Doing business with existing relations is in general easier than winning new ones. This is equally applicable to a strategic customer – supplier relationships as it is for strategic alliance relationships. Strategic alliance relationships are, to a certain extent, part of your extended organization. 

Failing relationships have a huge impact on your organization: both from a financial perspective as from an employee moral perspective. Failing relationships may bring a lot of negative energy to your business. So it is better to stay on the positive side and thus maintain and improve the relationship. Of course it would be even better to prevent such a situation from happening at all.

One of the essential tasks for an alliance manager is to constantly keep a finger on the pulse of an alliance relationship. This should be an ongoing effort for an alliance manager, as part of your regular governance meetings. Also, alliances need a regular health check. Often, health checks are performed through online surveys or external interviews. These independent approaches enable a safe environment for the interviewee to share observations they otherwise won’t easily share. It will help to uncover stumbling blocks before they actually become one. 

Every alliance manager considers health checks as an important part of their toolbox to manage healthy alliances. However, we often see that urgent tasks push the execution of a health check back on the task list. Health checks are considered important, but not urgent. Until it is too late… Many alliance failures could have been prevented by early diagnosis. 

When will you perform your next health check?