Creating Shared Governance

4.B Document and Evaluate Governance Structures and Processes

Once you’ve designed your governance structure and processes, capture them in documents so that all partners have a shared understanding about what is to be accomplished and how you’ll work together. It’s also critical to review how well the governance is working throughout the lifecycle of the collaboration from the first informal stages of working together through to the accomplishment of outcomes.

How should decisions about governance be captured?
Clearly record your decisions about governance so it isn’t open to interpretation. This will help avoid confusion about roles and rules, and prevent accountabilities from falling between the cracks and negative power dynamics. The agreement can range from a brief memorandum of understanding for simpler collaborations to a more comprehensive document for more complex relationships.
Why is it important to evaluate our governance?
Partners in a collaboration can get entrenched in a model of governance too early and not take stock of whether it’s still working as it moves through the life cycle. While collaborations should aim for stability, they need tobe ready to reinvent themselves. Look at whether your governance is enabling the achievement of the goals, rather than hindering it. Consider whether you’re making the right decisions with the right people and whether accountabilities, risks and responsibilities are clear. Find out if communication and leadership is working.