MDEM launches new Business Diagnostic

March 27, 2018

At MDEM we’re pleased to launch our new programme of support between April 2018 and March 2022. To adapt to new challenges and opportunities we’re launching a new way of working. To ensure we provide you with specific support which matches with your museums priorities over the next 4 years we’re asking all museums who wish to engage with us to:

  • Submit a copy of your Forward Plan to MDEM – by the 27th July


Business Diagnostic:

Many of you have completed an earlier version of the diagnostic over the last 2 years. We have reviewed it and consulted extensively with museums to create a much simpler and quicker process which you can fill in online.

You can find a pdf version of the diagnostic here, to allow you to see the questions and discuss them with your wider team ahead of filling in the online return. MDEM Business Diagnostic Template

The diagnostic is a self-assessment tool for museums. It is designed to help you to highlight and celebrate your current best practice, to prioritise areas of working over the next 12 months, and to provide you with a benchmark for your work going forward. The diagnostic asks an overarching question about your museums Forward Plan and then addresses six themes:

  • governance and leadership
  • financial planning and sustainability
  • people development and management
  • working practices
  • audiences
  • collections

Each theme is followed by several statements for you to score your organisation against between 0-4. The information in this diagnostic will be used by Museum Development and our contractors regionally to create targeted support programmes to address need. As we repeat the diagnostic annually it will also allow you to see how your museum has evolved, highlighting where you’ve developed and potential areas for growth in the future. We will also share anonymised information nationally to inform wider sector support for museums.

Advisory report: By completing the diagnostic you will receive a bespoke advisory report with a summary of your results and suggestions of where to access support in your highlighted areas of need.

How to fill it in: We only need one submission from each museum, but we recommend at least two people engage with the process. The questions will require someone from the management of your organisation, either a senior member of the team or someone from the governing body, as well as someone involved in operations. These can be staff or volunteers. It should take no longer than 45 minutes.

You can complete the business diagnostic online by clicking here:

Forward Planning:

We are asking all museums whom engage with our support to submit their Forward Plans to Museum Development alongside completing the diagnostic. This is to further enable us to tailor support to your organisation and will avoid duplication of work when applying for grants and development programmes, when we have previously asked for Forward Plans to be submitted. Your Forward Plan will not be assessed by Museum Development, but will be used for reference and to inform our working. Please send your Forward Plan by email to by the 27th July. 

If you would like support in completing the online diagnostic, or have any further questions about the above process then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the MDEM team. We look forward to building a stronger and more ambitious museum sector in the region with you over the next 4 years.

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