Next Level 2016: Planning the journey from good to great

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Change management in procurement was top of the agenda at day two of SciQuest’s Next Level 2016 conference. And, while you would be hard pressed to find someone not in agreement with the view that the function needs to constantly evolve, many of the speakers pointed out that very few businesses can actually say they have pulled off a successful transformation. The question though is why?


More than 50% of change initiatives fail to deliver the results a business aims for, said Sigi Osagie, interim CPO, coach and author, to delegates at the conference.


Failure, he said, came mainly down to poor planning at the start of the journey.


“If you are setting off on a journey with people, the first thing they will ask is where are we going and how will we get there?” said Osagie. “A journey involves lots of questions and lots of planning, and so when taking procurement on a journey of change, people will be asking the exact same questions.”


Osagie though offered his thoughts on how functions could plan successfully for a transformation.


1) Don’t be afraid to ask for help

In order to drive change leaders of transformation efforts need the right skills in their teams to take them forward. That requires an assessment to take place to find the skills gaps that exist within their teams and where necessary to bring those skills in. That can involve hiring people from another function or different industry but without that the function simply won’t be able to thrive in its new environment.


2) Create a team of champions


Resistance to change is not uncommon when a transformation is going on. Therefore it is essential to build a small team of project champions who can communicate to the rest of the team about what is going on and what the ultimate benefits of the change will be. They will also be able to alter to any problems within the team at an early stage.


3) Celebrate the wins


Celebrating victories no matter how small helps to get people on side and helps build the validity needed around the project. It could be a company-wide email or it could be a few drinks at the pub but make sure your team knows that the recognition is there. That also provides an opportunity to tell the rest of the company about progress, what your aims are and ultimately what the function will be able to do for the rest of the business as a result.

The road to successful change management and transformation is rarely a simple one but, by planning for the journey, procurement has a better chance of reaching its destination.


The SciQuest Next Level 16 conference is taking place in Nashville, Tennessee. To find out more click here.


This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.

Rachel Sharp
Posted by Rachel Sharp

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