What is alliance governance and why is it necessary? 

Alliance governance is basically the system to manage the alliance. Governance steers an alliance in the right direction and makes sure it stays on track. In my opinion, it is one of the key elements to the success of a collaboration. A bad governance structure can cripple the partnership, while good governance is created with an eye for continuity and enablement of the partnership. 

What does an ideal alliance governance structure look like?

The ideal structure depends on the complexity of the alliance. Yet, in general the ideal situation is to work with a three-layered governance structure. This structure consists of an executive steering committee, an alliance management team and the operating teams. This three-layered structure creates stability and continuity for the alliance. 

An important factor in alliance governance is to make sure the roles of the different layers are clear. The steering committee consists of executive sponsors of all partners. It provides direction, makes strategic decisions and keeps track of progress. The alliance management team consists mostly of alliance managers. They can be seen as the orchestrators of an orchestra and make sure the whole team plays in tune in the partnership. The operational team is where the real collaboration takes place, on a daily basis. 

In a good governance structure, only the alliance managers will be part of multiple governance layers. Other duplicates may affect the decision-making process and might cripple the alliance.

When is it time to reconsider?

In general, you will design the alliance governance in the earlier stages of the partnership. However, you must stay tuned-in. When you work together, you will get to know each other and gain new information and experiences about the collaboration. This means sometimes you need to be open to reconsider the contract or adjust the governance structure for better results. 

More information

Would you like to know more about strategic alliance governance? You will find many useful tips in the following blogposts. 

If you have any questions about this topic after reading these blogposts, feel free to email me. Here you will find my contact information.