Putting together the pieces

Putting together the pieces

When you are ready to begin building a collaboration it is recommended that you approach the process in stages. It takes time to build purpose, process and teams. The stages of the process are based on a quality management model that reflects the “what, why, when, how, and where” of your common work. Together, these components reflect a system of work for achieving a common vision. In quality management it is not enough to identify work tasks alone; it is most essential to have a vision that is commonly shared that connects the people, processes and resources together in a system.

The content and questions provided you earlier in this document can serve your group as you begin to build a common vision, identify what you want to do and develop the processes for achievement. It will be important in this development phase to give time and consideration to team development and communication as well.

In the first step, it is recommended that members of the collaboration take time to discuss and agree upon a common vision and goals for the collaboration. Why do you want to collaborate? how can you benefit from a collaboration? Why is the collaboration important? Reference to Part 2: Collaboration above can be useful in this stage of development. Design thinking may also serve the needs of the group at this stage, although it is recommended that it be applied in step 2 below.

In step two, it is time to identify and concretize activities that will be carried out by the different team members to achieve your common goal. Here you can discuss how you will link activities based on the network structure discussion in Part 1. The section on building teams can serve you well to talk about what resources and strengths exist in the team to achieve the goals. Depending on the maturity of the group, it may be important to conduct a needs assessment to determine more specifically what the interest of the stakeholder groups is to know what kind of activities are best suited to achieve the common purpose and vision of the collaboration. Design thinking, as presented earlier, is recommended as one such process that can serve this purpose.

In step three, you are ready to design and plan the actual activities and processes. Be sure to talk about how the activities will be connected, how resources will be shared, who will do what? when? and what processes for communication will be used to serve the collaboration? The section on team building and developing good virtual communication may be particularly helpful here.