By this stage you may have put together your business case for the partnership venture.  The next step is to draft a Partnership Plan TOGETHER.  The Partnership Plan (template below), is a high level document that:

  • revisits the PURPOSE
  • Highlights the key roles of partners and others (eg contractors)
  • Brainstorms how the partnership venture might work
  • Identifies the Objectives and expected Outcomes
  • Clarifies what is in scope and what is not in scope for each partner

You’ve outlined your Partnership Plan, the next step is to identify the resources and expertise that will be involved in your partnership venture.  
  • Consider carefully who will be doing what?   There are time, financial and other implications associated with partnerships that detract from everyday business of the contributing partners. 
  • A significant risk with allocation of human resources is delineating accountability and reporting arrangements.  If staff are involved in the venture, who are they answerable to?
  • IP must also be considered upfront.  This could be arrangements around bringing intellectual property to the table and under what conditions it can be used (eg databases, processes).   If the partnership is to develop IP, then how will this be used by the partners both during and after the venture?
  • Financial investment v ROI – do the numbers stack up?  How much will each partner contribute? How will you monitor financial performance?  Will the Venture become self-sustaining (time frame) or a long-term drain on your core business?
  • Whilst it is easy to incorporate tangible investment benefits, don’t forget to consider the cost of NOT going ahead.  Is this something that competitors may roll out if you don’t?  Do you need this partnership venture to grow your client base?

Working with Agendas

All partners have an agenda - the "what's in it for me?".  Some agendas are more visible and altruistic than others.  Whilst negotiating the partnership you may have already identified your partner's agenda.  Or it may remain hidden until the partnership is under way.     Here is a resource to keep a record of agendas are they are identified:  Revisit this table periodically to measure the extent that "agendas" were put on the table or understood at the Proposal Stage and which agendas came to light later (a good evaluation tool).

Agendas

  Declared interests/agendas Undeclared/hidden agendas
Your business/ organisation    
Partner A    
Partner B        

Summary - The Proposition

  • Be clear about the background to the concept/idea Opportunity Analysis Framework
  • Build your business case for a partnership – start with the concept Building your business case for a partnership – Concept
  • Decide whether a partnership is the feasible alternative and who might be the potential partners
  • Invite partners to complete the business case template and compare responses
  • Use the responses as the basis for negotiating the partnership venture and agreement
  • If possible, put your agendas on the table up front – no surprises
  • Develop a high level Plan Partnership Plan
  • Develop a Partnership Resources Plan Partnership Resources
The Proposition Process is essential for planning a partnership.  It assists with identifying the need, commitment, benefits and resources associated with your partnership venture.  It puts ideas and concepts onto paper, aligns partner expectations and articulates the rationale for the partnership.  It provides a benchmark for partners to refer back to, especially when circumstances change. Use this information to inform your Partnership Agreement.

Downloads

Agendas Partnership Plan
The Partnership Partnership Resources