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stratigic management

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Introduction

Assessment: Strategic Analysis of Project Plan for the City of Edinburgh Council's "Museums Hub" 1. PURPOSE OF REPORT 1.1 To review the strategic Project Plan for the development of the Museum of Edinburgh, as a new "Museums Hub", based on the Working Report of December 2004 and the February 2008 Report "A New Future for the City's Museums and Galleries". 1.2 To clarify the rationale behind the proposals and understand the reasons for taking the decisions made. 1.3 To identify factors that have might affect change management, consider the fit between the external (public) environment and the internal (resources) capacity and offer suggestions for future strategic planning. 2. SUMMARY 2.1 Strategies need to remain flexible in order to respond to continual change and challenge: there are choices, but some require greater cultural change than others, especially if the environment is risk-averse. The "do-nothing" approach has failed and measures are now called for to ensure that the identified need for radical change can be successfully implemented and any barriers and conflicts (internal or external) anticipated and minimised. 2.2 This report illustrates how change management and long-term strategic planning are linked. It shows how the Project Team seek to link the possible with the achievable and that strategy is a starting not an end point in the delivery system. . 2.3 In local authorities there is an ongoing conflict between aligning the internal and external environments and responsibility for initiating and managing change. As the outputs of museums are often intangible, the benefits of investment are often difficult to quantify. The Project Team have chosen a creative strategy to demonstrate motivation, responsibility, collaboration and coordination and provide evidence that the Team could be trusted with decision-making and control. 3. LITERATURE REVIEW 3.1 The literature relating to strategic management within local authority museums is limited, especially regarding radical restructuring of service and delivery. Data and theory from general management texts must therefore be appropriated for use with caution, as there is no empirical evidence available. ...read more.

Middle

Emergent model proponents would argue that successful strategy depends less on detailed planning and projections than on comprehending in-depth the complex issues involved, after which the available range of options can be identified and debated (Bamford and Forrester, 2003). Burnes (1996) also makes the point that the preferred approach of an organisation to change may be determined by its culture and that, where the theory runs counter to that culture, its implementation will be either ignored or made ineffective. Hatton (1992, p. 146) concurs that it may be some time before the hierarchies "which undoubtedly restrict flexibility and prevent innovation and change" are banished. 4.14 Osborne and Brown (2005, p. 64) identify the conflict between NPM and traditional administrative bureaucracy. The competing demands question the purpose of the services themselves and lead to new types of governance being required that are more able to respond to change. By taking a less conventional approach to developing strategy, the Project Team are making a radical choice not to take the usual target-driven path for approval and work up the corporate approval ladder. Instead, by taking a "softer" approach to build support and create resonance they are making a creative, proactive choice that in the long run could be more effective. Hutton (2007) argues against the target-led NPM and for policies to take into account the less tangible values of culture itself and quality of visitor experience. He suggests that in forgetting what and who publicly funded institutions are for, there is a question of legitimacy. By attempting to answer "what is needed?" rather than "what can we afford?" the Project Team have taken a refreshing and responsive approach to forming key long-term strategic proposals. 4.15 Given that a radical solution was needed, the Project Team actually took an Emergent approach to achieving large-scale service change. A more incremental development approach protects the service and the Council from financial and cultural risks inherent in the abrupt discontinuity often associated with innovation (Osborne and Brown 2005). ...read more.

Conclusion

8. CONCLUSIONS 8.1 The Project Team has identified the necessity of re-defining the Museums Service for Edinburgh. Opportunities to maximise the potential have been defined. A planning process to develop strategy to realise that potential has been adopted. 8.2 Development of strategy requires long-term thinking to meet both service and corporate strategic objectives. The process has included stakeholders from an early stage. Analysis of environment and building of relationships has enabled the Project Team to identify, challenge and overcome internal and external barriers and demonstrates a more creative, less bureaucratic approach to change management within a rigid culture. 8.3 There is recognition that strategic planning and management is an ongoing process. Incremental change is being used to achieve substantial change and continual improvement in service offer. This will build capacity and deliver competitive advantage. 9. RECOMMENDATIONS 9.1 Engagement with local residents and with Edinburgh citizens is crucial in determining the success of the project. It is also a key principle of Corporate support which seeks to engage local people as much as possible in planning initiatives and implementation 9.2 The expectations of revenue from income-generating activities need to be realistic, and discriminate between turnover and profit. Failure to meet projections would have a serious impact on any funding gap. At best, commercial activity should seek to cover basic running costs in the first five years and any profits allocated to (re)investment in future development. 9.3 As events and after-hours opening are a key component of service development, possible environmental barriers, legislation and licensing issues must be investigated as soon as possible. 9.4 The present economic climate presents challenges to those seeking funding or favourable lending terms. It is therefore essential that a fundraising professional be appointed to seek sponsorship and donations and to develop long-term funding solutions. Relationships with local businesses and new sources of financing should be explored, using the services of Arts & Business Scotland. Alternative options should be considered should full funding not be achieved. 9. ...read more.

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