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Demystifying the Strategic Planning Process

Demystifying the Strategic Planning Process

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Demystifying the Strategic Planning Process

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  1. Demystifying the Strategic Planning Process Arthur H. Wolf MPMA Conference Taos, NM September 21, 2006

  2. WHAT is Strategic Planning? • Strategic Planning is the way in which an organization: • Agrees on a vision of where it wants to go and what it wants to achieve • Ensures the vision meets the needs of its audiences and community • Ensures that it identifies the resources needed to fulfill the vision • Allows sound decision-making in response to changes in environment

  3. AAM Expectations • Lack of institutional planning is among the leading causes of tabling motions in accreditation decisions • An accreditable museum engages in current, comprehensive, timely, and formal planning for its future • A wide range of formats and nomenclature is acceptable

  4. Some Other Plans • Master Plans relate to longer term consideration for development of facilities, finances and program expansion over periods of up to ten years • Annual Plans are the work plans that tie to annual budgets and support larger strategic objectives • Implementation Plans are specific operational plans made to achieve parts of Annual or Strategic Plans

  5. WHY do Strategic Planning? • Focus and reaffirm your Mission • Define your Vision for the future • Review and affirm (or not) your existing or proposed programs • Educate and involve your Board, Staff, Volunteers and Community • Define and prioritize Goals, Strategic Objectives and Action Plans

  6. WHO needs to do Strategic Planning? • Any museum that is responsive to challenges, sees opportunities, and wants to serve its stakeholders • Any museum that wants or needs to sustain its operations in the future • Any museum that needs to change in order to survive • Any museum that wants to attain AAM accreditation • Any museum that doesn’t have a plan


  8. The Process • Must set goals and establish strategies to achieve them in support of Mission/Vision • Must assign resources and responsibilities for each strategy • Needs to suit your timetable • Can be intensive or extensive • Can be inclusive or exclusive • Will need to be iterative • Requires commitment of all involved • Can require $$ as well as time

  9. Getting Started • Who needs to be involved? • Consider your size, location, history and reasons for planning • Consider who can help you the most • Consider who can create barriers to your success • Consider whether you can do it all internally or need help with facilitation and coordination

  10. Getting Started • What is your timetable? • Are you updating a prior plan? • Are you contemplating major change? • Do you need to coordinate the plan with your annual budget process? • Are there external pressures? • Can you maintain your current operation while you are planning?

  11. Getting Started • Formalize the process • Propose a timetable with individual responsibilities, specific events and activities and expected results • Obtain Board approval and support for the timetable and process • Engage stakeholders • Document both the process and product • Obtain Board approval for the plan • Implement through annual budgets • Build in periodic reviews and updates

  12. Know Yourself First • Compile what you know about your museum and audience needs • Benchmarking data from annual operations and comparisons to others • Results of listening sessions, focus groups, formal interviews, and surveys • Formal self-assessments or external assessments

  13. Know Yourself (and Others)First • Compile what you don’t know about your museum or what is to come • Look at local, regional and national trends • Look at community needs assessments • Review what you do know • List what you perceive are unknowns about the future • Identify issues for consideration

  14. Start With What Works Best • Evaluate which processes, programs, and products work the best in all respects (part of self-assessment) • Consider why they are successful • Put everything else on the table for discussion

  15. Sample Process • Data gathering and analysis including interviews and focus groups • Initial Board retreat- re-affirms Mission and initial Vision for 3-5 years • Communication of results • Initial draft of Goals and Strategic Objectives • Board and Staff discussions and work sessions • Assessment of needed resources and responsibilities for their development • Final draft of Goals and Strategic Objectives presented for Board discussion • Final Plan Presented to Board for approval • Communication of Plan to stakeholders • Implementation within annual budgets

  16. Sample Goals and Objectives • Goal 1: Programs • Objective: Expansion of services • Goal 2: Collections • Objective: Increase in collections care • Goal 3: Facility • Objective: Planning for expansion • Goal 4: Financial • Objective: Identification of new revenues • Goal 5: Organizational Development • Objective: Initiate Succession Planning

  17. Tools to Use • Teamwork and Outside Help • Charter committees to review and assess specific issues relating to Goals and Strategies (Internal and External) • Commission studies if needed • Look at other Plans • AAM Information Center • Other Community Organizations • Museums in other markets

  18. Tools to Use • Organizational Relationships Matrix • Program Partners • Funding or Sponsorship Partners • Training and Development Partners • Contracting Partners • Decision-making matrices • Identify tasks and responsibilities • Identify ultimate responsibilities • Delegate responsibility

  19. Tools to Use • Inspirational/Aspirational • BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals • STEP Program – Survive, Thrive, Excel, Persist • VPC Factor – Vision, Passion, Commitment among stakeholders

  20. Sample Annual Measurements • Quantitative – numerical counts of what you consider important • Qualitative • Plans in place and updated • Budgets managed to expectations • Annual goals accomplished • Board/Executive Evaluation • Surveys • Press and Awards

  21. Measures of Greatness • Superior Performance • Achieve and surpass annual goals • Distinctive Impact • Community recognition and inspiration • Lasting Endurance • Sustained high performance and growth of programs and people See Jim Collins’ Good to Great and the Social Sector, 2005

  22. Why Planning Fails • Ignorance of stakeholder needs and interests • Poor organization of the process • Unclear expectations • Undefined roles and responsibilities • Unrealistic and unsustainable goals and objectives • Complacency regarding implementation • No mechanism for review and renewal

  23. THE MAIN THING….. • The Main Thing is to keep your Main Thing your Main Thing