2.1 Timeframe and Commitment: "How Long Will This Take?"

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Policy development is not a short-term task. Timeframes cited in the literature on university policy development, and from informal inquiries made to museums that have developed IP policies, consistently note a process that takes from one to three years (drafting through implementation.)

Anyone who has ever managed a project knows that a project's length is proportional to the number of tasks involved, and the number of people involved in undertaking each of those tasks. For IP policy creation, the steps vary considerably depending upon whether policy creation is vested in one person (as it often is), or in institution or departmental committees. Institutional size and complexity also adds time, since more people have to contribute to the policy to make it truly representative. In addition, larger institutions tend to have more "chains of command" that need to have a voice in the review and approval process.

In short, a three-year period is likely to be realistic in large, complex organizations, while smaller institutions with fewer individuals and assets may take only one year. Whatever the length of time, the commitment on the part of the institution and its staff is significant, given all the other activities an institution must undertake in the course of its daily business.

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