Two people working in partnership can do the work of three.

One of SPM's most effective principles is 'partnering'. Partnering helps Project Sponsors tap into expertise available within the wider business community so that expertise and experience can be leveraged at no extra cost.

How does it work?

Instead of just appointing a project manager to lead a project and expecting them also to be the subject matter expert, the project management work is divided between two individuals according to each person's capabilities and expertise in relation to the work challenge.

One is appointed Project Leader, responsible for delivery, the other, the 'Project Partner', responsible for protecting and supporting the leader and providing subject matter expertise, process or people skills. The Leader will do about 80% of the leadership work and the Partner 20%.

What does it do?

Sometimes referred to as a 'two-person-lift' or 'buddy system', partnering has the same incredible effect on undertaking complex work as a 'block and tackle' has on lifting heavy objects. It's completed faster, with less effort and less risk of exposure or overburden.

The Leader and Partner cooperate in a similar way that a pilot and navigator in an aircraft or a CEO and COO in a company.

By partnering experienced people with inexperienced people or people with different capabilities or subject matter expertise, additional capacity and capability is created, and risk reduced without incurring cost.

It helps people develop faster and more effectively in their role, receiving support according to their specific needs.

What makes it free?

We say that when partnering is adopted across a community it's free. This is because there is only so much project leadership work to be done.

Each person devotes 20% of their time and expertise to another project and receives the same in return, not only does this strengthen each project but it does so without adding to the overall project management cost.

Introducing new thinking

When different thinking is needed, partnering makes it easier to bring in talent from outside the organisation - people highly capable and experienced but who do not know the business.

The value of using people in this way is that they will challenge everything and not assume.

If you really want to set things alight you need to strike a hard stone against a soft stone. It's the same on a project. It's important to select leaders and partners who think differently so as to create necessary 'constructive tension'. If two people think the same, behave the same and do the same, one of them is unnecessary.

When a Programme Director performs the partnering role, the key responsibility is to manage the 'politics and communications' so that the Programme Manager can concentrate on delivery.

Partnering also can be used by people new to project sponsoring.

What are the benefits?

  • Creates a flexible environment where its easy to match leadership expertise and subject matter expertise to complex work.
  • Plays to people's strengths instead of exposing weaknesses.
  • Reduces reliance on a few key individuals and releases the best talent to partner others, creating the opportunity to develop capability across the organisation.
  • Less risk because there is immediate cover when a Project Leader leaves or when there is an unplanned absence.
  • Speed of delivery is accelerated and quality achieved because the leader has ready access to someone who can share difficult tasks and decisions, quality assure work and provide an alternative point of view, reducing stress and boosting confidence.
  • Please contact us at Verdandi to find out how to obtain this service.

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