An Insight into Agile Procurement

by Helena Williams

In recent years the agile methodology has become a caliber operating procedure for everyone from automotive innovators to content creation firms. This methodology is noticeably different from traditional procurement in many ways. Agile procurement might sound just like another business, but this is possible for only those who are willing to adopt agile principles and interested in using the techniques and tools required to build a forward-thinking, collaborative procurement environment. To help you in this process you can definitely rely on sourcing agents for any advice or suggestions.

Principles of Agile Procurement

  1. Speed and value go hand-in-hand: The customer is delivered with the highest value deliverables with frequent updates and within a short interval of time.
  2. Customer satisfaction is king: In every field, customer satisfaction is always given the first preference. An early and value delivery is a factor that is always emphasized.
  3. Collaboration conquers conflict: Unity is an important factor required in any business. Project members from different businesses should sit and discuss together with the team so that complete transparency of communication and commitment to success can be ensured.
  4. Change is an opportunity: Change is always welcomed as it brings with it more opportunities to satisfy customers’ wants and achieve a higher position in the market. Sourcing subcontractors are well aware of the changes and the advantages of them.
  5. Power to the people: Teams are assigned to a particular project and they are provided with the necessary tools, support and the preferable working conditions needed to succeed in the project. Projects are built around and driven by passionate stakeholders and the entire team is trusted to complete the project.
  6. Demonstrate value drives for every project: Deliverables in terms of accuracy, completeness and value, sometimes meet the expectation of the customer and are able to satisfy them. But in some cases, customer satisfaction is not so well achieved. This serves as the most useful benchmark.
  7. Emphasize the interpersonal: The most efficient and trustworthy way teams to share information is to communicate face to face. This serves to be more effective.
  8. Keep things steady and sustainable: Other than delivering value to the customers, processes should always be developed, optimized and reviewed constantly, so that sustainability can be ensured. A steady pace by a stakeholder needs to be maintained as long as it is required for the project.
  9. There is always room for improvement: Efficacy and efficiency should be regularly evaluated by the teams. It is not that only processes need to be improved. Necessary changes should be made in both teams and processes in order to ensure improvement as much as possible.

These principles will definitely guide you or the project teams of any industry to focus on agility and understand the advantages of it. Being agile rather than being rigid means to be comfortable with and take full advantage of the constant change in the age of digital transformation.

Terms Used in Agile Procurement

A comprehensive glossary is maintained by the agile alliance for providing a complete context. Working knowledge of the used terminology should be known before discussing the agile approach. To understand and implement agile processes, a few important terms should be known.

  1. Agile Project Management: Agile processes are iterative, collaborative and contextually reactive. Transparency and demonstrative value are mainly focused on and emphasized by this mostly data-driven process. Promoting healthier and more productive business relationships is their main priority, simultaneously delivering value which was quite impossible to be achieved in old traditional paradigms. Through the use of various tools and suggestions provided by the sourcing agents, agile project management puts these principles in practice.
  2. Scrum: When it comes to agile frameworks, Scrum is considered as one of the most well-known and popular ones. It is an iterative set of processes which uses sprints to achieve the goals of any given project. Scrum relies on three distinct roles such as Product Owners, Scrum Teams and Scrum Masters. It has three important artifacts namely – Burndown Charts, Product Backlog, and Sprint Backlog. These are used to complete the assigned projects meeting customer satisfaction.
  3. Daily Stand-up Meetings: This is the time when the Scrum Team and the Scrum Master discuss the tasks of the day emphasizing on brevity. Meetings are also held to identify opportunities for upgrading the process to achieve continuous improvement or development.
  4. Stories of the users: This refers to the narratives provided by the customer sketching a general outline of their wants and desires. This often serves to be an important element in software development.

Understanding the necessary changes required helps you achieve agility in your procurement organization. You can seek help from sourcing subcontractors for information. The flexibility of agile procurement helps your team to generate real value for the stakeholders and improvement of your business.

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1 comment

Jannet August 18, 2020 - 5:20 pm

Great article Helena. In your opinion: how much IT savvy should a Procurement professional be in order to engage in this type of methology?


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