Practical. Hands-on. Realistic. Value-creating. Impactful.
Our alliance strategy and management consulting, training, assessment, and digital platform implementation services help you partner well and achieve the outcomes you seek from your strategic alliances and business collaborations.
Partnering and alliance strategy
Create frameworks for deciding when to partner and defining the characteristics of potential partners.
Deliver value to stakeholders, create efficiencies, and drive alliance success when leading practices are regularly followed.
Introduce a consistent process with specific goals, decisions, and deliverables to start any alliance on a path toward success.
Alliance management capability development
Build a practice that is part of the fabric of your company and is recognized for the value it delivers, preserving and enhancing the expected value of alliances and managing the risks that can erode it.
Alliance business models and agreements
Guide the economic model, governance process, and operating framework of individual alliances to design alliances that are agile while creating sufficient structure that clearly defines rights, responsibilities, and common language.
Organize alliance teams to work efficiently and effectively, minimizing duplication of work while maximizing collaboration.
Evolve the business model of alliances to align with current business conditions.
Create effective operating models and train teams for cross-functional or cross-business unit collaboration.
For experienced alliance leaders
Experiential training to help build your practice as a recognized value creator within the organization. Hone your leadership skills, develop the power of positive influence, and learn to consider alliance decisions within the context of the overall portfolio.
For new alliance managers
Learn the fundamentals of alliance management for collaborations with research, development, commercialization, digital, and service provider partners.
For academic alliance managers
Capitalize on the increasing externalization of research and bridge the different worlds of academia and business to focus efforts to produce effective collaborations that fuel innovation.
For alliance team members
Help alliance team members learn how to work collaboratively with their external partners and bridge differences efficiently and effectively.
For alliance governance members
Governance members have a unique role. This “bootcamp” type training provides immersive training to help them appreciate the role, handle challenging personalities, and drive effective engagement and decision making.
Data Rich Assessments
Our trademark assessment of alliance operational effectiveness is much more than a health check. It creates a data-based understanding of how an alliance can reduce delays and churn, and align on a path to setting and achieving its North Star. It gets everyone on the same page and charts a focused path to better collaboration and outcomes.
- It is used most frequently when there are significant organizational and cultural differences between the partners and they share in the alliance’s finances.
- It accumulates and analyzes both qualitative and quantitative data in accordance with an underlying algorithm.
- With a data-rich baseline, directed action can be taken to improve effectiveness and the ability to produce desired outcomes, measuring improvement over time.
- Our database of over 15 years worth of VitalSigns engagements lets us benchmark performance against other similar alliances.
The measurable improvement periodic VitalSigns assessments drive has won more than one alliance an ASAP Alliance Excellence Award.
It has also been effective in bridging internal silos. We also use the VitalSigns process to assess the collaboration between departments and business units that need to collaborate in the product development process.
Alliance Management Foundation Baseline
Ground your practice in the foundational deliverables and building blocks of alliance management within the context of your company’s strategy, structure, culture, and ecosystem. Benchmark the current state of alliance management practice against this framework and relative to the needs of stakeholders and the portfolio.
Use the benchmark as a starting point for a prioritized multi-year roadmap for developing the alliance management function and practice. Then create a short-term action plan, together with communication and socialization elements to gain support, resources, and the engagement of stakeholders in integrating partnering into strategy, operations, and execution.
Seven Habits and Five Opportunities Value Assessment
Based on our experiences, observations, and in-depth, quantitative assessments of alliance effectiveness, we’ve distilled the alliance management services that stakeholders value the most and that preserve and enhance the intended value of an alliance into seven habits. Habits are internalized behaviors we engage in without really thinking about them. They take practice to develop competency in and to build the muscle memory so that they are ingrained and naturally how work gets done.
Used in conjunction with the Alliance Management Foundation, this assessment looks at the activities and behaviors of alliance managers and evaluates how well they align with the services that deliver value to stakeholders. Use the results to focus activities on those that matter the most and as a guide for the professional development of alliance managers.
Alliance Value/Complexity Profile Assessment
Profile your alliance portfolio to provide a framework for making resourcing and management strategy decisions. More insightful than simple tiering, this assessment allows you to consider your alliances in light of your internal portfolio and identify potential stars within lower tier alliances. Aligned with strategy, the assessment evaluates the potential value and management complexity of an alliance across multiple factors. The output provides:
- Quantified measurement of the strategic elements of an alliance that typically go unmeasured
- Opportunities to enhance value realized and reduce management complexity and risk
- Definition of specific management, investment, and staffing strategies for groupings of alliances based on their profile
- Focused alliance improvement plans that help grow the Return on Collaboration across the portfolio
The Collaborative Index Skills Assessment
Collaboration is a risk sharing and resource leveraging strategic behavior that necessitates coordinating activities and exchanging information for mutual benefit. It requires an environment of trust, transparency, and respect. It is a comprehensive way of thinking and acting that takes proficiency in multiple skills. Our Collaborative Index has measured the collaborative ability of more than 7,000 people and consistently found that better collaboration produces better outcomes. The assessment:
- Measures if individuals behave in a way that is aligned with their beliefs about collaborative leadership
- Assesses if individuals engage in the right collaborative leadership activities and have the skills to do them well
- Produces an individual metric – the Collaborative Index – that can be tied to performance measures
- Informs individual leadership development efforts
Digital Platform Implementation
Allianceboard Workflow and Analytics
We’re proud to partner with allianceboard, the leading alliance and ecosystem management software that automates routine alliance management workflows; allows your practice to scale, and makes the work of alliance management visible and tangible through analytics, dashboards, and interactive, on-demand reporting. A complete record of alliance activity reduces the learning curve when a new alliance manager takes over. Say goodbye to spreadsheet trackers and management by Powerpoint. An intuitive, simple system of record for alliance management has arrived.
Our workshop-based approach to designing, implementing, and training your team to use allianceboard:
- Guides your team through the required decisions about process, taxonomy, workflow, users, reporting, and more
- Helps shape a pilot program and provides an orientation to initial users
- Designs the training and support for a larger scale rollout
- Creates a playbook that defines key alliance processes and information management requirements
Design the digital space and usage guidelines alliance teams need to collaborate at the speed of business. In today’s world of remote work, it is essential to establish the channels through which alliance teams communicate and the repositories for alliance information and documents at the kickoff of an alliance.