Organisational self assessment

To assess the potential for collaboration, an organisation must review and reflect on its management and operations as well as conduct a thorough assessment of the benefits and risks of any proposed collaborative venture.

Before collaborating with other organisations, an organisation must have a clear picture of its capacity and a documented and formally endorsed statement of its priorities and aims. This is usually presented in a business plan format which details the organisation's vision, purpose, services, human and financial resources and time frames for achieving outcomes.

The business planning process should also provide an analysis of the organisation's key assets, such as databases, technology, systems, people, and funding, and of its operating environment, internal processes and external relationships. This enables the organisation to see where it might overlap with other services, identify any gaps in its capacity to meet client needs, and how improved links and collaboration with others might assist.

Where an organisation has already developed a business plan, it is important to review this in the context of a proposed collaborative venture, and to check that:

  • the proposed venture fits within the aims and business of the organisation, and
  • the organisation has the resources and capability to take on the venture.

Once an organisation has developed or reviewed its business plan, or used some other method to assess its capacity, it can then assess the potential of any proposed collaboration. A business case for collaboration can provide a useful framework for this process.

Collaboration assessment: the business case

Preparing a business case is a way of thoroughly examining the specific details of a proposed collaborative structure or venture, assessing whether the proposal is viable, and enabling the organisation to make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

Preparing a business case involves assessing:

  • how well the project or venture will fit with the purpose of the organisation
  • how likely it is to be successful and achieve its objectives
  • the costs and benefits of the proposed venture
  • the risks and likely impact of the project or venture on the organisation
  • the partner/s and the likely partnership benefits
  • fit with the organisation's purpose. It is critical that there is a strong alignment between the organisation's aims, the potential partner/s' objectives, the project outcomes and client benefits to be achieved through the collaboration.

Likelihood of success 

Assessment needs to be done in conjunction with the assessments of costs, benefits and risks. It needs to be informed by the input of key stakeholders, people with specific expertise relevant to the project, organisations that have attempted similar projects or ventures and background research on relevant areas.

Costs and benefits 

This will include:

  • details of project costs, including human, capital, recurrent financial, risk and legal costs
  • estimates of project benefits, such as service improvements, client benefits, operational efficiencies, increased competitiveness and market share, improved reputation and community engagement, reduced governance and compliance risk

Risk assessment 

It is essential to make a detailed and critical evaluation of the potential risks associated with a proposed collaborative activity before negotiating any agreements with other organisations. Time, money and energy spent in assessing the likelihood and impact of potential risks of a project can make the difference between an innovative and successful project and an expensive failure. For more information visit the Collaboration Risk Assessment section.

Partners

It is also important to assess the attributes and suitability of potential partners as part of assessing the potential benefits of a collaborative venture. Suitable partners will be ones that demonstrate:

  • aspirations for their organisation and for the collaborative venture that are compatible with your organisation's
  • organisational cultures that are complementary to your organisation's
  • complementary services, activities, client groups and client outcomes
  • something to contribute and something valuable to gain from the collaboration
  • capacity for a similar level of investment to make the collaboration work, and
  • transparent processes that will form a basis for reciprocal trust and accountability.

Ongoing commitment to the partnership is also necessary to ensure the benefits outweigh the costs and that collaborative effort delivers improved outcomes for clients.

decorative
NDS invites you to this half day workshop, Social Innovation in the NDIS Marketplace , which will focus on developing your organisation’s understanding of key themes in social innovation, and develop your business capability to deliver positive social impact as the sector transitions to an...
decorative
With the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017, which legislates a container refund scheme and a plastic bag ban, now passed by Parliament, the introduction of a Container Refund Scheme in July 2018 is confirmed. Boomerang Alliance and Scouts Association Queensland would like to invite...
decorative
Elections are exciting and offer opportunities for real positive change, but how do you position your organisation to take advantage of these opportunities and avoid the risks? This webinar will discuss campaign and communications case studies from Australia and the UK and help you identify the...
decorative
Pro Bono Australia have launched Civil Voices, a survey to find out the social sector's perspective on the current state of advocacy in Australia. The organisation have said participation in the survey is essential for a holistic insight into the sector's ability to advocate on matters of public...
decorative
Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular method of online fundraising for individuals, businesses, not-for-profits and charities. Generally it involves an individual or an organisation setting a fundraising target online and then asking the crowd of the internet for donations to reach that target...
decorative
The Health and Community Services Workforce Council (Workforce Council) has launched its new project – the Queensland Community Services Workforce Census. This project will collect and analyse previously hidden workforce data across all sub sectors to define job roles across the industry, and the...
Media Statement Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman Financial assistance is now available for south-east Queensland’s not-for-profit organisations that have been affected...
decorative
We have launched a brand new course on the Community Door eTraining website which provides an introduction to the social service sector in Queensland for managers and organisations new to the sector. It is free for anyone to access. It features a profile of the sector in Queensland, insights into...
The Brisbane Social Enterprise Meetup Group is run by the peak body, The Queensland Social Enterprise Council, which is a democratically representative organisation promoting social enterprise in Queensland. This meet-up group is a place where social entrepreneurs and supporters of social...
May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of domestic and family violence. Get involved by attending a local event or hosting one of your own. All over the state — in our workplaces, schools, sporting clubs, neighbourhoods and communities —...

Pages

Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The collaboration decision support tool is designed as a resource to aid organisations considering entering into or forming collaborations to: (a) help to determine if collaboration is the most appropriate model (b) assess current capacity and capability to undertake collaborative action, and (c)...
The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland's community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium...
Information technology and online solutions can help your community organisation work better. ACOSS, Infoxchange and the Department of Communications have teamed up to bring you Digital Business Kits which give you the tools and information to do more online. Digital Business Kits are hosted on...
In March 2014, QCOSS produced the Rethinking Resources: Case Studies of Financial Resilience from Community Services report, in which community organisations from Queensland share how they are working to increase their financial sustainability. The strategies they employ include social enterprise,...
A series of workshops were held across Victoria in 2008 to investigate community partnerships. Participants strongly reinforced the need for partnerships between community sector organisations and government programs across Victoria to support improved integrated service delivery and enhanced...
This is a very simple and easy to use toolkit that is filled with templates and guides to support your organisation to develop innovative and collaborative ways of working together. From developing a value statement, stakeholder engagement, business planning, SWOT analysis and many more. The...
This conversation explores Western Australia's experience in developing its "Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy". Rebecca Brown, Deputy Director-General, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Western Australia, Chris Hall, Chief Executive, MercyCare WA and Irina...
This guide looks at client-focused service integration . Options and resources are provided that can assist organisations even without structural change to or between the service providers (government and non-government) involved. Other resources such as the Planned Support Guide provide a case...
This document outlines the the issues and factors you need to think about when working in partnership or merging with other organisations. Download the Collaborative working and mergers document here .
This Research to Practice Note aims to improve understanding of effective interagency collaboration in a shared approach to child protection context and provides a brief overview of the relevant literature in this area. You can access the document here .

Pages

What do you need to succeed?
Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, QCOSS

Community Door hosts a number of useful tools and resources that can assist you with service delivery. These are all free and available for anyone to download. A few of the most popular tools are highlighted here.

...

The Womens Centre Cairns is a proudly feminist not-for-profit organisation that provides services to women and children at risk of domestic violence and homelessness. Drawing funding from the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and Department of Housing and Public...

Author: 
Tiffany Tento, Queensland Council of Social Service

National Reconciliation Action Week (27 May to 3 June) is celebrated in Australia each year, in commemoration of two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

This year’s theme is ...

Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, Queensland Council of Social Service

You may have seen the Network Spaces tab at the top of the Community Door site. You may even think Network Spaces is actually Community Door, a common assumption since the whole of Community Door used to be that green colour.

So what is Network Spaces and why would you want to use it?...

Author: 
The Social Benefit Bond Program, Queensland Treasury

The competitive tender process for the Queensland government's new Social Benefit Bonds program has recently been launched, and the Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) documents are available via...

Author: 
Jim Haywood, Centacare Brisbane

At a time of significant disruption in the community services sector, many organisations are rightly focused on defining their inventory and consolidating their market position. The idea of collaboration or partnership in an increasingly competitive market seems nonsensical to many agencies....

Ring of paper children including some in wheelchairs
Author: 
Kristian Schader, Calxa

With the impending roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) looming large in Queensland, some Not-For-Profit service providers in the Townsville region are expressing a feeling of isolation and of being somewhat disconnected.

Responding to this need, Calxa...

Human Rights for Queensland
Author: 
Aimee McVeigh, A Human Rights Act for Queensland

If a government is required to consider human rights while making decisions, a transparent dialogue with the people is created – the people can see their government cares about their rights.

When MP Peter Wellington supported the Labor Party to form government in February, they agreed to...

""
Author: 
Darren Smith, Breaking New Ground

A new chapter in the story of the not-for-profit sector is being drafted. How do small to medium organisations ensure they're written into the script?

The not-for-profit sector has already experienced significant change and uncertainty over the last few years:

  • funding
  • ...
Author: 
Kylie Hogan, National Disability Services

The Community Services Industry is facing a myriad of reforms and challenges now and into the future. 

Challenges such as an ageing population, workforce shortages, sector-wide reforms, technological advances and economic uncertainty are making it more important than ever for...

Pages

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print