This is one of the areas of RAM that it is easiest to progress with. It is slightly self-referential, in that the act of carrying out an assessment using DPC RAM, selecting target levels and devising a plan for moving forward, actually helps you reach a certain level of this section. DPC Members are also able to benefit from the opportunity to benchmark with others on an annual basis.

Deciding where to start was definitely the biggest challenge with continuous improvement - DPC RAM has helped with prioritizing. It has also demonstrated the value of our work because other people within the library who perhaps don’t know so much about digital preservation can understand numbers that change on a spreadsheet and see where you're progressing. It has made digital preservation a bit more visible for staff in our department and beyond.” - Laura Peaurt, University of Nottingham

Tips from DPC Members and staff
Ram with lightbulb above head

  • Consider what other certification or maturity modeling frameworks you might use. DPC RAM is a good place to start but other models (for example the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation, DLF Levels of Born Digital Access and CoreTrustSeal) may also be used.

  • Remember that assessment and benchmarking is best carried out as a continuous process not a one-off exercise. DPC recommends that its Members carry out an annual DPC RAM assessment to check in on progress and reset goals.

  • Create a forward plan for improvement and consider what time frame it makes most sense to work to. Moving up the levels of DPC RAM is typically not a quick and easy task so creating a 5 year plan may be more realistic than expecting substantial progress in one year.

  • Remember that demonstrable progress with DPC RAM or another framework can be a useful way of showing the value of digital preservation work and encouraging buy-in from colleagues and managers. 

  • Recognise that it might not be realistic to work on all sections of RAM at once. Good forward planning should allow you to prioritize and focus on one or two areas. Having an agreed forward plan in place will also give you the authority and backing to explain why you are not moving forward in other lower priority areas.

  • DPC Members are encouraged to share a DPC RAM assessment with the DPC annually and can make use of benchmarking information from across the membership. All members are also entitled to help with their RAM assessments from the DPC. Find out more about how the DPC uses RAM with its Members.

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