Maintaining the health of a coalition is an essential factor in its ability to be effective and efficient. This includes assessing coalition health, active committee engagement and ongoing partner communication. In addition, staying on top of data to measure productivity and impact, and using it for strategic planning, are critical aspects of successful coalition management. Finally, although it may seem obvious when to declare that a coalition’s mission has been accomplished, it is actually a complex question that depends on a variety of factors.
Several questions addressed in this section include:
- Is our coalition healthy?
- Do our committee and meeting structures facilitate impact?
- Do we communicate effectively to build coalition support?
- Do our activities, programs, and strategies support reaching our goals?
- How do we actually use all the data we collect?
- Are we on course to having the impact that we desire? Should we change our activities or resources to better meet those goals?
- How does a coalition ensure sustainability?
- Are we going in the right direction? Does the coalition need to change its focus, hand over
work to another entity, or fold?
The information in this section describes how to effectively cultivate and sustain collaboration and coalition health by continuous improvement of day-to-day processes, including managing for success, tracking productivity and impact and using data to drive decision-making and action. It also provides insight into how to know when it is time for your coalition to evolve into a new form, declare success and/or disband.
Once a coalition starts to operate, it is essential to actively manage it to ensure the ongoing strategic use of resources to achieve the identified goals. To do this, coalition leadership should regularly survey the coalition to ensure that it is healthy and that coalition partners are focused, engaged and that you are all effectively meeting coalition goals. A robust committee structure should be cultivated and regularly reviewed to ensure it adequately reflects coalition strategy. Meetings should be strategic and productive. Further, it will be important for the coalition to develop new leadership and actively plan how to effectively communication to increase impact.
It is important to gather, analyze and compile the right metrics for illustrating impact and this happens simultaneously through planning and trial and error. A data committee with guidelines and a work plan can analyze coalition data at different intervals and create an annual report. The data committee should be charged with using the data to review the impact of the work done, as well as adjust the coalition’s strategic plan for the next year based on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats identified in the analysis.
One of the most important jobs of any coalition is to decide when the work is done. Making this decision takes the collective will of coalition partners to even raise the question. It also requires the commitment along the way to identify clear goals, create a strong structure to achieve them and gather the right coalition partners that can do the work needed to be successful. Read More