First, know yourself, and your own situation. Bringing a new partner into uncertainty and chaos will not make the uncertainty go away but will instead compound it. Thoroughly analyze your own situation before anyone else is ever involved. Know your key issues, and which groups might be able to assist with them.
Next, know with whom you are dealing. Know with whom you are dealing as to avoid opportunists and negative influences, instead choose creative and intelligent partners who will improve your business.
Be patient with your partners. Patience is a virtue, especially for those in CEO careers. Trust builds over time, and cannot be rushed. Allow partners' trusts to build by exercising patience and not rushing.
Diversity strengthens any organization, and taking time to appreciate your partners' values is key to establishing this. Appreciation of your partners' values and culture also fosters appreciation and encourages loyalty.
Set goals for your partnership. Goals should be short-term and modest so that they can be over-achieved, thus providing a sense of encouragement and momentum for the partnership. Goals should also incorporate and promote partnership values while advancing core business concerns. By taking the time to know your partners' values, you are in a better position to set more realistic and meaningful goals.
Establish project leaders, specific individuals from each group responsible for maintaining the partnership. This lends the business agreement a more personable, predictable tone, and by making a specific individual responsible, the relationship will become streamlined over time as the respective aspects of the other business are learned.
Set lofty goals, even though you'll start small. Starting large is a recipe for failure. Instead, test assumptions on a smaller scale with pilot programs and other more simple operations. Build your large partnership on a broad and stable base.
Finally, communicate well. Poor communication can ruin even the best partnerships very quickly. The importance of effective communication in all walks of life cannot be understated.
Partnership analysis is an important aspect of many CEO jobs. While there are many factors needing consideration, these eight represent a solid beginning.