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The strategic imperative of elevating alliance management

How can we demonstrate the value of alliance management and make the case for investing in and supporting this vital business function?  This topic was addressed in a recent ASAP roundtable discussion hosted by allianceboard and The Rhythm of Business. 

The conversation centered around 2 questions:

1.        Have you built a business case for investment in the alliance management function? 

2.        How can you educate your organization on what the alliance management team does?

Below is a summary of the key challenges and solutions identified by roundtable participants along with some resources to help you build the case for investing in alliance management.

Key challenges:

· Alliance managers faced a transactional reaction to requests for investment, i.e. what are we getting out of this alliance as “the financials still have to work”.

· Attendees from different industries were all facing similar challenges when it comes to building a case for demonstrating the value of alliances at a global portfolio level down to the justification of one initiative.

· High turnover in alliance management teams makes it difficult for organizations to have a consistent approach to alliance management.

· Often the position is not given the gravitas it deserves and is viewed as a job that ‘anyone could do’, making arguing for investment challenging but reinforcing the need to justify the teams’ achievements and value add to the organization.

Possible solutions:

· Having consistency around how often you communicate, how you communicate, what type of information you share.  Bringing alliance management ‘front and center’ on a regular basis in a structured, consistent format.

· Accumulating all the forms of value in the relevant alliances – strategic and reputational in addition to financial to demonstrate the importance of managing them well.

· Recognizing the risks associated with an alliance can be a good way to make the case: identifying and associating a value with what could go wrong and defining risk management plans demonstrates the value of alliance management in ensuring that the alliance stays on track and the requirements to achieve intended outcomes of the alliance.

· Seeking continual feedback from internal and external stakeholders to ensure continual improvement.

· Change the distribution of alliance management information from reactive to proactive.

Key takeaways:

· Consistency in how you represent alliance management and the value / prospective value that you are delivering.

· Streamlining communication so that it is consistent, proactive and professional.

· Having a strategy to make the case and demonstrate that alliance management is an essential corporate capability.

If you are building a business case or want to show the value of alliance management, either for investment aimed at growing the function, or to maintain the capabilities at current levels allianceboard team and The Rhythm of Business can support you, simply contact us for a discussion or use the resources below to get started.

Value of Investing
Download PDF • 3.26MB

Presentation slides
Download PDF • 1.04MB


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