Alliances and partnerships between organizations need to be managed carefully to deliver intended value on both sides and to maximize their potential beyond current goals.
An earlier version of this article was co-authored by Anoop Nathwani and Peter Simoons CSAP of allianceaccelerator.com and Michael Roch of allianceboard.
Alignment and information sharing
To meaningfully share information with partners, building and maintaining alignment on data and performance are key. Yet most organizations continue managing their alliances with outdated tools such as shared document folders and manual spreadsheets and presentations that are constantly out of date. Making decisions based on outdated information is one reason why alliances don’t deliver their intended outcomes or fail outright.
So what is the alternative? Everyone agrees that having alignment on data and performance is essential. allianceboard’s answer to this challenge is our unique and intuitive platform that is both a central system of record and a single source of truth. Depending on how well strategic partners know each other, this single source of truth can be shared across companies, teams and steering committees.
Communication with a partner (and internally) will become ever easier and more transparent when both parties have access to the same information source and manage the same information first-hand.
What information to manage jointly
In our view, all information that is critical to the success of an alliance could be shared and jointly managed. This includes information such as:
Measurement on values, both tangible and intangible
Alliance health check results and actions
Steering committee meetings and actions and any escalation issues
Operational and business plans
How to manage information jointly
Until recently, technological solutions allowing partners to share information beyond documents have been scarce. A common SharePoint site may hold some documents and Teams may hold a timeline, but sharing of up-to-date alliance information across initiatives or programs has been done mainly through PDFs of internal reports that were prepared manually and approved for partner consumption.
There are several problems with this approach. Reports are out of date as soon as they are prepared. Analytics will be centered around the management style of only one partner. Both parties base their decisions on different versions of the truth.
Yet things are changing. For example, allianceboard’s alliance-management centric platform hosts a dynamic version of the alliance’s entire operational plan (milestones, deliverables, risks, events, obligations, payments, etc.). If partners sufficiently trust each other, both partners can manage and update progress in real time. The result: both partners always see the same version of the truth.
Once that step is taken, a robust governance management function allows agendas for Joint Steering Committees – or any subcommittee – to be prepared and debriefed in an instant.
Stakeholders on both sides have all relevant information available in their alliance management dashboard. For example, the status of goals, deliverables, decisions, risks, payments and other obligations that the alliance parties have agreed to manage jointly are visible to relevant stakeholders on both sides in real time. Depending on their remit, more senior stakeholders see an aggregated view of all partnerships within their organization - or can drill down on the status of initiatives within individual partners. The result: better decisions, faster achievement of objectives.
Fig 1: allianceboard dashboard - share select information with partners
With intuitive, fast, purpose-built alliance management software, having a panoramic view of all initiatives with your organizations most important partners is no longer a dream – with allianceboard, this picture has become reality today.
Today’s most successful organizations use technology to evolve their alliance management practices and enable their professionals.
Sign up for a free demo and see for yourself why allianceboard means better alliance management.