Checklist For Success
The core elements of successful collaboration can be easily summarized in the following twenty points:
- The problem(s) or issue(s) of concern is clearly defined.
- All potential stakeholders and key leaders/change agents have been invited to participate in the collaborative initiative:
• People who live with the problem.
• People who have power to change the problem.
• People who have the technical expertise to address the problem.
- Diversity among stakeholders is sought and respected as a key tenet of collaboration.
- A mission or vision statement that identifies the critical problems or issues and possible collaborative solutions is developed by all key stakeholders.
- The problem or issue is analyzed to develop theories about why it is occurring, and what can be done to change the situation.
- Possible strategies or solutions are brainstormed among key stakeholders, with consensus built around the most sound approaches to problem solving or intervention.
- The consensus strategy is fractionated into strategic goals and measurable objectives.
- Goals and objectives are assigned an order of priority, with a sense of urgency given to the highest priority issues.
- Responsibilities for action are developed and assigned to the relevant stakeholders, with clear understanding of the interrelationships among each goal and objective.
10. A time schedule for completion of goals and objectives is developed that includes tasks, persons responsible, deliverables, and deadlines. This should be flexible, depending upon ongoing evaluation results (see # 14).
11. If necessary, memoranda of understanding and/or inter-agency agreements are drafted to clarify roles, responsibilities, and interrelationships needed to accomplish the goals and objectives.
12. A list of resources needed for success is developed, which may include (but not be limited to): research, evaluation, training, technical assistance, marketing, direct outreach to core constituents, public education, and media relations.
13. Stakeholders involved in the collaborative effort assume responsibility (often jointly) for developing and/or providing resources that have been identified as critical to success.
14.Significant attention is paid to evaluation measures that can delineate success or failure. Flexible approaches are in place to allow for revision of original goals and objectives, based upon evaluation results (this is an ongoing process).
15. Methods of ongoing communications and regular meetings for status reviews are institutionalized.
16. A commitment to managing the change that results from the collaborative initiative is institutionalized, with consensus on how stakeholders will each educate their professional peers and volunteers about the positive aspects of the change, and help them adjust to new policies, procedures, and/or programs that result.
17. Small successes and achievements are celebrated, and barriers to success are viewed as surmountable challenges.
18. An assessment of the overall collaborative effort is conducted, with participation of all key stakeholders.
19. Recommendations for revising or “fine-tuning” ongoing strategies for success, based upon the overall evaluation, are developed.
20. Efforts are made to identify other initiatives that could benefit from the collaborative efforts of the key stakeholders involved in this initiative.
Seymour, A. (2006). “Collaboration: A Checklist for Success.” Washington, DC: National Victim Assistance Academy, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. Updated October 2011 for Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network Project.