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Museums and the Web 2009 - Managing a complex partnership project

Museums and the Web 2009 - Managing a complex partnership project

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  • 1.  
  • 2. Managing a Complex Partnership Project Museums and the Web 2009 Carolyn Royston, NMOLP
  • 3. Aims of the Workshop
    • Focus on 3 areas:
      • Understanding your partnership
      • Gaining commitment and working with constraints
      • Legacy and sustainability
  • 4. About me
    • F irst time I had worked in the public sector
    • Previously 10 years experience as Head of e-Learning in a UK new media agency
    • Teacher
  • 5.
    • What question(s) about partnership working have brought you here?
  • 6. About NMOLP
  • 7. NMOLP – what is it?
    • Large-scale UK digital learning project
    • Audiences are students, teachers & lifelong learners
    • 9 UK national museums working in partnership
    • First time national museums have worked together collaboratively on public facing project
    • 3 year project launched March ‘09
    • Funded by the UK Government – Treasury Dept
    • British Museum
    • Imperial War Museum
    • Natural History Museum
    • National Portrait Gallery
    • Royal Armouries
    • Sir John Soane’s Museum
    • Tate
    • Victoria and Albert Museum
    • Wallace Collection
  • 8. Funding Criteria
    • ‘Invest to Save’ budget:
      • No new website or portal
      • No new digitisation or curatorial content
      • Must be sustainable for at least 3 years post-launch
  • 9. What have we delivered for our audiences?
    • Resources for schools (WebQuests)
    • Resources for lifelong learners (Creative Spaces)
    • Linking together 9 national collections via a cross-collection search
    • Resources that can be used & shared across all 9 national museums
    • Engaging new and existing audiences with museum digital collections
  • 10. This is what we made
    • WebQuests
    • Creative Spaces
  • 11. Issues when I started
  • 12. Issues when I started
    • Implementation plan written and funding provided
    • Partnership already determined by project funding
    • T echnical solution promised but implementation not scoped out
    • Content deliverables outlined but not fully defined
  • 13. Issues when I started
    • Visited every partner for fact-finding
    • Discovered d ifferent expectations about what the project would deliver for each partner:
      • I nstitutional
      • D epartmental
      • Individuals
  • 14. Focus on Partnership
    • Decided initially to focus on partnership and ways of working rather than technology and deliverables
  • 15.
    • Most important lesson I learnt:
    • It’s not about technology, it’s about people.
  • 16. Focussed on …
    • Developed c ollective aims and objectives for project
    • M anaging expectations from the start
      • W hat this project will deliver and what it won’t deliver
    • Establishing people’s commitment to the project
      • Not just showing up at meetings – active participation
    • What were the potential barriers to success for:
      • Institution
      • Departments
      • Individuals
  • 17. Focussed on …
    • Setting up clear lines of communication
    • Understanding that milestones and deadlines have to be met otherwise they impact on everyone
    • Gaining advocacy – being a project champion in your organisation
    • How will you embed the project – think about sustainability and legacy early on
  • 18. Why was this important?
    • Partners needed to take responsibility for the project in their own institutions
    • I couldn’t solve their institutional issues
    • What I could do was provide space in the project for those issues to be shared and discussed
      • Enabled us in many cases to find collective solutions and offer support
      • Built relationships between partner representatives
      • Ownership of project brought more commitment from partners
  • 19. Building commitment
    • How do you gain commitment from people in the project?
      • Assigning different roles and responsibilities for people
      • Having different types of meetings e.g. practical workshops – giving people opportunities to input into developments and ideas
      • Creating resources so they understand the challenges
      • Setting realistic deadlines – gaining momentum and keep project moving forward
      • Acknowledging achievements along the way – however small
      • Being transparent about your decisions, not afraid to course correct when things don’t work out
      • Be the leader of the project – the vision holder
  • 20. Activity 2
    • On the basis that it’s about people not technology
    • What do I need to do differently in my partnership?
      • M eetings
      • C ommunication
      • E xpectations of people and what they can deliver
      • Represent the project in my organisation
  • 21. Working with Constraints
  • 22. Working with constraints
    • Lots of constraints on this project:
      • Number of stakeholders and meetings
      • D ifferent capabilities and capacities
      • T echnical differences
      • C opyright restrictions
      • Brand conflicts
      • M arketing and PR conflicts
      • S ustainability issues
  • 23. Working with constraints
    • Build in time to deal with each issue and be decisive about ways forward – need agreement on how to tackle these issues
  • 24. Q&A
    • Questions about gaining commitment and working with constraints?
  • 25. Legacy
    • Needs to be built into original project plan
    • R e-visited throughout project
    • S ustainability plan for technology
    • Sustainability plan for partnership
      • H ow will the project continue to be managed? A nd who will do it?
      • How will decisions be made?
      • What happens after the evaluation?
      • How do you disseminate what you have learnt?
      • How does the project impact on future developments both within the sector and outside?
  • 26. Post-its
    • Have we covered all questions that we asked at the beginning?
  • 27. New thoughts
    • What new thoughts have you got about your partnership projects?
  • 28. Carolyn Royston [email_address]