Agile. Isn’t that a word we all love and hate at the same time? We love to hear we are agile, but be honest: How do you feel when you are asked to throw all your (great!) plans overboard? That exact moment when you hear: “We have to change our strategy, so let us rewrite our OKRs”.
That is not the greatest moment, is it? Especially when you are managing an ecosystem of partners. Because now you have to go back and inform them about the changes and try to get them on board (again). But let’s face it:
In the current world, we have to adapt and change our plans more than ever before.
For Partner Managers, it is important not to be discouraged when last-minute strategy changes are required, but to be prepared instead. Set up a workflow with your partners where you can make quick changes to your strategy and objectives. But how to achieve this?
One way to get started is to write a Mutual Success Plan (MSP) at the start of any Partnership. As the name suggests, a MSP lays out what both parties want to achieve and what they see as success. It can also help to identify what each party expects and what they will bring to the table. Starting Partnerships with an MSP gives a clear direction and provides trust, as both parties show they are committed to making the cooperation successful.
However, a common mistake is that the MSP is often created as a static plan. A Word doc or appendix in the Partnership Agreement, which eventually disappears somewhere in a folder or shared drive. How do you actively report on the MSP when no one seems to remember where the damn thing is? We don’t need static, we need agile.
The answer on how to be agile is this:
Sit down with your partners and create a dynamic plan, with access for both parties. In this plan, you agree on measurable objectives, milestones related to each objective, and who is responsible for achieving them. Use it as a map to plan your journey together and allow (or even better: expect) changes along the road.
To achieve an agile state like that, consider using software like Qollabi, where both you and your partner have access to real-time information on your objectives. You instantly see the progress and areas of attention. As Qollabi integrates with the major CRM's, you are also always on top of the overall status of each Partner Program. Imagine the time you'd save because you can anticipate which actions to take, all the time!
And imagine your boss's face, when you come back within the day to confirm that all partners have been informed and are aware of their new objectives?
Who said something about being agile? ;)