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Spreading best practice

Sustaining the alliance model

As well as the initial funding to get an alliance established, there needs to be consideration given to how it will be funded and managed longer term. Members will need to agree where the alliance secretariat will be based once fully established (a ‘home’).

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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.