The benefits of collaboration, in business like in any context, are well known, resulting in more innovative ideas, reduced costs through efficiencies and sharing of resources and access to new services. That is, if things are done well. Partnerships and joint projects are only effective if the relationship works.

ISO 44001, Collaborative business relationship management systems  Requirements and framework, aims to assist companies in establishing and improving collaborative relationships, both within and between organizations.

The new standard provides the overall components of a management system for business relationships as well as operational process requirements. It follows the same overall structure as other ISO management system standards (known as the High-Level Structure), making it easier for anyone using multiple management systems, and features an eight-stage life cycle to ensure sustainable relations, including operational awareness, value creation, knowledge, internal assessment, partner selection, working together, staying together and exit strategies.

The standard was developed by the ISO project committee ISO/PC 286, Collaborative business relationship management – Framework, whose secretariat is held by BSI, ISO’s member for the UK.

ISO/PC 286 Secretary Mick Maghar said the standard is applicable to both private and public organizations of all sizes.

"ISO 44001 can be used on many different levels, from a single project or one-to-one partnership to multiple partner alliances across the whole organization. It will help businesses to work better together, maximize the benefits of their stakeholder relationships and support their sustainability."

ISO 44001 is available from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.