The Partnering Process Tool

The Partnership Process Tool helps you and your partners to quickly assess how your partnering process is working. The current version of the PPTool is fully functional and can be of immediate value to an existing partnership. Still, improvements will be made and over the summer we will use your feedback to work on a better version.

We are glad to help you figure out how to use the tool in your situation, and hope to get your suggestions in return. The PPTool can be used for free, just get in touch with the PPPLab (email to


Collaborating in a partnership with others is often complex, difficult and time-consuming. Partners typically spend quite some time agreeing on goals and objectives, developing implementation plans and reviewing the outputs of the partnership as a whole. Relatively little time is spent assessing the current effectiveness of the partnering process . This tool provides you with a structured starting point to start improving your internal partnering process, with the expectation that working together effectively will also help your partnership deliver better on agreed goals and objectives.

  • It enables you and your partners to assess your current internal collaboration practices: your partnering process.
  • It gives you a structured, explicit way of assessing that takes little time.
  • It allows you to monitor changes in the partnering process over time, if repeated regularly.
  • It highlights the range, and possible diversity of perspectives amongst the partners who fill in the tool. It highlights areas of consensus and conflict that can be useful to explore.
  • It provides a common framework and vocabulary for all partners in the partnership to create a jointly owned approach for making your partnering process more effective and efficient.
  • Disclaimer: while the tool does help expose possible or potential difficulties within the partnership, it does not tell you how to solve them!


With the help of the online tool you investigate seven building blocks of a partnering process. The first six are building blocks that increase the chances for a successful partnering process. The seventh building block helps you briefly monitor progress being made in achieving the objectives and goals of your partnership. Comparing building block 7 with the other six helps you see the relevance of improving your partnering process.

  • Building Block 1: Acknowledge the need for partnership
  • Building Block 2: Develop clarity and realism of purpose
  • Building Block 3: Ensure commitment and ownership
  • Building Block 4: Develop and maintain trust
  • Building Block 5: Create clear and robust partnership arrangements
  • Building Block 6: Monitor and learn
  • Building Block 7: Reflect on progress

Through the tool you can assess to what extent each partner feels that these building blocks are in place. Each building block includes six statements about important aspects to get right. Each partner is asked to answer on a scale of 1-4 to what extent they feel each aspect is true or not for the partnership. The results of the assessment are then graphically plotted: one graph per partner and one graph with all partners together.

Comparing the overall graphs reveals similarities and differences between partners. These are leads for a conversation between partners how to improve your way you collaborate, and thereby increase the effectiveness of the partnership as a whole.

This tool is adapted from an earlier partnership assessment tool by Hardy, Hudson and Waddington (2003).