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Strategic alliances: How to get the most value out of a partnership over its lifecycle


Though collaborative approaches have shown remarkable success across the business landscape, often there remain three underlying questions:

  • "Do we get most out of our partnership?"
  • "Do we have to manage a partnership differently, depending on where we are on the lifecycle?"
  • "What can we learn from companies in or outside our own industry sector?"

These were the key questions posed to us by our client, a leading UK utilities company, who was looking to increase the value of their existing and new technical maintenance and engineering partnerships.

Strategy& was brought in to help screen and analyse the landscape of successful partnerships, across multiple industries and sectors, in order to develop a comprehensive model with realistic and practical recommendations.

How we helped

Based on our analysis of 50 alliances across nine industries, we designed the five stages of the ‘Alliance Lifecycle’ model. For each phase, we developed specific questions and conducted interviews with the best practice companies identified on our journey. We used our data analysis to identify the crucial elements that the most successful companies did across each of these five stages to ensure a successful partnership.

Then we helped our client identify what stage their present partnerships were at in the model, allowing them to apply the appropriate recommendations for each stage to their various partnerships.


Strategy&’s efforts resulted in a tangible model to comprehensively map where our clients various partnerships were on the Alliance Lifecycle. Perhaps even more importantly, once we helped our client identify the alliance stages, we then worked with them to define what actions they needed to take to ensure the right areas of their business were taking action on the right activities at the right time.

These efforts are currently used by our client to “re-think” existing partnerships and design and manage new partnerships in a different way. Our concept is the basis for an internal reorganisation of the technical functions and will help to increase the value of new partnership contracts significantly – for both sides.

Contact us

Todd Jirovec

Todd Jirovec

Partner, Strategy& US

Helen Bremner

Helen Bremner

Partner, Canada

Dr. Paul Nillesen

Dr. Paul Nillesen

Partner, Strategy& Netherlands

George Sarraf

George Sarraf

Managing Director, Strategy& Middle East

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