Factors for Collaboration Success
For collaboration to take place, all involved participants must value this selected process and believe that the collaboration will lead to more powerful and significant results. In doing so, participants must trust one another. A new collaborative effort is a trust-building time and if trust becomes damaged, also understand that it takes time to repair. Participants must trust in the process and understand that strengths will be maximized and weaknesses minimized.
In order for successful collaboration to take place, collaboration must, first and foremost, be voluntary by the participants. One cannot force another to interact with another. The participants must choose to collaborate with one another. One can put a mandate or requirement to collaborate but this does not mean that the participants will, actually, collaborate with one another.
Secondly, the participants in the collaboration must have a parity relationship. That is, all participants have equal power in direction and decision-making and each participant’s contribution is equally valued.
Thirdly, the participants in the collaboration process must have at least one common goal. The participants have to have at least one shared goal to keep the collaboration process intact and progressing.
Fourth, successful collaboration depends on the shared responsibility of being an active and fully involved participant in the direction and decision-making. That is, all participants are equally responsible for the critical decision-making, appropriateness, timing, material, possible adjustments, schedule, etc. All collaborators are active contributors in this process.
Fifth, successful collaboration depends on the willingness of the shared resources that each member is able to provide and bring to the situation. Each member comes with his/her resources to share and their contribution likely takes different forms (knowledge, time, experience, etc.). If the participants are willingly sharing their available resources, they are active collaborators and making progress towards the shared goal.
Finally, collaboration involves shared accountability for the outcome. The team, together, share the accountability in student outcome in all scenarios, positive and negative. Together as a collaborative team adjustments are made to meet a successful outcome. If a team member is unable to follow through, the team must work together to supplement that person’s contribution.