The following is a summary of discussion of this principle at the 2012 symposium
- How do we decide what matters?
Different things matter to different people. It’s important to decide what matters to your project from the beginning and remember, you don’t have to measure everything!
- How do we measure? Using what methods?
At the beginning, having wider conversations to define your measurement system is often a good idea as it allows for input from others, often with experiences that may help you decide what will work best for your project. You may also find it beneficial to look to other sectors for processes and methodologies that might work for museums. It is important to remain visitor focused- why not have them involved in the measurement?
Use an appropriate method of measurement that works for you and your project and stand by it. Don’t give in to criticisms or questioning about your methods if they work- there is no best form of measurement!
There is often a difference between the type of measurement required depending on whether your funding is public or private but it is important to measure unintentional consequences and not just what you are asked for by your funders.
Evaluate all the way through the project. You might find you discover other things you would like to measure or that other elements have become more important than you originally anticipated.
How you use what you have measured is very important. If possible, open up your findings and engage with the public, becoming a source that others can benefit from and use in the future.