Last week I received a question about performing an alliance evaluation. Alliance evaluations can mainly be performed for two reasons: when the alliance reaches it’s end and you and your partner want to evaluate and capture the lessons learned. The second occassion is during the existence of an alliance, then evaluations are more alliance health checks. Alliance health checks are there to assess and adjust to ensure the right course for continued healthy success.
When an alliance is in execution it is important to keep it healthy. One of the elements to do so is a good governance structure with ditto cadence structure. After all good, open and timely communication is vital to an alliance. Even though you feel you have it all under control and communication is perfect it is from time to time essential to do an alliance health check. Also in the “State of the Alliance” studies as done by ASAP it appears that among tools measuring the alliance success most important measures are forms of evaluation; health checks.
For a health check you can simply sit down with your partner during one of the regular meetings and discuss what’s going well and what needs improvement. That is a good start. A better approach is to do such a health check in a systematically approach that assesses the alliance on similar elements as you assessed when you started. With a well prepared start you will have looked at elements like strategic fit, operational fit and cultural fit. Elements that to a certain extend can change during the cause of an alliance. Jointly assessing these elements with your partner will provide you with an overview of alignment and potential elements that need attention to move the alliance forward in a healthy fashion.
When did you do your latest alliance health check?