Dirk Houtgraaf

Page 16

Organizing people and teams Developing an exhibition is a team effort, with many expertises and crafts involved. Which ones? How to organize them along the road? Which cooperative teams are to be organized and which line of command is needed? We do have some guidelines you could use. And they are needed as not all your stakeholders or team members have the same familiarity with the museum world and the creation of an exhibition. It is consequently vital you share a common language. Even basic terms might have different connotations. And you certainly need to share the tasks, roles and responsibilities in a very clear and commonly understood way.


Not one single truth


Expectations translated into a list of relevant parameters

Of course, there is no single one ‘true’ methodology. There are more ways to do the job, as is proven each year in many thousands of cases. As board members of the European Museum Academy we are very aware of this. We are also aware there are strong national and cultural ‘flavours’ in how we do things. However, we do believe this general structure is an excellent tool, and one which can easily ‘adopt’ the additional structuring methods and teamorganizational ideas we propose or the alternative ones which are preferred by a museum. So, our methodology is very strict and structured, but also very open to include your own loved ways of doing things within the general grid.

The process of developing is one thing. But it is up to the exhibition to deliver results. What are these results? To have all implicit and explicit expectations clear, it would be wise to have a list of parameters set beforehand. A warning though. This could easily turn into a less realistic wishlist. Therefore it would be helpful to stick to the really important matters. Also, you have to monitor the parameters you really care for. There might be some obvious parameters, such as the visitor review, the average or median time spent, the attracting power, i.e. the amount of visitors attending and in congruence the public relations attractiveness. And as the judgement of competitors, collegues and experts is often valued, you could take this into account too. Naturally it is wise to identify your key audiences and describe them in recognizable parameters and possibly as real-life type of persons (personas). The difficulty is to do it in such a way that it can actually be identified, measured, classified. Any divisions of your audience in target groups which cannot be identified and targeted is useless.