One of the many things I took away from this module was Building a Relationship Strategy on a Page (RSOAP). Broken down into 5 sections, the true value in the RSOAP is the working through the process of completing it with the business to agree on a relationship strategy.
Here is a breakdown of the five sections where each section informs the one below:
Shared Vision – Where we want to be?
In the coursework what I found particularly interesting was the idea of switching roles for perspectives. This ‘walk a mile in the others shoes’ approach is great for not only brainstorming ideas that a person entrenched in the day to day operations of their job wouldn’t see but it also gives either the provider or the business the opportunity to gain some insight on one another. At the end of it a shared vision statement is generated which is realistic, value based, balanced and ambitious
Relationship Characteristics – How we will get there?
Having a target is great but the next step is to determine how to get there. We need to find out what we need in terms of capabilities and characteristics and see where gaps may exist. In other words we may need to tweak certain components which might be impeding us from making further improvements
Performance Measure – How to measure that?
This was the one thing that I had to wrap my head around a bit. In the RSOAP we are looking for the desired measure before we outline the initiatives. Traditionally we look at this from the other way around, with initiatives which are underway and then we have metrics against them.
Here we take from the shared vision to think about what we want to improve overall, and then determine how we could measure that to reach those goals. One challenge that exists in this outcome based approach is the measurement of performance for things that are less quantitative and more qualitative such as satisfaction.
Key initiatives – What initiatives will we need to do?
Like the other components of the RSOAP these should support the shared vision, relationship characteristic and performance measures. The challenge is that there are other initiatives which currently exist and they may not align with the new relationship. Some key components here include:
- Both the provider and business should benefit
- Address long standing issues
- Creating quick wins
Operating principals – How we work together?
These overarching principals focus on how we work together. These are fairly general in nature and there are less of them to cover the more important aspects.
In the end you need to remember to share and validate the results of the RSOAP with the business partner to be effective. That like any document, the RSOAP needs to regularly reviewed and updated to stay valid. At the very least this is a great tool to help facilitate your business relationships.
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