Eleusis Box Canvas
Eleusis Box Canvas

Go Big or Go Home!

The Tandem project-as-interface workshop and partner canvas method helped Angeliki Lampiri of Motus Terrae (Elefsina, Greece) and Catherine Lenoble of Dcalk (Tours, France) design their collaboration project Eleusis Box. In this video they tell us how they used these methods to develop their project and partnership. Together they piloted a public game workshop.

Tandem Methods-in-Action

The Tandem programme provides lots of different methods and exercises to help shape Tandem collaborations and design the Tandem pilot projects. Through the ‘Methods-in-Action’ series Tandem participants share how they used these methods and how it supported their partnership. They give tips & tricks and last but not least: you can download the methods, to try them for your own next partnership project!

Angeliki and Catherine in their video introduce the the Tandem: project-as-interface. It is a good method to focus on the partnership before the project. Instead of taking the project as a starting point, partners start with their organisations.

Mapping out their organisations’ strategies and people, they understand how to re-align and fine-tune the project to better serve the organisations’ activities and resources; making it more likely the project will actually benefit both partners and keep all involved motivated to deliver a good result. The place where both organisations meet, the interface, is the place where the project comes to life, and can thrive! So if you have a project idea and want to know how you can make it fit between the partners involved, we invite you to use the project-as-interface method.

Tandem method: project-as-interface

When starting a project cooperation, usually one partner organisation takes the lead – maybe because they had the project idea in the first place. They sit in the driving seat while the other partners follow, finding that the project is in line with their mission at best, or, in the worst case scenario, feeling instrumental and even used. And after the project is finished, the partnership also ends, and everyone just moves on to the next project.

But what if there was a way that allows you to shape the project as a vehicle or space where you can design a real co-creation, benefitting both organisations equally and organically, looking at long-term collaboration?

The Tandem method: partner canvas can help you do that. Similar to the business model canvas, it shows the entire project on one big piece of paper (or page). However, this being a partner canvas, the main pillars for the project are each partners’ expectations (‘what will we take from the partnership?’) and their contributions (‘what can we bring to the partnership?’). The core of the partner canvas, is the core of the collaboration project – capturing the value proposition or project concept. The base of the canvas answers the questions about how the project will be organised: resources, activities and outputs.

Once finished, the canvas allows you to tell the story of your collaboration, but also to check with your partner if you are still on the same page.

5 partner canvas tips from Aggeliki and Catherine
  • Go Big or Go Home – Use a big piece of butcher paper, choose a big desk or even the floor so you have space to capture all your ideas to start
  • Use lots of post-it notes – Write your answers per note, place it on the canvas where is the appropriate Tandem question
  • Brainstorm First, Organize Second – Organize the answers while you are discussing them with your partner
  • Be brave – Present your partner canvas to other Tandem participants and get some feedback even if you believe that you are not ready
  • Be creative – Go back home, review your answers and try to visualize your partner canvas in a more creative way. Believe me it will help you a lot especially when you talk about your expected outputs and outcomes or about the costs and resources you have…

Did you find the Project as Interface and the Partner Canvas methods useful in your collaboration? Please share your experience with us!