Scaling infrastructure and communities: our path forward

As a global community organization, our values and collective efforts are paramount to our success. It is as important to reflect on our strategic direction and continue to define our collective priorities as a community.

Strategic Visioning

Exploration, Engagement and Elevation

Earlier this year we launched our Strategic Visioning process. During the process, the DataCite community was engaged to understand their current perspectives of DataCite, how we might exist and thrive in the future, and what roadblocks might get in the way of achieving that vision. The feedback was collected through surveys, online consultation workshops and reported back to the Board and DataCite leadership team for consideration. Direction on how to accomplish this can take many forms, although the community supported DataCite to lead in these efforts, to continue to invest in an entrepreneurial effort to innovate boldly in the PID services landscape. Our role is to serve our community and following the strategic visioning process, we understood the following:

  • DataCite has permission to be bold, entrepreneurial, and lead in the PID landscape
  • The DataCite Value and Mission are on point
  • Progress to date is promising, now we need to accelerate adoption to ensure reach and sustainability
  • Improving the quality of metadata is critical to achieving the DataCite vision.

The Strategic Visioning process included five (5) stages. We have now concluded the first three (3) stages and will move into the final two (2) stages which transitions from consultation to planning and execution.

Consultation to Execution: Establish and Enable

Following the consultation phase of the process, we will now move into the next two phases.

Establish: During the second half of this year, we will be working with the various DataCite governance structures to develop the next iteration of our strategic plan. The strategic consultation report produced by the consultants forms the basis for the multi-year plan. The final plan will be presented to the Board for approval in Q3 2021 and we will host an open member meeting where we present the strategic plan in Q4 2021.

Enable: Following the development of the multi-year strategic plan, the DataCite team will be responsible for execution as per the existing processes. Building on the strategic plan, the DataCite team will continue to develop annual operational strategic priorities and objectives. The strategy enablement cascades through three different levels:

  1. Our DataCite Strategic Plan provides the blueprint for achieving our vision and mission by aligning the needs of the DataCite community with strategic pillars and organizational strategic initiatives that we established through the strategic consultation process.
  2. Our DataCite Annual Vision defines the annual strategic priorities and goals for the year ahead (see Vision 2020 | Vision 2021)
  3. Our DataCite Annual Objectives & Activities form the basis for our individual goals linked to the overall organisation vision. Individuals will have their annual objectives and KPIs based on the cascading effect, ensuring that each team member is connected to our overall DataCite Strategic Plan.

Aligning our team structures

As you know from the previous post, Martin Fenner will be leaving DataCite at the end of July 2021. Martin joined DataCite 6 years ago to take on the challenge of scaling our technical infrastructure to what it is today. After 6 years, Martin is moving onto a new challenge at invenioRDM. We are sorry to see him go, but Martin will continue to be an active member of our community and continue to be involved in our collaborative initiatives such as Make Data Count. I would like to thank Martin for the tremendous impact that he has had at DataCite and I am excited for him as he takes on his next challenge. DataCite is in a good position to handle our technology projects during this transition. Martin has spent the last two years building a technical team that is capable of continuing his legacy. This team has 4 existing team members across product and development roles, and 2 new team members joining the development team to backfill existing open roles.

During times of transition, it is imperative that we look ahead at our future and align with the strategic direction led by our community. During 2020, the DataCite team worked with an external facilitator to review the team values and coordination across the various team structures. As an outcome of the process, the team provided input into the refinement of the values. The feedback has now been consolidated and as a result the following core values have identified:

Transparency: We make transparent decisions and engage openly with the community in all that we do.

Trust: We seek to be a trusted partner for our members and other community stakeholders by delivering services that uphold community principles.

Reliability: We develop and support reliable persistent identifier services.

Inclusivity: We support a global community and value diverse perspectives.

Building on our values, we have reviewed our team structures and going forwards will coordinate across four functions within the DataCite team:

  1. Support, Adoption and Outreach
  2. Product Design
  3. Application Development & Technical Infrastructure
  4. Business

We have two open backfill positions in our development team and will be posting the roles in the coming days. Please look out for this announcement and share with your community.

As always, we continue to value your feedback and look forward to hearing from you as we enter this next chapter.