Collaborative program maintenance and execution provides the reasons and the benefits that encourage your partners to continue participation in the collaborative network. This includes the execution and delivery of community objectives and programs, including activity execution, issue resolution, risk management, and most importantly lessons learned to improve future programs.  The excitement of working with a wide range of partners in your network to deliver potentially huge benefits provides the incentive to join the network and the program maintenance ensures the benefits are delivered which encourages your partner retention and continuing participation.

The newness of collaboration with new partners and the potential benefits of the objectives and suggestions of the network provide the initial attraction.  This initial attraction and participation provides a great deal of momentum in developing the goals and objectives and also attracting partners to initially engage in the network and the development and prioritizing of the programs.  This is important to reach the critical mass of participation, capabilities and ideas and will carry the interest and participation of the partners through the initial prioritization and start-up of new programs.  However, this newness will not last forever and then the network and the programs will require different means to retain and engage the partners.

This is where the program maintenance comes into play and will provide the encouragement and the reasons for the partners to continue participation in the network activities.  The program maintenance activities are important to ensure a pipeline of objectives are identified, prioritized and then delivered.  The delivery of objectives and value to the network and the participating partners will in turn generate new ideas and concepts to drive new objectives and values.  Program maintenance and delivery must be treated as a critical factor in the maintenance of the collaborative network in order to ensure the long term participation and viability of the collaborative network.

An important aspect of program maintenance is the process of continuous improvement of the execution and delivery of the programs.  This provides the feedback loop that is essential to the maintenance of the program delivery process.  The continuous improvement does not improve the ideas or the objectives, it does however improve the execution and delivery of the objectives.  This improvement in delivery will encourage the retention of the partners and this retention of the partners then encourages generating new concepts and objectives. 

The concepts of program maintenance and continuous improvement are not new in the management of a partnership.  Success though is built on the attention to detail and the ability to deliver, I suggest that the ability to deliver is based in large part on the attention to detail.  The continuous improvement then is the process of attending to new details in order to ensure the continued success of the network.


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?