To successfully implement a function-based BASCS classification system for Operational functions that are unique to your institution, a number of steps are required to map out each function's business process and its context within the institution. These steps are shown in detail in the Implementation Methodology that follows.
Library and Archives Canada has simplified the implementation process for functions that are common to all Government of Canada institutions by developing "off-the-shelf" BASCS models for common administrative functions such as Real Property Management, Materiel Management, Finance Management, and Human Resources Management. General Administration functions will be addressed in an upcoming model currently under development.
In order to successfully initiate, undertake and complete conversion of your classification system to the BASCS model, you will need the involvement and support of senior managers, as well as sufficient resources to complete your implementation project.
Prepare a written business case that identifies the benefits of your proposed BASCS implementation project, as well as its required timelines, milestones, resources and rollout plans. This will help you articulate your project to senior managers, receive their input and approval, and secure the resources you will need.
You will find a template in BASCS Support Tools: Business Case Template that suggests things to consider and helps you prepare your business case. Make sure to include a Communications Plan and Training Plan with your proposed Implementation Plan and Schedule.
Once you are ready to start mapping business processes and designing your BASCS system, you will be working with a number of groups within your institution who will be wondering what your program is all about. It is important to communicate your program's purpose and benefits to all employees who will be affected by the program, as well as explaining their role in its development and implementation. It is critical to communicate regularly about progress and benefits to encourage participation. You will find a template in BASCS Support Tools: Communications Plan Template that suggests things to consider and helps you prepare your communications plan.
Once your project is approved, assemble your project team, and provide each of them with a copy of the business case you prepared. This will help bring the full team in line with your thinking behind the problems and solutions, as well as the benefits, timelines, activities, key milestones and outcomes. Each team member can then recognize their own roles and responsibilities as part of the overall project team.
Begin your background research by looking for any functions that are stated in the laws that created the institution you are addressing, as well as any law that the institution is responsible and accountable for. Look for basic statements of what the institution is supposed to be doing. If any Business Process Models have been developed for the overall institution, use these as a basis for identifying functions. Business Process Models are flow charts that show what an institution does, and how it does it. Look for models that already exist for the institution and that match the list of functions that came out of the research.
1. Check these statements against what the institution has listed as its 'Strategic Outcomes' in the Government's Main Estimates.
2. Check for other laws, regulations, and Treasury Board policies relating to the institution to find other functions the institution may have to do.
3. Also, check the institution's own policies, processes, and procedures that relate to its basic responsibilities for other functions, or to confirm those already found.
4. Check the results of this research against the institution's annual reports; against program review, evaluation, and audit reports; and against what the institution says it does -- for example, on its Internet or Intranet sites.
The next step is to identify each function's supporting sub-functions and put them in order according to the function's unique Business Process Model. This model is a flow chart that shows what a function does, and how it does it. This model will determine how the function's sub-functions should be arranged, based on what happens first, what happens next, and so on. If there is no Business Process Model, one will have to be created. Refer to BASCS Methodological Background: Business Process Modeling for guidance.
1. Verify this Business Process Model and terms with people who are responsible for the function.
2. Using the information gathered during research, write a description of the function (a 'functional profile') and its sub-functions, and attach the business process model.
3. Look also for examples of how this function relates to any other function, to see if the information they need can be shared, or kept in a way that allows both functional areas to access and use it.
4. Check also for any legal or policy statements that affect how the institution does its work and that therefore might affect how records should be classified. For instance, the institution might have to do the same work in two different ways, depending on who or what is involved. There may be a separate process for special situations, such as for dealing with cases involving heritage buildings as opposed to modern buildings. If so, this may affect the design of the classification system.
The next step is to go to the next level by identifying each sub-function's supporting activities and incorporating them into another layer of the Business Process Model. This model shows what a sub-function does, and how it does it. This model will determine how the sub-function's activities should be arranged, based on what happens first, what happens next, and so on. If there is no Business Process Model, one will have to be created. Refer to BASCS Methodological Background: Business Process Modeling for guidance.
Based on all the information gathered, design your classification system. In principle, all records should be classified according to the most appropriate function or sub-function. For help in making classification decisions, consult BASCS Methodological Background: Design Principles.
For institutions that already have a records classification system, test the new BASCS design by mapping actual records or subject titles to it and, if necessary, make changes.
Present the system to the Information Management and program management authorities for validation and approval.
Implementation of BASCS is best accomplished by working first with small test groups, or pilots, to validate the classification system as it is being applied to real situations. This allows you and your team to carefully manage your first implementations for successful outcomes, and to adjust your approaches to make them better for practitioners to use.
Increase the number and size of your implementations according to your proposed schedule. If necessary, review the resource requirements along the way and make any adjustments to your business case that are needed to meet your program objectives and timelines.
Make sure to document your implementation process, and improve that process with each pilot or implementation that you undertake. Gather Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) of your own to assist your next implementation initiative. Creating an Intranet-based website for your initiative is a helpful way for your users to learn more about BASCS in general, and your implementation in particular.
Work with each implementation group to provide the necessary training for successful implementation at every desk. Taking a "train the trainers" approach works well, by providing experts within each functional group to help users work with the BASCS on a daily basis. Refer to BASCS Support Tools: Training Plan Template for guidance in building your BASCS training programs.
Check the system and its implementation groups regularly to answer questions, make sure it is working well and, if necessary, make changes to it.
If any major changes to the functions of the institution emerge over time, the classification system will have to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly to reflect the new functional profile of the institution.
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