Part two: Top tips for successful management of a procurement change project

13th September 2016

In my last blog post, I looked at the importance of defining processes, people and responsibility boundaries in a procurement change project. In this blog post, I will share some tips on how you should communicate your change project and successfully manage the transition process.

How will you tell people about it?

Consultation is a key requirement to change in any circumstance, whether that be in business or in personal life. If you manage and implement the change without notifying your wider user base, you will hit issues. Obviously, there are ways of communicating the change. You need to do this in a way that will ensure the best possible outcome, which is a high rate of user acceptance in as short a time as possible. There are, of course, some users who will go along with change without question but some will require a little more persuasion.

Sharing the original visions statement that brought about the change in the first place is often a good first step. Ask key stakeholders or department heads to assist with tailoring this to each group of users. For example, the users may not need to know about the higher level need for the change but they will want to know how it will impact them specifically. What are the benefits to them? This should be planned out early on in the change and user groups updated periodically, with an overview to begin with, elaborating as the project nears completion.

Don’t forget to collate some of their feedback along the way; communication is a two-way street. End users often have insight into processes that may have been overlooked by some of the decision makers higher up in your organisation. The earlier you can capture this and incorporate it into the change project as a whole, the better.

How will you manage the transition?

You’ve done it. You’ve got there. Everything is ready to go. But how do you change from one firmly embedded process to another? Will you go for a big bang or a phased approach? The latter is always preferable for large change, but this is not always possible. Provided you have followed the above and the guidelines in Part one: Top tips for successful management of a procurement change project, you will have a good team of people around you to manage and drive the change out throughout the organisation.

If you have communicated to all users along the way, they will know that the change is coming and will likely have made preparations for it. Ensuring that you have a clearly defined support network for initial teething problems will help, along with a plan of action for roll-back (hopefully this shouldn’t be needed but you should almost always have one). Roll-out and user adoption is perhaps the most difficult part of any change but, provided you have managed the change successfully from the start and made a realistic transition plan, any issues can be greatly reduced.

With the right planning, people, responsibilities, communication and management, you can make your procurement change a success. These tips should help get you on your way and drive the required outcome in the best possible way.


Related blog posts:

Part one: Top tips for successful management of a procurement change project

How to stop running around like a headless chicken: Moving from a tactical to a strategic procurement function

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