Process and Timeline

For your museum to benefit from MAP, the process needs to be an institutional priority. Committing to MAP includes:

  • meeting deadlines
  • involving the staff and governing authority for a year
  • engaging the museum’s internal and external communities

  • evaluating the process


The MAP process consists of:

  • submitting an application
  • completing a self-study workbook and activities
  • the undergoing a site visit


MAP can be completed in under a year. See full process details and schedule here.

Who’s Involved?

Your museum’s Assessment Team is a critical part of the MAP process. Key paid and unpaid staff, members of your governing authority, and other important constituencies should be involved and be ready to make the significant time commitment. The Assessment Team is responsible for conducting the assessment and integrating it into the museum’s planning and implementation process. Members of the team can change as needed during the MAP process.

Who from your organization should be on this team? People with the:

  • knowledge about how things really work or don’t work at your organization, about what resources are available, about how to get things done
  • authority to make decisions about policies or procedures
  • responsibility for implementing decisions arising from the assessment and subsequent planning

Consider who should be the primary contact between the museum and AAM. It may be a member of your governing authority, the director, or another staff member with appropriate skills to lead a team. Generally we do not recommend having the development director or grant writer lead the team. Notify MAP staff if the primary contact changes during the MAP process.

Learn more about the time commitment and responsibilities in the chart below.

MAP Role

Time Commitment


Primary Contact

Select either:

  • Director
  • Board Chair
  • Other Senior Staff Member
  •  5 – 10 hours on the MAP application
  • 40 hours on the self-study workbook
  • 5 - 10 hours working with the peer reviewer before the site visit
  • 10 - 20 hours during the site visit
  •  Serves as the main liaison with MAP offices
  • Works as museum’s project manager for MAP
  • Submits required documents to MAP office by deadline dates
  • Communicates with peer reviewer
  • Coordinates the site visit agenda with peer reviewer and museum
  • Receives the report
  • Shares the report as needed
  • Coordinates implementing report suggestions

Assessment Team Member

May include:

  • Key staff
  • Board members
  • Volunteers
  • Interns



  • 10 – 15 hours per person on the self-study workbook
  • 5 - 10 hours per person during the site visit
  • Answers group questions in self-study workbook
  • Participates in self-study workbook activities
  • Available during the site visit to meet with peer reviewer


Other Museum Stakeholder (Non-Assessment Team Member)

May include:

  • Other staff
  • Additional board members
  • Other volunteers
  • Interns
  • Student workers
  • Community members
  • Potentially up to 5 hours per person on the self-study workbook
  • Potentially up to 5 hours per person during the site visit
  • May be needed to answer questions or participate in activities for the self-study workbook
  • May be needed to meet with the peer reviewer during the site visit