5. What is important in the process of inter-organisational collaboration?
In order to make the process of inter-organisational collaboration successful, a few tips shall help you:
- Create a clear vision about the common goals: this includes a clear definition of the expected outcome, the resources which each partner is expected to put into the collaboration and who is allowed to do what with the outcomes.
- Set up guidelines for communication and collaboration: it often seems that we all know how to communicate – but how often we fail in this! From cultural divergences over personal differences in communication style to variances in individual / organisational values, goals and expectations or misunderstandings – to name just a few. The potential for misunderstandings and conflicts are manifold. Consider to have a teambuilding event at the start of your collaboration and make sure that open, appreciative, positive, inclusive and goal-oriented rules for communication are jointly set up. Ideally the collaboration becomes a partnership of independent partners which follow a common goal.
- Agile yes, but outcome-centric. Many organisations are embracing agile development today. But “agile development” does not mean that there are no rules! Consider to make sure in the very beginning of the collaboration how you will organise the work, who will take decisions and how decision shall be found in the case of disagreement. This shall not hinder agile development, structural flexibility and adaptability during the process of the collaboration.
- The expectations to each partner shall be clearly written down, including all resources which are expected from each partner
- Make sure from the very beginning how to deal with outcomes, especially intellectual property rights, the right for publishing and how you deal with confidentiality issues.
- Set up metrics for the quality and the outcome of the collaboration.