Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Will LAC be SMART again in 2019?

One thing I've appreciated about LAC's operation over the past few years is the monthly reporting on digitization of First World War service files. LAC committed to having the job completed by the centenary of the end of the war. It was a model of the SMART approach:

Specific: Set concrete, clearly defined goals with specific points of success.
Measurable: Whatever the goal is, find ways to measure progress.
Achievable: Aim high, but within reason. Your goal should be a stretch, but something you could actually achieve.
Relevant: Find a goal that matters enough to you that you’ll be motivated to stick with it.
Time-bound: Set a reasonable timeline for your goal, and focus on the small wins along the way.

It worked. Monthly reporting meant that clients became aware of files within a month of them becoming available. The goal was achieved with time to spare.

Whenever I've asked about a follow-on to that project I've been told about "indigenous materials". What materials?  The SMART approach worked well for the service files. Why not carry on with it?

In 2019, as long as LAC makes the information available, I intend reporting monthly on Co-Lab progress. As a benchmark here's the status of various challenges as of year's end 2018 with green highlighting projects in which progress has been made since my last report.

Legendary train robber and prison escapee Bill Miner, 12% complete
War Diaries of the First World War: 1st Canadian Division, 36% complete.
Japanese-Canadians: Second World War, 64% complete.
The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919, 100% complete.
The Call to Duty: Canada's Nursing Sisters 65% complete.
Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs, 33% complete.
New France and First Nations relations, 28% complete.
Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes, 100% complete.
Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier, 100% complete.

LAC does have a variety of other benchmarks based on quarterly, annual or multi-year targets — see Progress Report Q2 (July to September 2018).

The overdue 1926 census of the Prairie Provinces is one dataset many genealogists are waiting for, supposed to become available this quarter. As LAC strives for greater visibility SMART monthly progress reporting would assist in maintaining contact with its largest client group.

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