Program management of initiatives taken up by the collaborative network requires the support and participation of all of the members within the network in order to be successful.  The program management of these initiatives is one of the key factors to encourage the support and participation of the members in the network.  This is not the only tool in the box to help to ensure the participation and retention of the partners.  It is important for the network to encourage the participation in leading the initiatives prioritized and supported by the partners in a manner that ensure the feedback and support of all of the network partners.

The program management of initiatives is an important tool in the retention of partners though from the aspect of encouraging all members to participate in the leadership of initiatives and most especially the initiatives that deliver benefits to their own organization.  Retention and participation should constantly be the focus of the collaborative network to ensure the longevity of the network.  As I have previously mentioned, it is easy to encourage participation when the network and partners are new and it grows increasingly difficult to maintain the participation as the collaborative network ages. 

The selection, or the acceptance really, of the initiative program management must not be taken for granted and should really be integrated as one of the key steps in prioritizing and scheduling initiatives taken on by the network.  As part of the prioritization process the initiative champion, or champions, should assign the program manager that will execute the program.  This action provides two benefits;

  1. The champion is assured that the initiative will support and deliver the objectives that will bring value to their organization and the network as a whole.
  2. The active participation of the network members spread across partners through the program management activities will encourage the participation of other members.  

Sharing of the program management across the network partners is an important aspect to the retention of network members for the reasons that I have outlined above.  This sharing of responsibilities also provides a strong message to the network members that their participation is important and encourage them to participate in a way that provides a shared leadership of the network.  This shared leadership provides both the encouragement to participate and the message that each member’s participation is important along with a pragmatic and useful method to level the effort to deliver these important initiatives across the membership.  Leveling the effort of both management and execution across the membership is nothing to take lightly because it provides the underlying framework that ensures that a small group of members will not be required to provide the lion’s share of effort to support the network initiatives. 


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?