Consideration needs to be given to how the alliance will be driven – a balance will need to be struck between having leads driving it and the need for shared governance (membership approach). Actions to be considered:
- Create a small board of leaders/secretariat and decide who will host or oversee the alliance. Consider funding designated leads to ensure the alliance momentum is maintained.
- Decide what administrative support is needed. This should include communications, website and data management – this could all be one post.
- Draft and agree the formal governance structure, representative leadership model and any liability issues.
- Decide on source(s) of funding and how it will be administered: will this be membership fees and/or other funding?
- Develop a business case whatever the source of funding as it will ensure there is a way of demonstrating planned activities and outputs against what is delivered. It is a useful way of capturing the pre-alliance planning and the value the alliance has added to the specialty.
- Ensure your aims and results meet any funding criteria.
- Agree how the alliance will support other specialties wanting to develop a similar model.
Key learning from the first alliance meeting
- Use different ways to bring alliance members together.
- Run interesting workshops (free if possible) using member organisation facilities.
- Share excellence and innovation to spread best practice.
- Document and share workstream outputs.
- Be clear about the structure and leadership of the alliance.
- Don’t underestimate costs, but have a lean secretariat.
- Decide where the alliance should be hosted.
- Capture the aims and plans in a business case so that the benefits can be evidenced later.