This easy-to-use, reliable, web-based tool gives partnerships an exciting new way to assess how well their collaborative process is working and to identify specific areas they can focus on to make the process work well. The tool is being provided to partnerships as a tool for Hickman Mills C-1 School District partnerships. Below, we describe: Why this tool/survey is needed, how the tool/survey was developed, who should use the tool/survey, how the tool/survey works, how partnerships can use the tool/survey to assess their partnerships with the District at the end of every year of its existence.
Why the Partnership Tool/Survey is needed? Partnerships are very valuable because the collaborative process brings different kinds of people and organizations together, making it possible for them to accomplish much more than they can on their own. Running a successful collaborative process is more easily said than done, however, particularly when a partnership involves participants from very different backgrounds, like professionals, service providers, and community residents directly affected by problems. Because of the tremendous difficulties involved, many partnerships are struggling to make the most of their collaborative potential.
Moreover, other than assessing whether or not they achieve their ultimate goals, most partnerships lack a reliable way to determine how well their collaborative process is working or what they can do to make it work better. The Partnership Self-Assessment Tool/Survey was designed to meet these needs. It helps partnerships: Understand how collaboration works and what it means to create a successful collaborative process, assess how well the collaborative process is working, identifies specific areas they can focus on to make the collaborative process work better.
How was the Partnership Self-Assessment Tool/Survey developed? A successful collaborative process enables a group of primarily Hickman Mills C-1 Stakeholders came together to combine their complementary knowledge, skills, and resources so they can accomplish more together than they can on their own. We call this unique combining power “partnership synergy.” The synergy that a partnership achieves through a successful collaborative process is not just an exchange of resources among participants. Together, the participants create something new and valuable — a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. When a collaborative process achieves a high level of synergy, the partnership is able to think in new and better ways about how it can achieve its goals; carry out more comprehensive, integrated interventions; and strengthen its relationship with the broader community.
By enabling a partnership to think and act in ways that go beyond the capacities of its individual participants, synergy makes all of the time and effort involved in collaboration worth worthwhile. Any working partnership within the District can use this tool/survey as a measure of success. A partnership should use the tool/survey if it wants to: