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This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide


go through page Partnerships / Consider / Go On

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navigate in the page--Partnerships

Under partnering, all parties agree to focus on turning creative, workable solutions into reality. To do this, avoid adversarial contention and "turf protection" by developing common grounds for agreement.

Sometimes dragons will heat villages in exchange for a place to live.

To accomplish Reclamation's mission , we need to build partnerships*definition. Partnerships are simply groups of interested people, organizations, agencies, and others working together to address a problem. They may be loosely associated or they may have formal charters with mission statements and organizational structures. Rarely will these groups have the same expectations, agendas, or values--in fact, unless all the different perspectives are involved in the partnership, your process is doomed.


  • Identify common ground to form agreements
  • Build the foundation for agreements, communication, credibility,and trust
  • Identify future or present problems and opportunities
  • Determine what problems are worth working on
  • Define and work toward common goals
  • Pool resources to more effectively address problems
  • Encourage innovation
  • Get the consent necessary to solve problems
  • Educate participants
  • Exert pressure on other members for an open, fair, and effective process.

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navigate in the page--When To Consider Partnerships

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(Pulling the same ways.)

Not every process requires partners. Prerequisites include:

Real needs
These needs are associated with the organizations' objectrives (e.g., address enviornmental issues, reduce cost overruns, improve water quality, promote effective and wise use of resources).
Commitment to an open process
Partners value long-term relationships where trust and openness are taken for granted. The focus changes from a set position to openly addressing problems and helping achieve others' needs, concerns and objectives as well as their own. Reclamation must be willing to divulge information and ensure actions mirror statements.
Commitment from top management
Management must be willing to share the responsibility for selling the concept, implementing needed organizational changes, and providing information.

When you consider the advantages and disadvantages of partnerships, think about things other than cost and time. For example, it may cost less and take less time now to do the work yourself than to initiate a partnership effort. However, a partnership may save money in the long run by ensuring that your solution will be supported through active participation. Addressing the problem within the broader contexts provided by partnerships helps determine what influences need to be examined. Perhaps most importantly, partnerships evolve beyond the immediate problem to address long-term solutions.

Advantages include increasing:

You have more people, funds, and expertise to draw upon to solve a problem. Dividing labor and finding the right people are more effective.
You can get more ideas, perspectives, and potential solutions from a cooperative effort.
Risk taking
As risk is spread out among more people, the more people are willing to take risks.
Awareness and consent
Partnerships reach more people, and thus increase public awareness. They also show that this is a fair, open process, which can help build support and minimize vetos .

Disadvantages include requiring:

Time and skill
The core team must include at least one to three people who have the time, and facilitiation skills to get everyone to work together and to communicate.
Participants need to understand conflict, group dynamics, etc. so that insubstantial slights aren't blown up into insurmountable mountains, and that negotiations and compromises can carve paths through real barriers .
Maintaining motivation and enthusiasm
Processes take time, and people will be disillusioned (We'll never get anywhere. This is taking far too long. Why don't we just ban automobiles and be done with it?) Results are not always visible. Carefully set up and celebrate milestones and review often . New players and old can thus see what has happened and what is possible.

Carefully and deliberately base workable relationships on mutual respect, trust, and integrity. Partnering fosters synergistic team work.

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navigate in the page--Go On

Executive Summary Tour Take this car on a fast tour Communication <------> Consent/Consensus

Helpful Hints Tourwizbang help here Implementors <-----> Public Involvement

Dragon Tour wide-eyed dragon on the loose Problemshed <-------> Communication

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SpecificFinding Partners

PreviousNew Players


Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.