Partnering Agreements

A Partnering Agreement is a ‘working agreement’ or ‘social contract’ between all parties of the relationship.

In some cases, parties will sign a formal Relationship Agreement as part of their legal Contract, signalling their intent to work together in a collaborative and constructive manner, rather than using a traditional master/slave approach.

Where there is not a legal Agreement to guide the relationship, the parties will gain value from documenting their conversations in the early development of the relationship. This will reflect the level of alignment between them, and may be used as an ongoing governance reference for the leadership team. This document will be their working agreement and can be updated as needed to reflect changing needs.

Topics usually discussed as a foundation for the relationship include:

  • Why? The purpose of the partnership, what the exchange of value will be; how it benefits each party, the shared objectives and work priorities.
  • How? How the parties will engage to ensure they gain the expected value, roles and relationships, the support processes (e.g. for escalating problems) and the ongoing governance/ review model.
  • What will we monitor to reflect performance? Both operational performance (e.g. KPIs) and the Partnering Relationship itself.

In most cases, parties choose to develop a Charter as a one page summary of their agreement.

Click here for a PDF Discussion Paper – covering Charters, Agreements and Performance Management.

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