Sigi Osagie on Procurement Change Management at the Trade Extensions User Conference (Part 2)

TE 5Today we continue our overview of “Procurement Success: What to Pack for the Voyage of Change,” by Sigi Osagie, at the Trade Extensions user conference, at the excellent venue - Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

We talked about how People are the essence of procurement change success. So, said Sigi, think about how you sell it to them, how you make sure they understand the need for the change, how to make them think and act differently.

Give them clarity – it’s they who have to do the work -- and make sure you engage effectively with them.

Clarity is a critical success factor: be clear about what is the end destination and what the goals are. Be clear about what you are changing and why you are chaninging it. To do that, you need to understand the current scenario, who does what, the process, the systems, the technology, why they exist – then you use the understanding of the ‘as is’ to work out what the needs are. Be clear about what the change will involve and what will be needed – and support that -- if the change programme is important enough for you to do it, then it’s important enough for you to give it the right resource. If it requires expertise, and you don’t have that expertise inhouse – go get it!

Engage is another: less than 50 percent of engagement is about what you say, the rest is about your non-verbal communication: the smile, how you say things, how you stand, etc.

The logical side of the brain is on the left and the sensing side on the right – the older part – so we have a tighter connection to the older part. It drives how we behave and how we engage with people, and this is most importantly linked to how we get it right. Aside from the data you have and the information to back it up -- it’s about how we touch people emotionally -- so do not rely on your data alone to help you win understanding and buy-in.

And, it is very important when driving change to listen – as well as informing stakeholders, you need to understand what their concerns are.

There is no one approach, no one change plan, but there are generic themes: communication, project performance management, and risk management. If you don’t have a project plan you can’t see where you are along the journey, what stage you are at, what comes next, whether you are on track, a way to spot and mitigate risk – these are things any CPO should understand – or you will get it wrong.

Make sure the tools are fit for purpose – not fit for the 1950s – and ask the people who are going to use the systems – you’ll be surprised how much they know.

The formula is – organisational readiness + robust approach = success.
The key is --  understand how the formula mixes together.

Even when you think implementation is at its end – it is important to remember that you haven’t finished – you are in a transition. Then you can ask – what did we learn from it?

Sigi 2The floor was then open to questions – and there were many. But we will have to come back to that as space does not permit. However, questions about navigating procurement transformation, and many others, are answered in Sigi’s book “Procurement Mojo – Strengthening the Function and Raising its Profile,” which is a valuable and interesting read.

Voices (2)

  1. Sigi Osagie:

    Thanks for the commendation, Paul.

    From my experience of revamping Procurement & Supply Chain functions, I’ve found that it isn’t so much about setting change objectives, per se; it starts with assessing whether or not the function is doing its job properly. The required enhancement or change programme must then be focussed on the area(s) of deficiency.

    In the end, ‘wherever it is we want to go’ must be aligned to our functional obligations in supporting enterprise needs, alongside developing longer term capability.

    Your comment is a valuable point for us all to ponder; thanks once again.

  2. Paul Vincent:

    Hi Sigi. There are some great tips in here about managing change but I would be interested in whether you think procurement professionals are ambitious enough when setting their change objectives in the first place. It is not so much ‘what to pack’ but ‘where we want to go’!

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