Lessons Learned - A Business Reviewing a Successful Community Business Partnership

Reviewing a community business partnership after its completion is an important way to ensure your business takes the most away from the arrangement it has been involved in.

Through a review you can cast your eye over the partnership you have just completed, identifying and working through its good points and bad points, its successes and its struggles.

This not only gives you an overall insight into how your partnership went, but can help you identify the benefits to work towards in your next partnership arrangement, or bad points you can avoid.

A Series of Questions for your Final Review

Conducting a review does not have to be time-consuming – in fact, it doesn't need to take up too much time at all if you know what questions you should ask yourself in the review.

Just how successful your partnership has been can be measured through a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions.
  • Qualitative questions measure what can be "less tangible" things such as attitudes, processes and improvements in relationships.
    For example: How did your relationship cope with disagreements and benefit from co-operative work?
  • Quantitative questions rely more on solid data to measure successes in the partnership, its projects and aims.
    For example: Your partnership aimed to plant 1000 trees in the local park – did you achieve that?
The following questions are designed to provoke thought and can help your business evaluate its just-completed community business partnership.

Planning and Aims:

  • Did your choice of partner end up being a good one, or could it have been better?
    • Was the partner the "right fit" for you, and from the right sector to suit your business?
    • If not, why not, and how were you still able to work constructively with the partner you chose?

  • Was the partnership model you chose appropriate for partners' needs and abilities, as well as what it offered to the community?
    • Would you choose the same partnership model if you had your time over?

  • Did your partnership achieve the aims you and your partner wanted, as well as benefiting the community?
    • Did it exceed or fall short of expectations in some areas?

  • What were the partnership's community objectives and how were they achieved?

  • What were your business' objectives in the partnership and how were they achieved?

  • >How did your partnership agreement work overall?
    • Was the planning both parties put in beforehand adequate, or could it have been improved in some areas?

Resources, Responsibilities and Benefits:

  • Were there some unexpected benefits that came from the partnership for either of the partners?
    • If so, what were they and how did they come about?

  • Did the benefits derived from the partnership justify the costs/time/resources put in?

  • How was your business able to contribute to the partnership?
    • How do you feel your contribution was viewed by your partner?

  • Did you meet your end of the bargain in the responsibilities you undertook, or did you exceed them or fall short?
    • If you fell short in delivering on your responsibilities, how was this overcome?

  • Did your community group partner meet their responsibilities, exceed them or fall short?
    • If they fell short, were any measures taken to overcome the problem?

  • What lasting results will there be emanating from your partnership?
    • Are these what you expected, or did they come as a surprise?

Other Issues:

  • How were your staff involved?
    • Were they happy to be involved?
    • Did they offer constructive feedback on the partnership?
    • What was their reaction to the partnership?

  • What sort of feedback was gained from those outside the partnership?
    • From the media, local authorities, other businesses or business groups, the wider community?
    • How was this feedback interpreted and used in the partnership?

  • How would you rate the communication within the partnership?
    • Were your communication levels up to the mark, and did your partner listen to, note or act on what you had to say?

  • Were there any problems or conflicts during the partnership?
    • If so, how were they resolved?

  • What has your business learned about partnerships from this arrangement?