Essay Sample on Museum Forward Planning: Critical for Successful Management

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1526 Words
Date:  2023-03-27


In a museum setting, planning is vital in the future and proper management. It is a process that can be used to guide a museum trough different times, considering the experiences that it is currently experiencing reading to the production of greater efficiency and better services. Museum and Galleries Commission advocates Forward planning as critical features in effectively running a museum while many funding agencies now demand evidence that Museum has undergone a process of forward planning. However, certain elements are expected in any excellent forward plan. This report examines the effectiveness of the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service.

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Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service Forward Planning 2018-2023

To examine whether forward planning of Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service 2018-23, if valid, it is essential to define what is meant by, forward planning'. This will help in outlining what is expected, ineffective forward planning. According to Davies (2016), forward planning is defined as 'Establishing a clear view of where the museum is heading and how it will get there.' As such, the following elements are captured in the aspect of forward planning.

Establishing a Clear View

Before developing a forward plan, a museum must come up with a clear plan which involves consulting widely to all the involved parties and also conducting a survey to get a more clear view if necessary. Concerning the forward planning adopted for this review Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service, there is evidence that the plan involved a clear picture. In Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service forward planning 2018-2020, a consultation was made both within and outside the Museum. To start with, the planners start by seeking the views of the employees in the Museum on how various aspects could be improved. Customers and community views were also collected through a survey. However, expert consultation was also taken into consideration regarding multiple issues that need to be established to improve services in the Museum. Besides, the Museum also attended the Arts Marketing Association's Future Proof Museums Programme in 2017, and this became its foundation in developing its manifesto for 2018-2023 forward planning.

While establishing a clear view, a museum must take into consideration where it is currently. Planning cannot be done without first determining the current position of a museum. Regarding Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service, the insight of the current situation of the Museum was done through reviewing the past forward plan dated 2013-2018. According to their review, the previous forward project involved three strategic methods which are:

  • Bringing Walled Garden into public use, which was to be achieved by Museum and its customers/friends.
  • Collection standard improvement and improving or maintaining care and access.
  • Increase profile and retain users while maintaining quality and excellence.

The summary of the previous forward plan helped Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service to determine its current position. It involved analyzing how well previous projects had been attained. Starting with reviewing the last forward plan is vital as it enables a museum to realize it's the past and present position. By starting by reviewing the previous forward policy by Stroud District (Cowle), Museum Service shows some strength in its current planning due to some aspect. To begin with, this process of planning shows the application of a rational expectation framework to plan for the future. Rational expectation theory posits that people base their decision on certain factors which involve and not limited to their experience and information available to them. As such, since Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service has attained necessary information from various stakeholder and hence what was missing is the past experience which could be received from the prior experience. For example, not all the objective from the previous forward plan was achieved as expected. The implication is that, while doing its 2018-2023 forward planning, Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service applied the past experience from the 2013-2018 forward plan. Strategies that caused some drawbacks in fulfilling the previous forward plan were hence avoided. Generally, Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service shows evidence of clear view establishment while doing its 2018-2013 forward planning.

Establishing Where the Museum is Heading

After considering where a museum is currently, it is vital to determine where it is heading. This can only be achieved by coming up with future objectives that need to be completed. However, having objectives does not mean that a plan will be useful. As such, an excellent forward idea is the one that has goals or milestones along the way. This means that though the overall forward plan will be expressed in terms of a vision and mission statement, each objective should have a timeline when it should be attained. They should also be backed up by targets that focus on short-term tasks linked to small teams and individuals. In the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service forward planning adopted for this review, there is clear evidence of where the Museum is heading. To show where Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service in its forward planning, it starts by showing a clear statement of purpose which is "Our manifesto is to provide a museum service that encourages everyone who works, lives or visits the Stroud District to be proud of its past, present and future." After developing the statement of purpose, the plan then goes ahead to build its objective, and this is summarized with a mission statement, which is, "Enabling people to access and share the collections and heritage of the Stroud District for inspiration, learning, and enjoyment." Besides, how this mission will be delivered is clearly illustrated.

Determining How It Will Get There

Forward planning is more than just milestones and vision. An effective strategy would involve a plan that clearly shows how a museum will get there. It consists of the application and allocation of resources such as money, people, and buildings, among others. If a museum fails to establish what it has planned clearly, the chances of attaining its vision will be minimal. As such, how phase should also involve performance management to continuously measure the progression of a museum in the attainment of its goals.

According to Davies (2016), effective forward planning should show clearly show how a museum is heading. To achieve this, the essence of what, how who and when should be shown clearly. By analyzing the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service's strategic aims and objectives in its forward planning 2018-2020 and how it intends to achieve them, we can determine its effectiveness.

Strategic aims in forward planning are the 'what' express what a museum aims to achieve. Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service strategic aims are:

  • To provide a user-focused museum service that encourages engagement while ensuring that museums located at the pack become a focal point for the society.
  • To ensure sustainable and resilient museum services.
  • To share, advocate, and manage the potential collection that will benefit our society.

Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service also came up with specific strategies that will help to ensure that each of the three strategic aims is achieved. Specific strategies and the aims they will fulfill is also established.

In forward planning, what is to be achieved cannot be attained without including a clear illustration of (how, who, when). All these aspects are found in the Action and resources plan section.

The action and resources plan section in the forward planning of the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum shows its workability and, therefore, effectiveness. In this section, an excellent table that shows how specific objectives will be used to achieve the aims is illustrated. For example, it indicates that aim #1 will be completed by the implementation of objective #1 and #5. However, these objectives are further separated into various actions; for instant, objectives that are meant to fulfill aim #1 lead to thirteen operations.

The other aspect that shows Stroud District (Cowle) Museum planning 2018-2023 effectiveness is that the expected timeline for all the actions has been specified. This involves when a specific work will be started and when it is scheduled to be complete.

The aspect of who will be expected to conduct an action also makes Stroud District (Cowle) Museum forward planning practical and workable. The plan clearly shows the lead manager, who is responsible for each activity. Besides, the Museum realizes that it might reach a point when additional support is required, and hence people/teams that will provide any additional support involved are clearly indicated.

Indication of estimated cost and source of funding for each action is also clearly illustrated, and this also increases the strength of this forward planning. It helps it to come up only with achievable aims regarding the financial constrain. The plan also includes a performance indicator in each action, which means it can be able to identify progress over time. Besides, Stroud District (Cowle) Museum forward planning also involves risk management and a strategy to monitor and review its plan implementation progress, which makes it excellent.


Davies, S., 2016. Producing a forward plan, MGM Guidelines for Good Practice. Londres: Museu mand Galleries.

Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Service Forward Plan 2018-2023 (FY18/19-FY22/23). (2018). Retrieved from

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Essay Sample on Museum Forward Planning: Critical for Successful Management. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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