Part Four - Making the commitment




Finding Partners

Managing expectations

Making the commitment

What are you committing to?
The role of milestones within the project plan
Allow time for planning meetings
The role of a partner manager

Getting started


Final checklist

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Assuming that the members of a new research consortium have identified an opportunity of mutual interest, expressed perhaps in a joint Memorandum of Understanding, and have each successfully taken a business plan through senior management for approval, the process of analysing and planning the work to be done can begin.

Frequently, this planning will take the form of a negotiation, where each partner seeks specific outcomes from the project in exchange for which they are authorised to commit a given level of resource to the project overall. This commitment will include the cost of managing and supporting their portion of the project as well as the effort required to actually produce the results they are looking for. It will, given the collaborative nature of the project, also include working on other tasks where other consortium members will be the beneficiaries.

By the end of the planning process you will know what the project involves, better understand the motivations of your partners and have a clearer idea of the resources and special skills that you are committing. Only once your organisation has evaluated the opportunity in that context can you take the decision whether or not to submit the proposal. As David Brooks acknowledges in the Leslie Group case study, the indirect benefits of participation have to be factored into the decision as well as the purely financial ones.