Throughout my career, while dealing with clients and partners, I have seen that simple and small aspects of relationship make a lot of difference. These simple aspects are related to transparency and effective and timely communication.
In my first blog I would like to share the learning's about the most important aspect (in my opinion atleast) which is about the right governance and communication plan. This fact cannot be emphasized enough. Over a period of time, I have seen issues crop up for failing to put together a simple communication plan with the partners. Some of the fall outs of this can lead to misunderstanding of requirements, delays in getting a quote or simply put, failing to work together as a team when working on an opportunity.
When working with partner(s) on an opportunity, it is important to provide a heads up as much as possible. So the first step would be to put together a governance and communication structure in place.
The governance structure can comprise of
· The team members working on the opportunity from both sides
· A clear definition on the roles and responsibilities of the team members working on either side
· A clear definition of the requirements and expected output from the partner(s)
· The deliverables expected from the team members. For e.g. design, architecture, commercials etc.
The communication plan can consist of
· The timelines expected in the opportunity
· The progress to be made while working on the opportunity on a daily / weekly basis
The above aspects can at times sound very trivial, but it makes a huge difference in effectively working with partner(s). As I have seen, as soon as there is a large opportunity, we all get into frenzy and lose time in organizing resources and teams and working out requirements that we expect from the partner(s). In this melee, sometimes we fail to communicate appropriately with the partner(s) leading to misunderstandings and delays. The partner(s) needs as much time in organizing resources as we do. If the communication is abrupt and ad-hoc, it can even lead to a situation where the partner(s) might decide to engage with competition for lack of clarity.
So a valuable take away is to consistently execute the governance and communication plan when working with partners. A simple email or a phone call to keep the partner informed goes a long way in developing that trust in the relationship.
Do let me know your experiences and thoughts as well.