CTC just published a new paper on the steps community broadband network operators can take to develop an effective governance process to maximize value to the community.
Operating a community broadband network entails complex technical, financial, and strategic business considerations—and those decisions are all made within a governance framework.
Effective governance enables a locality to organize its decision-making to produce the greatest value. While value is measured in terms unique to that community, the key to good governance is that the network’s value will reflect the community’s needs. For example, a local government might construct a broadband network to lower the cost of its internal communications services, promote economic development, or serve local schools and libraries. In each of those scenarios, the locality’s governance should ensure that the network delivers on its stated goals.
In this brief white paper, we describe a high-level approach to adapting a governance process to support identified needs and produce effective value. This approach includes:
Identifying key goals and objectives
As a project unfolds and stakeholders and needs are identified, goals and objectives are often added and shaped in the context of what is realistically achievable with available resources.
Identifying key stakeholders
While a more comprehensive stakeholder analysis needs to be completed as a project’s objectives and operational model are fleshed out, the initial core goals and objectives point to natural leaders, advocates, and stakeholders who need to be active participants in the project.
Focusing on needs and value
Periodic re-checks help to keep your governance development aligned with the issues that matter to your community—and to ensure that you have the right stakeholders engaged in the right roles.
Identifying strengths and weaknesses
What changes need to be made in terms of organization and staffing to effectively manage operations?
Developing an appropriate organizational structure
Strengths and weaknesses are always relative to something—some idea of what the network should deliver, and to what extent the necessary pieces for delivery exist.
Managing strategic governance
Identify roles of stakeholders depending on whether the stakeholder represents a service provider, service partner, or client; and what resources and information the stakeholder brings to the table.
Retooling organizational structures as needed
The degree of organizational change necessary to support a fiber optic network can vary widely, and depends heavily on the phase of the project. Newer projects can involve drastic change, while those undertaken by mature organizations may only entail modest changes.
Developing key performance indicators
The industry standard is the balanced scorecard, which considers leading and lagging indicators from different perspectives, and ties those back to strategic objectives and goals. What makes most sense for your network should be something you continually discuss with your stakeholders.
Read the white paper in its entirety here.