- Recognize principles and existing partnerships. Partnerships should be recognized, defined and facilitated. We have defined a partnership as a relationship in which neither party has a reporting relationship with the other, accountability may be shared for the tasks they undertake, they are mutually dependent, and they work together on a micro level to accomplish goals. Current partnerships exist between the DFA (Director of Finance and Administration) and (a) Research Process Managers, (b) Service Line and Clinic/Hospital Department Managers, and (c) sometimes Dean's Office Staff.
There are three requirements for truly effective partnerships:
1. The foundation for an effective inter-personal relationship
- Trust, respect, and recognition of mutual dependence;
- Credibility and competence of both partners;
- Regular, consistent, and clear communication
2. A clear organization/process/job model that defines the partnership
- Clear and common goals and outcomes;
- Clear roles, accountabilities, scope of responsibility, and division of labor;
3. Agreement on division of labor, detailed responsibilities, and processes/procedures
- Understanding and unambiguous commitment by management at all levels to the partnership model;
- Willingness on the part of management to address resource, personnel, and other problems that may jeopardize the partnership;
- Recognized and effective conflict resolution processes
- Solid management support
It should be recognized that skills and interests of partners will vary, as will the needs of departments or service lines. To balance the need for a clear organization/process/job model for a partnership and the need to accommodate variability in partners and organizational needs, we suggest:
A "default" model be established to define the preferred or "fall-back" arrangement of responsibilities and division of labor for a partnership; this default can serve when there is a dispute or uncertainty, and as a starting point for customization; and
- Partners be allowed to negotiate adjustments to select parts of the model, subject to management approval; however, there may be key responsibilities that cannot be modified or shifted from one partner to another. Management must recognize and address impacts regarding resource requirements that negotiated changes to partnerships may cause (or else not approve the changes).
1. Evaluate key partnerships We recommend that key partnerships be evaluated with respect to the above requirements and that any shortfalls be addressed.
2. Participate in partner hiring and assignments DFAs should be included to the extent possible in the hiring process of their partners. Preferably, the specific DFA who would be partnered with the new hire should be able to interview and give feedback about candidates; where that may not be possible, some DFA should be included in the interviewing process.
3. Hold periodic forums with partners To encourage continued communication and interaction with Hospital, RMG and other partners, official forums should be scheduled on a quarterly basis between DFAs and each partner group.
4. Continue DFA involvement in all facets of APR Administrative process redesign should never be carried out without the input of at least one DFA on any Steering Committee or Task Force.