Strategic Evaluation of the Leading Archives and Museums Development Programme

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Intended purpose and/or audience:

Museums, Libraries and Archives, Human Resources, Policy, Programme managers, Practitioners

The aims of this study

The MLA asked DTZ/4-consulting to add to this review by carrying out a strategic evaluation as the current Leading Archives and Museums (LAM) programme of courses draws to a close. Its aim is to provide an external impetus and independent assessment of the impact and added value of the programme with a focus on the lessons and legacy for the MLA’s future role in leadership development
Key findings from the report

• LAM effectively fills a current gap in provision for Future Leaders (FL), including Diversify trainees, and will, in the future, meet the needs of participants from Apprenticeship and Foundation degree entry schemes.
• Senior managers in large National and Hub museums also have the option of attending in-house management development programmes.
• LAM is useful at both levels for Archives.
• LAM does not address the needs of the most senior leaders since the Heads of Service programme was withdrawn after the pilot; the need for high level networking remains.
• The contextualised cross-sector nature of LAM reflects the fact that many traditional specialisms now work together either in large organisations or on projects and that working brings regions together. It is the first programme to do so. The evaluation of LAM will be useful in providing evidence to support more cross-sectoral training, filling a gap which has not yet been widely recognised in the sector.
• Individual LAM attendance must be shown to impact on organisational performance if the aims of Renaissance in the Regions, Action for Archives and Inspiring Learning for All are to be achieved, for example, in terms of learning organisations.
• Support mechanisms like action learning are important.
• Funding is complex and a crucial issue in determining LAM participation.

Other findings by interest areas are given below:
• National Museum – this example museum has its own management development programme but believes that LAM should be part of the portfolio of development options on offer, mainly because of its cross-sector nature. Funding is an issue since National Museums pay their own fees; no participants have been sent from this museum in 2008.
• Hub Museum – there is more evidence of development plans among Future Leaders than is seen elsewhere in the survey. Qualitative evidence suggests that the contribution to change may be building as more staff attend LAM.
• Smaller museums and specialisms – overall, there was an extremely positive response in terms of the usefulness and success of course with affirmation of the importance of the cross-sector aspect. There is little evidence of networking with other participants after attendance.
• Archives – a very positive response with all participants giving examples of changing behaviours. Those who participate in formal networks find a range of benefits from action learning. Those who do not participate would like more follow-up activity.
• Informal networking – this group also reports benefits from action learning.
The impact of the LAM programme was reported under the following headings:
Did LAM meet the expectations of the MLA ? – LAM met the expectations set up in the original brief for a national, contextualised and multi-layered programme.
Did LAM meet the expectations of the participants? – there is a high degree of reported satisfaction in both the FPM programme reviews and this study’s primary research, especially among participants from smaller non-Hub museums and archives. The longer-term needs of participants may not be met because LAM is rarely part of an individual development plan.
Did LAM meet the expectations of organisations? – museums and archives see LAM as a high quality individual development programme. There is little evidence that attendance at LAM is seen as a component of organisational change.
Did LAM meet the expectations of funding departments? – LAM’s contribution to programmes such as Renaissance will be assessed separately (Renaissance review 2008). LAM is an individual development programme and our evidence shows slow impact on the organisation even where several managers have attended.


MLA Council

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Other keywords

Workforce development

Social outcomes

Community cohesion & inclusion