Testing may involve forming new partnerships, as well as consolidating existing ones.As many of these partnerships will be critical to the success of the project, this may also be the time to secure commitment from partners, including discussing contractual arrangements.
The most important parts of your model that need early testing with partners and community are need, core values (benefits), beneficiaries and resources. Testing these assumptions will require engagement.
Don’t focus too strongly on surface measures of support or sentiment (like a survey). Be aware that people can’t give reliable responses if they don’t understand what you’re proposing or what it will mean to them. You need to focus some of your engagement effort on providing information and responding to queries.
In addition, be aware that community members’ sentiments are likely to be complex and this may provide important information and considerations for your project. For example, they may be enthusiastic about the battery project, but only if it involves partners they trust, or only if they’re not required to engage with new consumer products. So, finding ways to engage with community members more deeply and through a dialogue is important in testing and refining your model, will help to build relationships for your project, and may have additional social benefits.