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This PSO Field Guide provides the stories of victory and defeat and details on the equipment necessary for successful partnerships and collaboration among PSOs and our partners. This guide has been developed by the Forum network for the Forum network, in response to our network’s growth in members—all of whom operate in different ways and have unique cultures. 

This guide is designed to help PSO practitioners navigate the partnership trail, based on tools, practices and lessons from those who have made the journey. We think the trail metaphor is apt for a number of reasons. Trails aren’t the same, with distinctive terrain, routes and destinations. Some parts can be fun. Some parts can be rocky. The same trail can be a breeze on a nice day and a struggle on a stormy one. Sometimes the trail is well-worn. Other times you’ll be blazing it anew.

The goal of the guide is to prepare you and your organization for the journey—from departure through challenges and opportunities that emerge along the way to final completion and reflection.

Because PSO partnerships, like trails, can differ from each other in important ways, we’ve designed this as a field guide, based on practitioner experience, describing moves that work in the real world, focused on what is happening in the field. The guide is based on conversations, interviews, surveys and exercises with more than a hundred PSO practitioners.

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