The big idea
There are many different models for joint working: partnership, alliance, collaboration and so on. The group can be formal and governed by a legal contract or informally managed with loose, verbal agreement. However it is constituted, it is likely to have come together because of a belief that the group can achieve more together than it could as independent businesses. Ensuring that the group achieves its goals requires careful planning and a clear understanding amongst everyone involved of what success looks like.
Some of the factors that are important to developing joint working are similar to those of internal project team development: clarifying project scope, keeping on target, managing roles and team building. However, there are some issues and challenges that need particular attention during inter-organisational working, including:
- Determining whether you need a partner
- Identifying and choosing the right partners
- Contractual arrangements
- Project management
- Working relationships and managing the group
- Copyright and ownership
- Quality assurance
- Defining and reaching agreement on benefits and costs
- Choosing product/service development models
- Dealing with conflict and tensions
The tool describes a series of success factors against which you can assess your current or proposed joint working project. It can be used with an existing joint working project to check things are on track or to set up a new group. You can complete it on your own or with the joint working group. It is suitable for any scale of business that is involved in inter-organisational working.