When should a museum do a strategic plan? Or a learning plan?
  • There are three times when an organization should engage in strategic planning: 1) when conditions - its community, funding, or competition - change significantly; 2) when it wants to rethink its future; or 3) when it has significantly completed its current strategic plan.
  • A learning plan is in order when a museum has completed a strategic plan to consolidate - or update - the learning interests or directions that emerged. A learning plan is also called for with expansion planning and prior to exhibit planning.

Vergeront Museum Planning work only with big museums or museums with big budgets?
  • Regardless of the size of its facility, budget, or attendance, every museum needs to plan. Some types of planning occur every year (budgets, marketing plans and program plans, for example). Other types are needed when conditions change (i.e. strategic planning) or when a large capital project is planned (i.e. strategic business plan, a planning framework, or an exhibit master plan). Often, but not always, an organization needs planning assistance for major projects, perhaps due to competing demands for staff’s time or a short-term need for expertise or support.

Can our board and staff help on a project to keep costs down?
  • Certainly and there’s more than keeping costs down as a reason for working together on a project. First, with their local knowledge and information about their museum staff and board are well-suited to work on certain parts of a plan. For example, Vergeront Museum Planning will coach staff and board to gather organizational information, conduct interviews with stakeholders, or conduct a competitive scan. Second, active participation in the planning process and responsibility for planning activities helps increase internal capacity and prepares a museum for implementing their plan.

How long does a project take?
  • Just as each museum’s needs are specific, each project has its own timeframe. In general, however, a strategic plan takes about 6-7 months to complete, while a learning framework takes about 4-5 months, and an exhibit master plan takes about 5-6 months. Factors such as multiple partners, holidays and vacations, and funding requirements will affect a project timeline.

How is planning work charged for?
  • Not until the work that needs to be done is agreed upon, a fee is set, and the project is a “go” are there any charges. A fee can be fixed based on the work required or by charging on an hourly basis, whichever best suits the nature of the project and the client’s needs.