The alliance health check helps to identify possible elements for improvement of your alliance and it allows for timely adjustment of the course of the alliance if needed.
An alliance health check is best performed on the same topics on which alliance partners are selected: strategic value, operational effectiveness and cultural/relationship value. These elements will be surveyed through a number of questions that participants from both organizations will answer. Answers are given by scoring on a scale from 1 to 5, additionally respondents will have the option to add comments. In closing the survey, a few open ended questions are provided to solicit more information and suggestions for improvement.
It is recommendable to have a balanced set of participants in the alliance health check. Balanced in the sense that from both organizations similar functions that are involved in the alliance will respond. This should include those people that are operationally working in the alliance as well as the alliance managers. Also the executive sponsors and potentially also people involved in the finance function should be included in the health check.
An alliance health check survey will be anonymous and confidential. This is important for people to be able to share their opinions in a confidential and trusted manner to receive the best, and honest, feedback.
After closing the health check the results will be presented in a report. This report will contain a diagram highlighting the differences in responses, like the example on this page. For the purpose of making a clear example the differences in opinion (the gaps) are large in this diagram. In healthy alliances there will always be a difference in perception between the two organizations, but the gaps will be smaller. Additionally the report will contain an overview of comments and suggestions that have been given as answers to the open ended questions.
Based on the responses the report will also highlight recommended areas for improvement. The overall findings and the report will be discussed with the alliance managers from both partners. The alliance managers will also own the orchestration for the, to be agreed, actions for improvement.
It is recommendable to repeat an alliance health check regularly. This will enable you to measure progress of the improvement actions as well as will give you a continued overview of the health of the alliance. The repeat interval of a health check depends on the dynamics of the particular alliance. For alliances which operate at high speed or have high personnel turnover it is recommended to conduct a health check more frequently. For more stable alliances or with a lower personnel turnover every 12 months will generally be fine.
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