There are many aspects and metrics that can be used to determine the maturity level of your collaboration capabilities ranging from the size of the network in which you participate to the collaboration agreement you have with each of your partners.  Each of these metrics will also have metrics that help to determine and measure the capabilities of the network. In this next series of discussions I will cover some of the metrics that I consider important in two manners; measuring, or evaluating, your collaborative capabilities and identification of the types of metrics that will help to evaluate the capabilities.

There are some simple metrics that can begin to describe your capabilities for instance the size, or number of partners, in your collaborative network, or the incorporation of standards and processes to help to maintain your collaborative network, or the incorporation of a collaborative agreement to support your collaboration activities.  As I’m sure you have already determined though, these metrics identify categories of metrics to measure and the individual performance indicators within each of these categories will help to measure the quality and capabilities of the collaborative network. 

Another important aspect of measuring capabilities and defining the maturity of your capabilities is the collaboration tools that you incorporate in support of your collaboration efforts in the network.  In addition to the tools how you use the tools and for what you use the tools are also important aspects in defining your capabilities.  The tools can range from the simplistic and common tools such as email, or EDI all the way to the web portal tools that provide a standard platform for sharing.

Maturity measurement ties the process, people and tools combinations that have been brought together in the collaborative network into a descriptive rating to help to communicate capabilities and value proposition that can be achieved through the collaborative network.  It is important to have a common language and measurement that can be used in communication across your collaborative network in order to increase the effectiveness and deliver on the potential value and benefits of the network.

I have only been able to scratch the surface of the metrics and quality of the metrics that must defined to determine the maturity level of your capabilities.  In addition to this challenge it is also fair to say that this type of measurement is in it infancy, without a formal recognition.  However I believe that the evaluation of your collaboration capabilities using the metrics and quality measurements will help you to maintain and increase the overall value delivered by your collaborative network.

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

How do you identify and address new opportunities in your current business market?  Have you ever tried to develop a SWOT focused on new business opportunities or new markets  to evaluate the fit for partnership and as a means to address and meet new opportunities?  Do you regularly develop a SWOT analysis to evaluate your internal capabilities and needs to support new business and market opportunities?