Project-based partnerships represent a meaningful form of cooperation between two or more companies wishing to collaborate for only a defined period of time or within a defined scope of activity. They are especially suitable if the intention is to take advantage of each other's capabilities without being committed to a long-term partnership. This can make sense, for example, when a procurement company is looking for a development supplier to develop a new product. In this case, the project-based partnership is limited to the lifetime of the product and to the scope of the defined product. Project-based partnerships are intended to produce results relatively quickly; to ensure their success, four preconditions need to be in place.
The distribution of tasks and competencies between the two partners needs to be clearly defined. This avoids demarcation disputes and duplication of activities.
A clear timetable needs to be drawn up for the joint project, with firm deadlines and milestones. The timetable ensures that the project is implemented and completed in a purposeful manner. It should also incorporate the following: adequate buffer times to allow for unforeseen events; possible correction scenarios; various exit scenarios should certain milestones not be met; a winding-up program for the end of the project.
A clearly defined steering organization. A mechanism needs to be put in place for taking the final decisions and for mediation in the event of disputes.
The final important factor is a clear definition of how the fruits of the project are to be shared between the partners.
Besides these systematic aspects, regardless of its necessarily limited time span and scope, a project-based partnership also requires a high level of trust and cooperation between the two partners.