Great Prairie Group’s Growth Audit is a quick check on your plans and rationale for a strategic alliance. The audit asks critical questions to evaluate areas of strength and weakness as well as help your team improve the success of your alliance initiative. These questions include the following:

  • What is your organization’s track record in establishing and executing strategic alliances?
  • How much value has your company created through strategic alliances in the past five years?
  • What is the strategy of your company?
  • How does an alliance fit the strategy?
  • How dependent will you be on the strategic alliance?
  • What strategic and financial results are you targeting?
  • What is the vision among alliance partners?
  • What are the shared objectives and shared risks?
  • What is the identified mutual need in the relationship?
  • What is the business value proposition?
  • What is the market fit and product fit?
  • What new technologies, suppliers, or distribution channels will you access?
  • How defensible will the alliance be against the competition?
  • How will the alliance be controlled?
  • What will be the alliance business/legal structure?
  • What are the alliance processes and operational metrics?
  • What are the financial performance metrics?
  • What is your path to success?
  • How much will you need to invest?
  • What is the financial attractiveness of an alliance?

The specificity of your answers will help you determine the level of strength of the strategic rationale supporting your strategic alliance.

Strategic Alliances

Capture business opportunities through collaboration.

Strategic alliances are termed “strategic” because they solve major strategic challenges where traditional strategies are less effective – all the more reason they are attractive and why they have risen worldwide.

With the globalization of markets and the imperative of technological innovation, companies find themselves needing to marshal new capabilities and doing so quickly. Leveraging partner firms allows companies to focus on their core competencies and access capabilities as needed – from research and development to manufacturing processes, from distribution to marketing and sales.

Examples of familiar business initiatives that rely on strategic partnerships include cloud computing, software and networking products for the Internet, airline code-sharing, joint pharmaceutical R&D, and logistical support in the supply chain among others to name a few.


The Challenge. As useful as strategic alliances have become, the reality is that establishing and operating an effective strategic alliance is a challenge to make it work. Strategic alliances have roughly a 50% rate of success.

Setting up a strategic alliance takes substantial effort and an even greater commitment to manage, as the company usually foregoes a degree of control over one or more functions and needs to collaborate with the partner on an ongoing basis. As a result, the required management challenge can be a tall order and a distraction away from the core business of the firm.

What We Do

We assist clients in several aspects of strategic alliances, from strategy to execution.

  • Alliance Strategy
    • Examination of strategic alliance rationale, objectives, key issues, resources, capabilities, and fit; Evaluation of market attractiveness and financial merit of the opportunity; assessment of firm’s ability to capitalize on the alliance and defensible market position.
  • Partner Assessment
    • Determination of most appropriate partner based on the alliance strategy. Analysis includes creation of initial partner list, identification of partner criteria, screening of a preferred short partner list, preliminary interviews, prioritized list of partners, and convergence to partner selection.
  • Negotiation Support
    • Identifying the type of alliance, targeting the critical success factors specific to the type of alliance, measuring the expected cost/value ratio for the alliance.
  • Alliance Structure
    • Guide the core processes to establish and operate the alliance, including relationship vision, joint go-to-market model, governance, performance objectives and metrics.
  • Alliance Performance

    • Assess alliance relationship, characteristics, critical success factors, operating principles,  performance, and points for improvement.

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