How is Your Collaboration Doing?

Sandy Schuman

At the end of a meeting I facilitated, one of the participants came over to me and asked, “So, how are we doing? How are we as a group?”

I replied, “I can’t really say! I don’t have much experience with your group, and since I’m not a member, I don’t really know what you’re looking for. Instead, you should ask the group that question!”

After hearing this sort of question from various groups, I realized that my response wasn’t very satisfactory. The group members were genuinely concerned with how well they were doing, and while my response wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t very helpful either.

Some time ago I came across a self evaluation tool for collaborative groups.* I thought it would enable participants to gauge how well they were doing as a collaborative and suggest some specific attributes they could pay attention to. I’m interested in enhancing this tool, and I’d like to ask you to take a look at it and provide some feedback.

The Collaboration Checklist asks only about a dozen questions with simple “Agree-Disagree” responses. Rather than provide the details here, I’d appreciate it if you’d follow the link below, respond to the questionnaire, and then provide any feedback you’d like at the end.

A Collaboration Checklist

The questions cover communication, sustainability, purpose, benefits, decision making, resources, catalysts, history, trust, connectedness, leadership, community development, and understanding community.

*Adapted from Borden, L. M. and Perkins, D. F. (1999). Assessing your collaboration: A self-evaluation tool.
Journal of Extension [On-line], 37 (2). Available at:

Additional information about assessing the effectiveness of collaboration can be found here: Collaboration Assessment Tools and Resources for Partnership, Participation, Group Facilitation

Sandy Schuman
Executive Decision Services LLC