Business Diagnostic 2018-19


Is your museum embarking on a period of change or facing immediate challenges?

Do you feel your museums’ workings would benefit from external review?

Does your museum need to re-energise its Forward or Business Plan?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above and you are striving to create a more sustainable, resilient and confident museum then this programme is designed for your museum.

As part of an England-wide initiative, the South West Museum Development programme (SWMD) is pleased to offer up to eight museums the opportunity to take part in our 2018-19 Business Diagnostic pilot. The programme will operate across November 2018-March 2019 and is open to museums that are Accredited, provisionally Accredited and Officially Working Towards Accreditation in the areas listed below.

The SWMD Business Diagnostic is based on the work of regional Museum Development providers in London and the East Midlands to develop a bespoke package of support for an individual museum. In addition to meeting the needs of individual museums, the process will help us to spot trends in sector development priorities and provide a collective response to Arts Council England to inform future programmes of support.

What’s involved?

As a participating museum you will carry out a self-assessment designed to help you and your colleagues highlight and celebrate your museum’s current best practice, identify areas of weakness and prioritise where to focus the capacity of your organisation for maximum benefit. It will provide you with a benchmark for your work going forward.

The Diagnostic addresses six themes:

  • governance and leadership
  • financial planning and sustainability
  • people development and management
  • working practices
  • audiences
  • collections

SWMD staff will analyse each self-assessment and produce a bespoke advisory report focussing on three priority themes identified by you through the self-assessment process and including a summary of currently available support to help your museum develop. As this is a pilot, up to four of the participant museums will be selected to participate in a facilitated session to review the self-assessment and address the selected priorities in more detail.

At this point participants will agree the priority areas for action over the coming 12 months and the sources of support available to implement these areas of work.

Through the process, and in consultation with your Museum Development Officer, participant museums will have access to the SWMD Development Fund of up to £5000 maximum of investment to address priority actions highlighted by the self-assessment and, where relevant, the accompanying facilitated session.

As part of the pilot, successful applicants are also required to submit their Forward Plan, which will be reviewed using the process of the Good Business Planning Campaign. It is important to ensure all priorities generated through the Business Diagnostic process align with the organisations’ Business, Forward or service plans.

The diagnostic is not a judgment on performance or a duplication of existing standards but a structure through which you can identify and prioritise where to focus the capacity of your organisation.

An outline timetable can be found in the Expression of Interest form.

Are you eligible to apply?

The pilot is open to museums that are Accredited, provisionally Accredited or formally working towards Accreditation in the following local authority areas:

Bristol City Council
Bath and North East Somerset Council
Cheltenham Borough Council
Cotswold District Council
Forest of Dean District Council
Gloucester City Council
South Gloucestershire Council
Stroud District Council
Swindon Borough Council
Tewkesbury Borough Council
Wiltshire Council

Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations are not eligible for this programme at this time.

How to apply

Before you apply you should read the Expression of Interest form.

If you would like to discuss the pilot, please contact Jason Finch, Senior Museum Development Officer, muse[email protected] / 0117 922 4653.

To apply to take part in the pilot, please complete the Expression of Interest form and return it to Jason Finch, Senior Museum Development Officer via email no later than 10am on Monday 5 November 2018