IC Review for Clusters

Now the IC comparison between single companies can be used as well to review the performance of the cluster and to check the development of soft success factors regularly. Therefore, a set of intangible success factors has been derived from research looking at IC from a cluster perspective, not from the single companies’ perspective.

Expected results

The cluster should use the opportunity to reflect on the clusters strategy and check, whether the commitment of intangible resources still fits the challenges of the cluster goals and strategy. Beyond, the cluster members can then reflect which intangible resources should be taken care of in the future more thoroughly and were investments for improvement will pay off immediately for the cluster or collaboration.

What happens?

During a joint workshop with representatives from all participating cluster companies, the crucial cluster success factors are being discussed based on the cluster strategy and goals. Based on this analysis, the cluster can see whether its soft success factors are suitable for the future challenges and success of the collaborative activities or if certain factors need more attention because they need improvement.

Who’s involved?

Cluster Facilitator and SME representatives.

How to do it?

First of all, the Cluster Facilitator gathers basic information about the cluster and proposes a set of relevant cluster IC factors which should be analysed on cluster level (see Checklist: Common IC factors). In a next step, this proposal is presented and negotiated and prioritised with the initiating SME during a CEO interview or a short meeting beforehand. The basis for the selection of success factors must be the cluster goals or strategy. The following questions can serve as guidance:
What are the main IC factors in order to reach the cluster goals/strategy and how can they be described for the cluster?

The analysis is done during a joint workshop which is structured in the following way:

    1. Presentation of the aims of the day, and procedure (Cluster Facilitator)
    2. Presentation and joint check of pre-selected cluster IC factors with other cluster companies (ranking of importance)
    3. Moderated discussion on quality, quantity and systematic management (QQS) of most important cluster IC factors in detail & documentation of discussion (moderated by Cluster Facilitator)
    4. First analysis of results supported by excel toolbox

During the workshop, the so called QQS-assessment is the core element to identify strengths and weaknesses of the cluster and to review the cluster strategy. For each cluster IC success factor, the moderator asks about the current quality and quantity. Additionally the moderator asks, whether this factor has been managed in a systematic manner by the cluster during the past.


The results from the discussion are being typed into the moderators’ toolbox creating the QQS Portfolio: it displays the evaluation results from the workshop sessions and compares the single IC success factors according to their current status quo and management needs.


The results of the workshop should be analysed by the Cluster Facilitator afterwards and discussed again with the whole team during a half day cluster workshop. The following questions can guide the analysis and preparation of workshop results for the Cluster Facilitator:
Which were the main problems and challenges discussed in detail (reasoning for QQS evaluation)?
Did the team already discuss possible solutions?

The aim is to extract first ideas from the documentation for a solution concept. It can be the starting point for detailed action planning and definition of measures in the workshop.

Now during the workshop, the Cluster Facilitators will present and discuss the results of the cluster IC analysis with the cluster companies. Aim is to review the IC analysis in detail in order to identify fields of intervention and measures for the whole cluster.
Starting point: Aggregated IC management portfolio as well as detailed look on QQS Portfolio to give a snapshot of overall IC strengths and weaknesses in the cluster
Discuss about measures (e.g. start with proposed solutions from Cluster Facilitator and detail during discussion)
At the end, prioritize, set timeframes and aims and assign tasks for the single cluster members.