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Notes on Other Players Analysis from NCVO Guidance on Strategic Planning
Other Player Analysis should follow on an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats to your activities. Also, you really need to know what your mission is before you do any of this.
What is it?
An analysis of the work and impact of other organizations working in the same field, in order to assess how/ what they are doing, so you can make informed choices about the type of relationship you might develop with them. They could be:
- Voluntary organizations
- Statutory organisations
- â€˜Informalâ€™ sector e.g. friends, families and neighbours
They may be competitors, suppliers or partners
Helps you determine who is potentially a partner, competitor or collaborator
NB Donâ€™t over egg the analysis. Should be an overview
How to Do it
As far as possible follow these steps:
- Define the scope and nature of your area of activity or market. Who uses whatever you produce or â€“ possibly â€“ sell?
- Determine who benefits from what you do and what they expect
- Determine who the other players are
- Develop an individual profile of them:
- Financial information (annual reviews)
- Marketing strategies
- Determine the key success factors in your area of activity or market e.g.:
- Level of interest taken by local/ central government
- Level of demand for what is produced
- Sustained funding attracted
- Reputation for quality of what is produced
In doing 3 to 5, ask the questions:
- Who are the other players?
- Are they competitors or partners/ potential partners?
- What are their objectives?
- What strategies are they pursuing and are they successful?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What are the relationships like between them?
Sources of Information:
- Personal visits
- Talking to service users
- Conference/ trade show displays
Questions to Ask When Considering Whether Other Player Analysis Could be Useful to You
- How well do you know the other players in your area of activity?
- How might you better achieve your objectives if you worked more closely or collaborated with others?
- How active are you â€“ and could you be â€“ with other players? How could this benefit you?
- What kind of stance might you want to take? Are you competitive or are you seeking more collaborative relationships?
Other Player Options
Follow-on from Other Player Analysis
Will help you decide what kind of relationship you want with them. Helps you open up thinking but doesnâ€™t provide the answers.
Think through the other players and consider the different kinds of relationship you could have with them:
- Do nothing
Co-operation involves establishing informal relationships to mutual benefit. Possibilities include:
- Sharing information, resources, research, training, facilities, skills
- Providing guidance and support
- Looking after each otherâ€™s position
Collaboration involves establishing more formal documented relationships to mutual benefit
Some pointers about co-operation and collaboration:
- Be clear about your position, what you want and whatâ€™s in it for you, them and other service users. Think about how the other player strategy will deliver your mission, play to your strengths, and help overcome your weaknesses
- Start a dialogue and find out what kind of relationship they want
- Determine how well you could work together: chemistry and instinct are important. You donâ€™t have to be the same but need to be compatible
- Constantly re-assess and have an exit strategy