This is the stage where the magic happens; you lock-in your partnership, develop your working relationship, navigate challenges and get to work.

You’ve taken the time to EXPLORE and determined that partnership is the best path to achieve your project or program goals. Now it’s time to get to CREATE the best possible working relationship with your partner(s).


It’s important to start strong, so we’ve crafted a set of tools to cultivate a healthy and strong start to your partnership. These tools will help you understand the range of working styles of everyone involved in the project, carefully detail roles and responsibilities, and document the key details that can disrupt a partnership down the road. Investing time to complete these tools with your partner(s) before the project launches will prevent hiccups down the road.

Mind reading is not an evaluation strategy.

The project has launched, you are knee deep in project work towards upcoming deadlines and approaching milestone. How is the project going? Are all partners on track? Is everyone pulling their weight? Is communication flowing effectively?

It is critical that partners make time to assess partnership processes and progress. Each partner brings unique attributes (strengths and weaknesses) to the partnership. Each partner must also manage their individual workloads and organizational requirements related to and above and beyond the partnership. Even the most carefully planned project will experience ups and downs.

The spirit of a healthy partnership should focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Partners should identify key points in their project to step back and reflect on the partnership. The Partnership Process & Progress Reflection sheet is a helpful way to pause, assess and recalibrate, as needed.