MEMBERSHIP
BLOG
MAGAZINE
EVENTS
ACADEMY
RESOURCES
ABOUT

Success stories
COMMUNITY & CONNECT
PROCUREMENT STRATEGY
CATEGORY INTELLIGENCE
BACK

Thought Leaders: A.T. Kearney's Stephen Easton - the problem with capital programmes


11-Aug-11 09:12

Thought Leaders is a series of regular posts from experts from across industries and regions, looking at the issues procurement faces today. In this post A.T. Kearney partner Stephen Easton asks whether procurement is doing enough to engage on IT and capital programmes in general.

 

It was interesting last week to see the NHS National Programme for IT described as "one of the great procurement disasters of all time” by commentators in the press last week. This prompted me to think more broadly about the problems of managing capital programmes of all types.

 

Government programmes tend to have a very high profile when they are perceived to go wrong. But, it is not only government that faces challenges of budget overruns and delays. Some recent research we did across the private sector, for example, shows that 66% of capital projects go over budget and 38% are behind schedule. The National Programme for IT has many counterparts for company.

 

Still, to describe the issue as a “procurement” failure feels unfair doesn’t it? Many of the problems are not in the purview of what we might call traditional procurement. In-flight scope creep, design changes and inaccurate cost estimation are surely the responsibility of project managers not procurement managers.

 

But, is procurement really doing enough in this area to insist on key commercial disciplines? For example is procurement:

  • Pushing back enough on project managers to insist on specifications being agreed in advance of selecting suppliers, rather than “rushing to get the supplier in”?
  • Doing enough to insist on the separation of the contracts for design and build phases of projects to avoid supplier conflicts of interest?
  • Managing supplier relationships sufficiently on a cross project basis to incentivize them to behave strategically rather than tactically?

I also question whether too much is sometimes being left in the hands of the technical specialists of IT, quantity surveying and other business functions.

 

I’d welcome some answers.

 

Stephen is a partner of A.T. Kearney Management Consultants. He has consulted widely to clients in the private and public sectors across a range of procurement topics both in the UK and internationally over the past decade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Steve Hall Steve Hall is Editor at Procurement Leaders. Steve oversees the publication of Procurement Leaders Magazine and draws on a decade in business publishing, providing quality coverage to senior business leaders. Follow Steve on Twitter: @thestephenhall

 
Subscribe to feed Subscribe to feed
Rating (0 vote/s)
 

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER


FREE 

SUPPLEMENTS

PREDICTIVE INSIGHT TO FUEL WORLD-CLASS DECISIONS

Unique, high value research and analysis provides CPO's with the information they need to make the right strategic choices.

FREE 

WHITEPAPERS

OFFERINGS

 

ABOUT

MEMBERS

FOLLOW US

AWARDS

MEMBERSHIP

 

COMMUNITY

 

MAGAZINE

 

EVENTS

 

ACADEMY

 

RESOURCES

CONTACT US

 

ABOUT US

 

ADVERTISE WITH US

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT'S NEW

SIGN IN

 

BECOME A MEMBER

 

REQUEST A DEMO

 

JOB SEARCH

LINKEDIN

 

TWITTER

 

GOOGLE+

 

RSS

 

NEWS ARCHIVE

Procurement Leaders Awards

TERMS OF USE . PRIVACY POLICY . COOKIE POLICY

© Sigaria Ltd and its contributors. All rights reserved. www.sigaria.com

Sigaria accepts no responsibility for advice or information contained on this site although every effort is made to ensure its accuracy. Users are advised to seek independent advice from qualified persons before acting upon any such information.