To make a success of creating and developing partnerships, organisations must adopt a structured approach, with supporting resources and processes. The Expertek Partnership Framework provides a model for the establishment and management of partnerships. It relates primarily, but not exclusively, to ICT organisations. The framework supports complementary approaches such as Alliance Best Practices Common Success Factors for alliances.
Within the Framework, activities are divided into the following phases: Review, Strategy and Implementation.
In the Review phase, the existing internal partnering capabilities are assessed, together with the current partners, if applicable.
In the Strategy phase, the partnership strategy is developed and the implementation planned. This is a step that is often overlooked, or focused too much on models rather than objectives. By having an appropriate approach to strategy development the correct partnering approach can be identified and internal and external implementation accelerated.
The Implementation phase is structured so that the right partners can be recruited to effectively deliver the right solutions to the right markets. Success requires a winning combination of partner and solution – sold effectively to the correct market segment. In addition, true partnerships need a level of relationship development which goes beyond transactional sales, and this requires a planned approach.
Of course these three phases, and some of the elements within them, may be recursive; few organisations form partnerships from a standing start and even fewer get it right first time.