Technology is blossoming in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAM) and with it emerges a new workforce with a decidedly more collaborative approach to getting work done. On the way out are the top-down, command-and-control, and delegation-oriented administrations and on the rise are new management practices, such as the Agile management principles, which portend to be a better fit for the modern GLAM operations portfolio – and, most importantly, for the critical mass of people and projects working in support of a technologically-evolved mission.
Cultural heritage organization seeking to attract the best talent need to focus time and energy into developing an inclusive, transparent and collaborative work environment. However, cultural institutions are oftentimes slow to change — understandably, given their steadfast public mission to preserve access to creative works, and their overwhelmingly bureaucratic structure. A simple but effective strategy for acceleration change is to give time and space for workers to experiment with agile frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban and ScrumBan. These frameworks empower employees to not only embrace change but to optimize the workplace around them to thrive in a changing environment.
By allowing the agile mindset to grow within our cultural institutions, the GLAM industry will join other information-intensive professions such as as software development, finance, marketing, education, and government — among many others — where agile practices are increasingly being adopted due to their impact on performance, innovation, and team success. Information-intensive industries in particular have operational challenges that agile practices are well-suited to handle. Some of these challenges include an increasingly intangible product, steadily growing demand for technology, and user-centric services and virtual experiences.