Priority management for your collaborative network requires the active participation from the network partners in order to maintain the effectiveness of and interest of the partners.  This management process should be viewed as a key factor in retaining your network partners as well.  This process depends on the active participation of all members to maintain the robust process to review and prioritize requests and objectives and the fairness of the review, the greater the participation of the members the more equitable the decisions will be for the priorities.  The active participation meets the criteria to ensure a fairness to the priority setting and the confirmation of an open and unbiased process to incorporate the views and the priorities of the members.

It is important to the long term viability of the collaborative partner network that there is a process that both encourages and incorporates the views, objectives and priorities of the members.  In my experience the priority management process provides two benefits to the partner network;

  1. A forum for the members to actively review the requests and benefits of these requests from the network partners.
  2. A voice in setting the priorities and scheduling the delivery of these priorities. 

These are both important factors in the appearance and basis of fairness in supporting all of the network partners in a collaborative and open manner.  This appearance and basis of fairness is then an important factor in the retention and participation of the members.  In other words, in order to encourage the active participation of your collaborative network partners, you must, in fact, openly and honestly incorporate the views and suggestions from this partners in determining the priority of actions and objectives of the network.

This is not a difficult process to implement, the request review and prioritization process provides the vehicle and the participation of the members provides the fuel.  This process will support and focus the prioritization from the network partners and the active participation of the members ensures the incorporation of the partner views and priorities.  The trick to the success of these efforts is in the facilitation of the process and decisions that come out of this process.  To ensure the perception of fairness from the partners you should implement a rotation of the facilitator role among the partners.  This will ensure there is no one partner with more influence than other partners and by expecting and requiring the participation of all members this process will also increase the retention of the members.

The network objective in implementing this process should be the assurance that the process openly reviews and honestly prioritizes the network objectives based on the views and requirements of the partners.  When this process is implemented is will become a self-maintaining process that does not require a great deal of effort from any one partner to maintain.


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?