Welcome to the Essential Partnerships Toolbox. By reading and applying these templates and checklists, you will be better equipped to acheive partnership success.

Working through the Modules

We strongly believe that things happen when you put things down on paper. Once you put ideas onto paper they become real. Entering into partnership ventures based on verbal understanding only can be very dangerous, especially when partners' assume they are in agreement but over time, find that they have very different ideas about the partnership. Each module comprises an overview of the process and will relate to checklists and templates, copies of which are available at the bottom of the page to download and use. Some module include examples of completed templates as a guide. When you get down to the process of planning your partnership, you may prefer to follow a hard copy document. For this reason, each module has its own downloadable guide. We have also included a flowchart of the contents of the modules. Items in red are tools to assist you with your planning. Use the suggestions, templates and checklists as tools to systematically plan your partnership and reduce some of the impacts of partnership failure.


An arrangement where at least two parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests What kind of partnership are you considering? ☐  Joint venture ☐  Consortium ☐  Strategic Alliance ☐  Partnership (in law) ☐  Company ☐  Trust ☐  Combination _____________________________________ ☐  Other ___________________________________________  

How to use this Toolbox

This toolbox is divided into six modules. Each module can use used independently or in a combination, depending on your partnership, interest and priorities. Here are some suggested applications:

Understanding how partnerships work

  If you speak to somebody who’s had a bad experience with a partnership, they may mention that the partner had different values. If they had spotted this earlier, would they have gone into the partnership venture? Maybe not. Compatible values is one element of a good foundation to any business partnership. The Foundations of Collaborative Partnerships module will explore five elements that could influence your decision to enter the partnership in the first place. If you’re involved in a partnership that isn’t working as you had expected, at least one of these foundation elements may be at play. Did you know there are different degrees of partnerships, from networking through to full on mergers? Get to know these and apply the five foundation elements to give you a unique insight into partnership dynamics.

Planning your partnership business arrangements

The Proposition module will guide you through the process of deciding the need for a partnership, building your business case and planning with your potential partners. Use this with the Framing your Agreement module which takes the next step in focusing on the partnership with a strategic and business lens around vision, purpose, roles and responsibilities, contributions and what should be included in the written agreement. What about the risks? What if a partner runs off with the money? You think it might not happen to you, but even if likelihood might be low, it’s in your interests to ensure measures are in place for financial accountability. What other risks can you think of that could be mitigated with careful planning? Careful planning is not complete without considering success indicators. How will you know that the partnership venture has worked as well as you thought? What would you do differently next time? The Managing Risk / Evaluating Success module focuses you on risks, however large or small, and measuring success.

Preparing for change

A new partnership venture will require at least some level of change, especially when staff are involved. The Toolbox includes two modules to support change: Managing Change provides you with a nine-step change management process so that you can plan for the impacts on staff affected by change. Accompanying this process is a plan for tools, people and resources to enable the change process. Maybe as part of your partnership venture you will be sharing systems or resources? Will it mean changes to policies and procedures? What changes could you safely get away with without too much discomfort within the ranks? Timing is important. Too much, too soon without a change management plan in place could wreak havoc on your plans. Read the Sharing Services and Systems module for suggestions on handling systems change.  


Introduction Process Map