Photo © by Carl Gustav Klemmed Lorentzen

Scoping and defining the partnership and project


Strong cross-sector partnerships have as their strength that they can harness the competencies and qualities of different organisations and sectors and thereby help to solve complex societal challenges, while creating shared value for all.

However, scoping a strong and value-adding partnership and project requires more than just a good idea or the desire to work together. It requires a solid scoping process, where you thoroughly examine internal interests and objectives, carefully consider with whom to partner, and systematically build your understanding of the operational and organisational reality of you and your partners.
This is the basis for defining project activities, risks and targets.

A solid scoping process may serve the following purposes:

  • Identify internal goals, interests and drivers behind the partnership
  • Reduce potential risks and increase the rate of success
  • Reduce the use of resources in the initial phase
  • Design an initial partnership framework that hits the nail on the head by aligning with expectations of each partner organisation and the target group


Typical drivers behind cross-sector partnerships comprise internal opportunities, risks, demands, and expectations that are not easily mitigated/realised by one organisation alone.
The internal goals and interest in your organisation must be defined before you start entering into dialogue with potential partners. Likewise, a partner ‘due diligence’ should be conducted before you engage with a potential partner in order to identify potential risks related to the partner’s governance, activities, products/services and supply chain.

The scoping process design typically expands through six key steps:

Step 1.
Define and understand goals and interests of your own organisation.

Step 2.
Identify, screen and assess one or more potential partners.

Step 3.
Draw up a first suggestion for a partnership design.

Step 4.
Conduct a ‘sanity check’ of your partnership design with key stakeholders.

Step 5.
Decide to proceed with the partnership or to reject it.

Step 6.
If you choose to proceed, formalise your partnership document.

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