Approach – the BS 11000 Model

BS 11000 Approach

The Model

Based on a three-phase, eight stage model, BS 11000 enables organisations to focus their efforts from concept to disengagement. It identifies key components which are common to most relationships. At the heart of this is the Relationship Management Plan, which is a dynamic record of an organisation’s entire approach to partnering and collaboration.


The first phase, concerned with strategy, has three stages. It provides the foundation to link collaborative approaches with the overall business operation, whilst also focusing on the organisations capability to collaborate.

Strategy: Do's and Dont's
  • DO ensure you have strong support from the top
  • DO sell the benefits of collaboration across the organisation, setting out the long-term advantages
  • DO create a relationship management plan
  • DO consider what effect a breakdown in the relationship might cause
  • DO identify and remove internal constraints
  • DON’T pursue a collaborative model if it is not likely to add real value
  • DON’T expect all staff to have the necessary skills for collaborative working


With the strategic elements of collaboration addressed, the organisation will be ready for the second phase – to engage with others. Partner Selection addresses evaluation of potential new partners or existing relationships, while the Working Together sets out how the collaboration will function in practice, including value creation and innovation.

Engagement: Do's and Dont's
  • DO identify potential partners for collaboration
  • DO build a dialogue around common objectives and outcomes
  • DO establish what knowledge can be shared and how
  • DO set up a joint value-creation process to encourage new ideas
  • DO define what value means for those involved
  • DON’T let negotiations deteriorate into ‘arm-wrestling’ or ‘poker-playing’
  • DON’T hang on to value-creation ideas if they are not delivering


The third phase is about management of the relationship. It is covered by Staying Together (through delivering the agreed and expected services/benefits) and Exit Strategy, which focuses effective disengagement of an individual relationship.

Management: Do's and Dont's
  • DO monitor the relationship over time
  • DO ensure that the exit strategy is jointly developed and reviewed regularly
  • DO define the boundaries of the relationship clearly
  • DO consider future potential for collaboration
  • DON’T delegate joint team management of the collaboration upwards
  • DON’T put up with inappropriate behaviours such as hidden agendas
  • DON’T let disputes linger so long that they damage the relationship