Planning Process

Our planning process

Over seven months, MNA undertook a wide-ranging and thoughtful process of research and discovery – led by a Strategic Advisory group consisting of four Trustees and four Staff members – which culminated in this strategic plan. To facilitate this work, MNA engaged the services of museum planning firm Lord Cultural Resources.

Having worked with the Museum in the past, the Lord team had a fundamental understanding of the overall context in which the Museum operates.

The strategic planning process was conducted in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – research, data collection, and consultation
  • Phase 2 – strategy development


Phase 1 included an environmental scan presentation, an internal assessment, and an external assessment. This research process involved a number of inputs, including engagement with 142 individuals through surveys, interviews, and group discussions as identified below.

Research included in Phase 1 was a benchmarking study comprised of data surveys and interviews with five peer institutions across the country, and a digital assessment studying MNA’s external digital footprint and internal capabilities. The research process provided insights into MNA’s strengths, weaknesses, needs, and ambitions, as well as opportunities and challenges that would shape its future.

Phase 2 began with a 5-part Key Findings report, which compiled the research outcomes of Phase 1 and identified the most significant challenges and opportunities facing the Museum. The Key Findings report was issued in advance of a two-part strategic planning workshop, that focused on eliciting and capturing feedback from the Museum’s Board of Trustees. Out of these discussions emerged the Draft Strategic Plan, and updates to MNA’s Mission and Vision statements.