Museum Planning, LLC – Process

Museum Planning, LLC – Process Diagram

Updated May 2022

Since 1999 the Museum Planning, LLC team has opened more than forty turnkey museums projects worldwide, including projects in Mexico City, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the United States. The Museum Planning team believes strongly in the power of museums to change people and communities and has developed an interactive visitor-centered approach to museums. Museums are mission-based non-profit organizations that serve local communities. Museums must serve all community members, and for this reason, we have developed an approach based on understanding community needs and plans.

More about Museum Planning LLC:

Recent Turnkey Museum Projects:

C.O. Polk Interactive Museum

Interactive Nature Conservation Museum

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) Competition, Spark Dome

Click on each link below to see examples of project process documents

Museum Goals and Objectives – Approximately $10,000, including one meeting and written report

Our approach starts with understanding institutional goals with discussions with board members, museum staff, and stakeholders. We believe strongly in the Theory of Change, and after thorough discussions, we create a statement of project objectives.

Museum Community Assessment – $25,000 to $45,000, including travel, one meeting, and written report

Who is your community currently serving, and more importantly, who is your museum not currently serving? How can your museum change to meet the needs of all community members and reach those currently not being served by the museum?

The Strong Museum

C.O. Polk Intearctive Museum

Interactive Nature Conservation Museum

Museum Strategic Planning, Museum Business Planning, Museum Feasibility Study – $35,000 to $95,000

With a thorough understanding of objectives and community, we work with museums to create an institutional plan that meets those objectives. Are your objectives best served by a permanent location? A traveling exhibition? A museum school? All of the above, the in-depth front-end research creates business planning for a sustainable museum future.

Poughkeepsie Center for Arts & Creativity (PCAC) Feasibility Study

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring Strategic Plan

Museum Master Planning – $35,000 to $110,000

Museum master planning, strategic planning, and business planning are three parts of institutional planning that create sustainable, inclusive museums. Will the museum have a collection? How many bathrooms? What are OSHA requirements for soldering? Will the museum need a van for educational outreach? All questions are included in the museum planning process, resulting in a master plan that meets the strategic, business, and community requirements.

C.O. Polk Interactive Museum Drawing Set

Museum Exhibition Design and Museum Building Design –$35,000 to $300,000, Project Dependent

Museums are community service organizations and provide their services through exhibitions, public educational programs, events, and online experiences; together, they create the “museum brand.” The museum visitor experience comprises the staff interaction, exhibition interaction, and the building; they build repeat visitor visitation and transformative visitor experiences.

Interactive Nature Conservation Museum

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) Competition, Spark Dome

Museum Project Management – Costs Project Dependent

Museums are complex organizations, and diligent project management assures that projects are on time and budget and meeting visitor objectives. The Museum Planning “turnkey” and  “start to finish” approach includes project management of exhibition evaluation, staff training, and punch lists to assure contract compliance.

Museum Evaluation –$35,000 to $85,000

An advantage of the Museum Planning, LLC approach is continuity from setting initial project objectives to evaluating if visitors are meeting the objectives. We believe strongly in involving visitors in every aspect of project development, including a four-phase evaluation process, front-end evaluation, formative evaluation, remedial evaluation, and summative evaluation.

The Strong Museum

Museum Planning, LLC Process Overview

Museums Directors and Board of Directors may decide to start with Exhibition / Building Design and forgo steps 1-4 of the process outlined. As an example, you may decide to select a building and skip to 5.

  1. Initial Meeting and Objectives: Why do the Board of Directors and staff want to create an expanded museum? What are the objectives of the internal stakeholders (Board of Directors, Director, Staff)?
  1. Museum Community Assessment: What does the community want? Is the current facility providing for the communities needs? 
  1. Museum Strategic Planning / Museum Business Planning: How are the objectives accomplished for both the internal and external stakeholders? How does the museum tactically and financially accomplish the objectives?
  1. Museum Master Planning: How do you decide on a building? What are the requirements of the building? How many bathrooms? How many offices?
  1. Museum Exhibition Design / Museum Building Design: Creation of the visitor experience; including both exhibitions and building design.
  1. Online Digital Experiences
  1. Building Construction
  1. Exhibition Fabrication
  1. Exhibition Installation
  1. Museum Opening
  1. Remediation: Making changes post-opening to make any updates in response to visitor evaluation.
  1. Museum Evaluation
  1. New Museum Programming: Post opening creating new exhibitions, events, live programs, and online digital exhibits to assure repeat visitation.