Building procurement capability via skills transfer from third-party providers

Our  webinar  last week with GEP was focused on procurement capability building in general, looking in most detail at the issue of skills transfer, particularly when that comes from external consultants (also interims, software firms etc).

Everyone will agree that senior procurement professionals need to build capability in themsleves and in their teams.  Procurement talent (or the lack of it) always comes top in the list of issues for CPOs, yet it might be good to put those CPOs on the spot and ask just how much they are actually doing in their organisations to drive capability and therefore performance improvement.

Capability can be developed in different ways. We talked in the webinar about the different options – including conventional academic type training, on the job training and (the area we focused  on in most in the session) skills transfer from third parties. That is becoming more important and a more fruitful area of activity, simply because most procurement functions are working more frequently and deeply with external consultants, software and solutions providers, or outsourcing firms. So there is more opportunity to drive skills transfer from these firms into our own organisations.

I’ve also seen questions about skills transfer built into tender processes in a number of spend areas, which is good. Yet, when I talk to solutions providers, and ask how often their clients actually take advantage of the skills transfer they’re offering, the answer is ‘not many.’  Putting some thought and effort into how to realise that capability building opportunity is well worthwhile.

Here (below) are the summary points from the final slide we used in the webinar, which outlines the key aspects in terms of achieving those benefits.  And you can still register - free - to hear the whole webinar again and see the slides here.

Delivering Skills Transfer

  • Have to plan for this – otherwise it won’t just happen.
  • Gain management buy-in to the concept.
  • Make time for skills transfer – otherwise other priorities will inevitably get in the way. Can’t just be part of ‘business as usual.’
  • Commitment from both parties, and the staff to be trained, is vital.
  • Review progress, measure success of skills transfer initiatives, evaluate longer-term effect of the activities.

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