Build and Execute Your Partnerships Strategy:
Step-by-Step Plan and Resources


Defin­ing the scope and reach of the part­ner­ship oper­at­ing system

To begin, the orga­ni­za­tion needs to make a high-lev­el def­i­n­i­tion of the scope and reach of the part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem, which will deter­mine the impact the part­ner­ship strat­e­gy will have on the orga­ni­za­tion, stake­hold­ers, and ecosys­tem. A com­pa­ny must decide if the pur­pose of the part­ner­ship ini­tia­tives shall be co-sell­ing, co-mar­ket­ing and co-inno­vat­ing which influ­ences the selec­tion cri­te­ria of suit­able part­ner cat­e­gories and part­ner types. Also, the geo­graph­i­cal and orga­ni­za­tion­al scope of the part­ner­ship sys­tem needs to be con­sid­ered. This means that the orga­ni­za­tion needs to deter­mine which geo­graph­i­cal regions and/or busi­ness units will be includ­ed in the part­ner­ship ini­tia­tives, as well as whether the part­ner­ships will be focused on spe­cif­ic prod­ucts or ser­vices or will be more gen­er­al in nature.


Ana­lyz­ing the busi­ness ecosys­tem, stake­hold­ers, and val­ue potential

In the next step of estab­lish­ing a part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem, it is impor­tant for the orga­ni­za­tion to ana­lyze its con­text. This includes under­stand­ing the inter­nal and exter­nal fac­tors that may impact the suc­cess of the part­ner­ships, such as the orga­ni­za­tion’s mis­sion and val­ues, its resources and capa­bil­i­ties, and its stake­hold­ers. It also includes under­stand­ing the exter­nal envi­ron­ment in which the orga­ni­za­tion oper­ates, includ­ing the com­pet­i­tive land­scape, reg­u­la­to­ry envi­ron­ment, and mar­ket trends.

By ana­lyz­ing the con­text of the orga­ni­za­tion, the orga­ni­za­tion can iden­ti­fy poten­tial oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges for part­ner­ships, and devel­op a strat­e­gy that takes these fac­tors into account. This will help to ensure that the part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem is aligned with the over­all busi­ness strat­e­gy of the orga­ni­za­tion, and that it is capa­ble of deliv­er­ing val­ue to all stakeholders.


Ensur­ing top man­age­men­t’s com­mit­ment, author­i­ty, influ­ence, and oversight

The suc­cess of col­lab­o­ra­tive busi­ness rela­tion­ships requires clear lead­er­ship and com­mit­ment from the orga­ni­za­tion. To achieve this, the lead­er­ship should estab­lish a clear vision and strat­e­gy for the part­ner­ships, and pro­vide the nec­es­sary resources and sup­port to ensure their suc­cess. A key aspect of this com­mit­ment is the cre­ation of a pol­i­cy for the part­ner­ships ini­tia­tives, which should out­line the over­all pur­pose and goals of the part­ner­ships, as well as the roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties of dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers. Effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion is also cru­cial, and the lead­er­ship should estab­lish clear chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to keep all stake­hold­ers informed and engaged. To ensure that the part­ner­ships are man­aged effec­tive­ly, it is impor­tant to define clear roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties for dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers in the part­ner­ships, enabling all stake­hold­ers to con­tribute to their success.


Imple­ment­ing a busi­ness-aligned part­ner­ship strat­e­gy and goals

With lead­er­ship com­mit­ment clear­ly com­mu­ni­cat­ed, it is now impor­tant to devel­op a detailed strat­e­gy plan for the part­ner­ships. This plan should include spe­cif­ic goals and objec­tives that are aligned with the over­all busi­ness goals of the orga­ni­za­tion, as well as the resources and activ­i­ties that will be required to achieve these goals.

The plan­ning process should involve all rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers, includ­ing those who will be respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing and imple­ment­ing the part­ner­ships. This ensures that all per­spec­tives and con­cerns are con­sid­ered, and that the plan is real­is­tic and achievable.

It is also impor­tant to include a risk assess­ment and risk man­age­ment plan in the strat­e­gy plan. This will help to iden­ti­fy and address any poten­tial risks or chal­lenges that may arise dur­ing the part­ner­ships, ensur­ing their suc­cess and time­ly res­o­lu­tion of any issues.

Over­all, the plan­ning process is cru­cial for the suc­cess of the part­ner­ships. It is impor­tant for the orga­ni­za­tion to care­ful­ly devel­op a com­pre­hen­sive plan that takes into account the goals and objec­tives of the part­ner­ships, as well as the resources and activ­i­ties required to achieve these goals.


Pro­vid­ing suf­fi­cient, time­ly, and rel­e­vant resources to achieve part­ner­ship goals

To ensure the suc­cess of the part­ner­ships, the orga­ni­za­tion must pro­vide the nec­es­sary resources and sup­port to enable them. This may include finan­cial, human, and tech­no­log­i­cal resources, as well as train­ing and devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for those involved in the part­ner­ships. It is also impor­tant to ensure that all stake­hold­ers have the nec­es­sary skills, knowl­edge, and resources to con­tribute to the suc­cess of the part­ner­ships, includ­ing through clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels and process­es. Tools that sup­port the struc­ture of the orga­ni­za­tion and part­ner types need to be select­ed and imple­ment­ed. The orga­ni­za­tion should also pro­vide ongo­ing sup­port and mon­i­tor­ing of the oper­a­tional life-cycle to ensure that the part­ner­ships are meet­ing their goals and objec­tives and the resources pro­vid­ed are ade­quate and con­tribute to the suc­cess of the indi­vid­ual part­ner­ships. This may include reg­u­lar meet­ings and progress updates, as well as per­for­mance eval­u­a­tions to iden­ti­fy any areas for improvement.

Part­ner Program

Apply­ing a part­ner oper­a­tions play­book with six life-cycle stages for each partnership

Each part­ner­ship runs through its own indi­vid­ual oper­a­tional life-cycle con­sist­ing of six oper­a­tional life-cycle steps. This means that each part­ner­ship has its own spe­cif­ic time­line and series of activ­i­ties that it goes through from begin­ning to end.

By fol­low­ing these stages and guide­lines, orga­ni­za­tions can effec­tive­ly nav­i­gate the process of part­ner­ing with oth­er orga­ni­za­tions to achieve shared goals and cre­ate value.


Eval­u­at­ing the part­ner­ships’ per­for­mances to learn and improve the strategy

To con­tin­u­al­ly improve the effec­tive­ness of their part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem, orga­ni­za­tions should reg­u­lar­ly review and assess the sys­tem to iden­ti­fy areas for improve­ment, as well as address any issues or chal­lenges that may arise dur­ing the course of the col­lab­o­ra­tion. Part­ner­ship ade­quate mea­sure­ment and key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors can track the progress and effec­tive­ness of the indi­vid­ual part­ner­ships and the entire oper­at­ing system. 


Apply­ing con­tin­u­al improve­ments to the entire part­ner­ship oper­at­ing system

The per­for­mance mea­sure­ment of the indi­vid­ual part­ner­ships and the part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem is used to inform ongo­ing improve­ments to the part­ner­ships strat­e­gy and part­ner oper­a­tions play­book. This helps to ensure that the part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem is robust, effi­cient, and effec­tive in sup­port­ing the orga­ni­za­tion’s busi­ness objec­tives. By reg­u­lar­ly review­ing and assess­ing the sys­tem, iden­ti­fy­ing areas for improve­ment, and involv­ing rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers in the improve­ment process, orga­ni­za­tions can con­tin­u­ous­ly evolve and improve their part­ner­ship oper­at­ing sys­tem in order to bet­ter sup­port their busi­ness objectives.

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