Collaboration requires work in order to be successful and this work is best executed through repeatable processes and practices in order to ensure consistency and inclusion of partners.  Collaborative practices can and should be documented and reviewed among the partners to ensure both understanding and consistent execution of the practice.  Collaboration requires a consistent and continuous interaction and communication among partners and the clear definition and regular review of the practices allow for a consistent interaction and also encourage their review for improvements.  In order to encourage consistent and continuous success in collaborative practices and collaborating results it is important to define a clear roadmap of practices that is reviewed and improved on a regular basis. 


Success in collaboration across a variety of business partners along with consumers and other types of customers of these businesses requires a consistency and a clear expectation of the interaction and the timing of this interaction.  This allows the collaboration partners to plan build their own internal processes and procedures to take better advantage of the collaboration across partners and customers.  Business partners require this consistency to plan and forecast their own internal requirements for materials and costs planning while at the same time this consistency also allows the business partners to plan for the collaborative communication, interaction and, most importantly, delivery of collaborative services and products.  


These collaborative practices definition will describe the ‘how’ of the interaction and communication that will support the collaborative partners across the partnership to deliver the ‘what’, whether service or product.  Collaboration is a personal and social activity type that creates interactive opportunities and then the actual collaborative practices support these interactive opportunities.  The interactive opportunities require a process and procedures definition to ensure consistency across the diverse partners and the best way to ensure this consistency is through definition and documentation of these processes and procedures.  These processes and practices must include the interaction with external consumers and customers of the business partners.


Since collaboration is a personal and social activity type across a wide and diverse set of partners the definition and implementation of processes and procedures supporting collaborative actions can be difficult. It does not mean that it cannot be done though it means that you must start with the understanding that it will require a great deal of communication and interaction in order to come to a set that partners can agree supports the collaborative partnership requirements.  This can be a great deal of work during the development of the collaborative partnership and will require a continuous review process (probably best completed during the in-person conference sessions) in order to ensure the processes and procedures continue to improve and change as the collaborative requirements change. 


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?