There needs to be an agreement as to Why collaborate, what the Goal will be and how to measure how successful the collaboration is. This is absolute basic but sometimes ignored as being ‘too obvious’ whereas participants have their own, different reasons for the collaboration and that might be ok, as long as they are not in such different directions that they will pull the team apart.
Why collaborate. From Dino’s perspective this would be to advance the ideas, working practices – and most importantly – the ethos of Polyscopy of which the effort to understand how a better – more sustainable and equitable world, can develop while we are careening into the future with only ‘candles for headlights’. Sam is a proponent of what he refers to as collaborology and as defined in the blog post on Collaborology which addresses how to collaborate.
I would also like suggest that the central reason for deep collaboration is the ethical dimension the importance of Doing Good.
Definition of Goal. There is no way to reach a goal if it's not defined.
Definition of Scope. Similarly to the importance of defining a goal, it is important to define what lies outside of the goal, in terms of results and/or means to get there.
Definition of stakeholders. Who are explicitly part of the collaboration and who else does the collaboration impact who should have a say in the process?
How to measure Success. If there is no way to measure whether the Goal really has been reached, the project will lack focus and energy.