Records Management -- central staff work in the NZ
  • entralized management of system configurations
  • Courier service management
  • Developing and maintaining shared policies and practices
  • Digital Collections Harvester
  • Digital Collections in Primo
  • System Documentation development
  • Support of members in the Collaborative Workforce -- managing metrics & supporting member questions
  • DPLA Hub membership
  • eBook selection & acquisition
  • Central management of Ex Libris relationship
  • Central management of external relations
  • Central tools to support member-wide communication
  • Integrated license & vendor management
  • NERS voting
  • Primo Central Package management / maintenance
  • Primo Norm Rules Management
  • Reference & Instruction Support
  • Rota Management
  • Ex Libris Salesforce case management tracking
  • Shared Record Loading
  • Statistical / Data Reporting
  • Training
  • User Experience & Accessibility Testing Coordination

4.  Consider the criteria for evaluating Initiatives established by the Team Chairs, Team Chair-Elects, Program Managers & Board at their March meeting:   These are incorporated into the proposal form.

Resource Use & Availability: 
o Do we have the resources required now?  What would be necessary?
o How many resources would be used? From member staff, central staff, or both?
Member Impact:
o Does it increase the efficiency of member staff work?
o What are the risks of not doing it, beyond just increased local member staff work?
o Is it best done by the Alliance, and not another organization?
Alignment with Mission, Vision (see above) & Goals (goals TBD)
Other Considerations
o Compliance
o Dependencies
o Risks

5. Optional - Record your interest in working on a proposal by adding it here.  If you are seeking someone to help you on the proposal, try posting it here.  We will combine similar initiative proposals, so numerous proposals for the same idea will not impact the final decisions.  (You will have a later opportunity to rank initiatives, and Council will review that prior to voting.)

6. Contact Dana Bostrom with any questions

7. Fill out a form & submit!  (PDF of the form you will be filling out) Get it in by the deadline!  April 15 at noon.  <--- This is a REAL deadline and it will not be extended.  You can only submit Initiatives through the form!