Five Reasons Why Procurement Transformation Fails

Category managementCost and Cash ManagementTalent and LeadershipTransformation+-

As part of The Financial CPO campaign, focusing on procurement’s ability to develop and deliver to financial metrics, Procurement Leaders invites BravoSolution’s Mickey North Rizza to look at the barriers that can stand in the way of a successful procurement transformation.


Procurement processes have stayed the same for years (or even decades, in some cases) because change is hard, especially when it involves new technology, leadership or training.


Whether you’re planning out your transformation strategy or in the midst of it now, here are five common challenges that stand in the way of success and how to overcome them.


1. Natural resistance to change

Everyone knows that with major change, resistance will follow suit. You need to anticipate and prepare for it. Start by identifying your early-adopters and leverage them in order to eventually gain buy-in from the rest of the team. Consider the needs and motivation for each team member and make sure you can clearly articulate how this change will benefit them, by hopefully making their professional lives better and helping to advance their careers.


2. Lack of leadership buy-in

Employee advocates are an important part of change management, but of course, everyone looks to the boss to see what they’re doing and saying. So how do you make sure your project gets the necessary support from leadership? It’s simple – make sure you’re all on the same page. Look at the executive business case and your roadmap for change and outline the most critical points where leadership participation is needed. Of course, the CPO and managers should be involved along every step of the process.


3. A poorly utilised business case

If your business case is weak at the start, the project has issues that go beyond change management. However, assuming you have a compelling business case, you spent a lot of time and effort on developing it, so show it off! Often business cases are created, but then they aren’t properly communicated throughout the organisation. Keeping the business case front and center will keep you on track and also help employees clearly understand the drivers behind the transformation.


4. The wrong training focus

So you’ve got a vision, a grasp on how to properly communicate your business case and stakeholder buy in. What’s next? Training. Easy enough, right? Not so fast. Training, especially during a time of fundamental change, cannot be "one size fits all." You need to learn what skills your employees have already mastered in order to ensure that you’re teaching the right skills, to the right people, at the right time.


5. Not having a flexible plan

You can spend hours create a project plan; however, there’s always unexpected challenges and curveballs that set you off course. Your transformation plan needs to be a living document that can be adjusted for any setbacks or additional areas of focuses that you didn’t expect to tackle. By consistently measuring progress along the way, your team can adjust the plan as needed.


What issues have you run into when it comes to change management?



Mickey is VP strategic services, BravoSolution. Find more in-depth analysis, case studies and interviews on The Financial CPO here.

Mickey North Rizza
Posted by Mickey North Rizza

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