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Establishing the Right Partnership

One of the foundations of writing a project proposal is ensuring that the partners are the right fit for the project. This does not just involve vetting the level of expertise a potential partner’s staff can provide for the development of the project, although that is one important bit. It also involves assessing numerous factors that will affect the project, and your life as a project manager, in the long run.  

Below are a few points for consideration before taking a partner on board and involving them in your proposal.  

  1. What is their expertise within the context of the proposal?  

As mentioned above, of course the main consideration is whether the potential partner can actually deliver what the project requires. Not only this, but many project applications will require that each partner beings something specific to the project which the other partners cannot do. That is to say that each partner is an important piece of the overall picture, and it should be the case that the project could not go on if one of the partners were to drop out. Thus, when justifying the involvement of a particular partner in a project, be sure to highlight each partner’s ‘forte’ and that no one partner is expendable. Highlighting specific staff members with particular expertise is also a plus.  

  1. How was the amount and quality of communication while developing the proposal?   

It is sometimes the case that a potential partner wants ‘something for nothing,’ meaning they are willing to become a partner on a project you are writing, but not offering much in return. This is not a great sign and can even foreshadow a partner’s attitude about delivering a project as well. Therefore, we advise you to pay close attention to the willingness of a potential partner to communicate with you during the proposal writing process, as it can be telling of how they will be in the implementation process. A partner who is willing to have a video call, give you relevant information about their organisation to strengthen the proposal, and provide insight into improving the project is going to be more involved in the long run than a partner who isn’t willing to do these basic actions.  

  1. How do you get on with the potential partner?  

Committing to involve a partner in a project is committing yourself to working with the people from that organisation for quite a while, depending on how long the project lasts. Thus, it is worth considering whether you would genuinely enjoy working with them or not. After all, most of European projects’ goals are to improve quality of life at their core, so why make yours more difficult? Choosing to work with people with a similar mindset to you can simply make running a project smoother in the long run. Some desirable qualities that you might want to keep an eye out for are flexibility, decision-making skills, and effective communication. Partners who do not demonstrate these qualities may prove to be difficult to work with. 

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