Working in partnerships and alliances, at some point you might have come across the term alliance lifecycle. But what exactly is an alliance lifecycle, and how can you use it to create fruitful collaborations? Here we dive deeper into what this alliance lifecycle is, and how you can adapt it to your business. 

What is an alliance lifecycle and why do you need one?

An alliance lifecycle is a systemized framework to move through your alliances. It´s a process, or structured approach for alliances. It is the roadmap your organization can follow to create successful partnerships. Research shows that companies that use a structured approach to form their alliances, are way more likely to succeed than companies that don’t. With a failure rate of 50-75% of formed alliances, it is definitely worth looking into an alliance lifecycle to establish your partnerships. 

What are the steps of an alliance lifecycle?

Generally, an alliance lifecycle exists out of 7 steps. The framework identifies the following seven steps for alliance success:

  1. Set the alliance specific strategy
  2. Partner analysis & selection
  3. Building trust & value creating negotiation
  4. Operational planning
  5. Alliance structuring & governance
  6. Launching & management
  7. Transform, Innovate or Exit

Although many companies use  alliance lifecycles that follow a similar structure, it is important to note that not all cycles are the same. 

How to work with an alliance lifecycle

An alliance lifecycle framework can best be viewed as a toolbox. Every step in the lifecycle will have its sub-steps, supported by tools based on best practices. An alliance lifecycle is also not just a cyclical thing. Since you need to reflect on your alliance very frequently, it’s not just following the steps chronologically. Sometimes you need to take a step back and revise what you have been doing.  Alliances that work with a lifecycle in such a way, have a bigger chance of successful collaborations. 

Would you like to increase the success of your partnerships? Start using a structured approach with the alliance lifecycle. Follow our Alliance Masterclass to learn everything there is to know about alliance lifecycles.

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