Procurement Mojo – Reviewing Sigi Osagie’s Impressive First Book

We featured our interview with Sigi Osagie as our procurement provocateur recently (here and here), to coincide with the publication of his first book “Procurement Mojo - Strengthening the Function and Raising its Profile.”  

Smart readers might have guessed that I probably didn’t hate the book given the interview, and you were right. It’s a very impressive book, with much to recommend, and from someone who we think is destined to be an important influence on the profession over the next years.

Osagie came to the UK from Nigeria aged 19 and worked his way through a degree, an MBA and roles of increasing seniority, ending up as a supply chain director in firms such as Marconi and then senior level interim and consultant roles. What is clear from the book is that his real strength and expertise is the ability to drive change and get people to work towards a common goal. Whilst there is a certain amount of what we might call “technical” procurement content in here, and he is clearly knowledgeable in those areas, the most valuable and interesting parts of the book are when Osagie talks about managing change and managing people, all in the interests of a very direct focus on achieving measurable results.

The chapters reflect this focus, with procurement effectiveness at the heart of the thread that runs through the book. So we start with Build an Effective Procurement Organisation, looking mainly at people and structures. Then we have Deploy Fit-for-Purpose Enablers, covering processes and technology, and Adopt Robust Supply Base Management, covering SRM, risk and related topics.

Apply Appropriate Performance Frameworks is an excellent chapter, covering both planning and performance in a programme management sense and a section on measuring procurement functional performance. And hurrah for this: “An overriding focus on purely or financial short-term performance will definitely not lead you to your procurement mojo.”

The final core chapter is Build Your Procurement Brand, and here’s another nice quote from that. “If you were running your own business and your stakeholders were your customers, how would you handle them, knowing they are the source of your daily bread”?

As well as strong content, Osagie also writes well. Although there is a lot of text, interspersed by the odd table and template, the style is very readable – it is unpretentious, clear and direct, without ever talking down to the reader.

Indeed, I confess, I’m finding it hard to offer much in the way of criticism. That is maybe because Osagie is also very aligned with much of my personal thinking on where procurement needs to go – that doesn’t make us both right of course, but it does make it harder for me to critique. I guess I might have included more around the increasing role that technology is playing in procurement. The book isn’t silent on that, but I’m yet to see a book that really encapsulates what is going on in terms of the possibilities for us if we exploit technology well.

But overall, it is highly recommended to any senior procurement person – and many outside procurement – who are involved at some stage of that change / transformation journey. It’s less interesting perhaps if you consider you’re already in the upper decile of procurement performers, and it does also assume some knowledge of procurement approaches and situations, so it is probably not for the absolute beginner either. But I reckon that leaves a pretty good proportion of our profession who would certainly benefit from it!

Based on that, we’ll go for a 4 and a half star review. Indeed, if you judge business books on enjoyment, their ability to provoke your thinking, and education, then I’m struggling actually to think of another procurement book I’ve read that combines those elements in a more satisfying manner. It’s only £14.99 RRP too! And we’ll feature a further taster from the book next week.

Finally, I don’t quite know how I have never met Osagie (until last week) during the last twenty plus years we’ve both been in the procurement world, but I suspect we will be seeing and hearing more from him in the future. Both as an impressive individual and via the quality of his thinking and delivery skills, we suspect he is likely to be (and should be) a leader in the profession over the next decade.

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First Voice

  1. Jane Burrows:

    I’m nearly halfway through reading Procurement Mojo, after initially seeing it mentioned on LinkedIn. And I have to say this book is quite refreshing to read. I am absolutely loving it!

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