Overview of the year


Outline of the sector

The VGM positions itself as an authority in the field of museum operations, and aspires to develop into one of the most sustainable museums in Europe. The museum is dedicated to being an attractive employer. The Operations sector comprises the Facilities, Security, HR, ICT and Finance Departments.

Offices on Gabriël Metsustraat | Photograph: Jan-Kees Steenman Offices on Gabriël Metsustraat | Photograph: Jan-Kees Steenman

From staff to finance


Van Gogh Strengthens
2018 saw the launch of Van Gogh Strengthens, a two-year leadership programme designed to help participants – in the first instance, managers – to develop personal leadership skills. The initial effects of Van Gogh Strengthens are already visible: collaboration has improved and throughout the programme managers have found common denominators that help to unite colleagues. This programme is first and foremost designed to boost the personal development of managers at the museum. 

Inspiration sessions
Three well-attended inspiration sessions were organised by and for museum staff in 2018, each edition by a different sector. The aim is to learn from each other, to be inspired by each other and to improve collaboration within the organisation. The inspiration sessions will continue in 2019.

In 2018, several important steps were taken towards becoming an inclusive organisation and employer. The VGM is an organisation for everyone, and never excludes based on diversity characteristics such as migration background, gender, sexual orientation, occupational limitations, age, socio-economic status or level of education.

Three primary objectives have been formulated with regard to being an inclusive employer: attracting a diverse range of talent, utilising new talent and retaining this talent. The focus is on attracting and retaining young professionals, people with a non-Western migrant background and people with practical training. Van Gogh Works was also launched to this end, a project introducing the variety of positions and people at the museum, with all their talents, expertise and stories, to the outside world.

Please see the appendices for the social annual report.


Relocation of offices and Library
In late January 2018, the VGM headquarters moved from the temporary location on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal to Gabriël Metsustaat 8. In the previous year, the building was fully renovated and converted into offices for most of the museum staff. The move towards hot desking is also incorporated into the layout and design of the building. The museum is delighted with the renovations, which were realised within the determined framework of time, budget and quality, resulting in a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM-NL sustainability hallmark. The new office building is also home to a new Library and a charming reading room.   

Environmental policy
The VGM’s updated environmental policy plan safeguards the responsible use of raw materials and ensures that emissions of CO2 and other harmful particulates are limited wherever possible.
The plan is designed to translate environmental sustainability into policy and activities, and to ensure that progress is made.

Property management
In October, a long-term accommodation plan was determined for MP6. The aim of this plan is to implement the vision outlined for 2018-2033 in the medium term in combination with the envisioned long-term maintenance plan, in collaboration with our partner Strukton.

The accommodation vision was also determined in 2018. In collaboration with the Accommodation Expertise Team, a broadly-supported approach was developed for our accommodation, focusing on an integral visitor experience, capacity optimisation and maximum flexibility. This is an important step towards future-proof property development and management, thereby contributing to achieving the organisation’s objectives. This vision has been translated into an accommodation plan running through until 2023. A long-term accommodation plan will be finalised in 2019.

Renovated Bookshop
In 2018, the Bookshop on the third floor of the Rietveld Building was renovated, dramatically improving the shop’s accessibility and visibility. This work is one of the many projects completed in MP6 this year to ensure that the best possible use is made of the museum building’s potential.


Water environmental risk
As part of efforts to keep environmental risks manageable, a ‘source-path-effect risk analysis’ and gap analysis were conducted in collaboration with engineering agency Tauw. A risk dossier and water safety matrix have also been drafted. With regard to risk management, these subjects hold a high priority within the organisation.

Sustainable availability of security staff
Sustainable availability is an important issue for the Security Department. Late in 2018, Human Resource Management students from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences conducted research into sustainable availability within the Security Department (i.e. of security officers and profilers). The research resulted in several recommendations, which will be taken into consideration as the department develops.

Museumplein security partnership
The Museumplein partnership plays a significant role within security at the museum. We are working together with the Rijksmuseum and PP10 (the joint incident room) to optimise concerns including external security, training, drills and security technology. The Stedelijk Museum is involved in these developments as a PP10 client.


ICT strategy
In 2018, an ICT strategy and a road map for the coming three years were completed, setting out significant milestones regarding governance and infrastructure in order to optimally facilitate all of the organisation’s digital ambitions and challenges. In 2019, work will continue on a hybrid IT environment and future-proofing the IT organisation. Major projects – such as the replacement of the Wi-Fi infrastructure – were also realised in 2018, and beacons were introduced to the museum, an innovative move that contributes to our substantive and educational objectives. The Van Gogh Personalises project is a notable example of the digital developments of the past year.

Information security
VGM(E) is dedicated to protecting personal data and information security within the organisation. In 2018, progress was made with regard to safeguarding various operating processes and protecting critical information. The museum’s information security policy was updated, the company network was audited and a mystery guest audit was conducted in the GM8 offices. An Information Security Committee has also been established, and a staff awareness programme was launched, with the assistance of an internal feedback group and an external party.


Optimisation of finance processes
In 2018, finance processes within the organisation were optimised. A new Financial Affairs Advisor was also appointed. For an overview of financial affairs in 2018, please see the annual accounts.