If you work in procurement, are a project manager, or have a project management job, you already know that successful procurement entails more than just making and implementing plans. You must be able to respond as well as you act, particularly in a dynamic global marketplace where volatility reigns and those who can roll with the punches gain a competitive advantage. As a result, many procurement practitioners have started to implement agile methodologies into their workflows to enhance process performance.

Agile procurement may seem to be just another business bingo buzzword, but it is possible for those who are prepared to adopt agile concepts and apply the strategies and resources required to create a forward-thinking, collaborative procurement environment.

Agile Methodology:

Customer satisfaction is the most important thing to remember. Customer loyalty is paramount, with a focus on timely and consistent value delivery.

Change is a source of opportunity. Change is always welcome, no matter when it happens. Change offers opportunities to boost customer loyalty and competitive advantage.

Value and Speed Hand-in-Hand is the way to go. High-value deliverables are delivered to customers as quickly as possible, with regular updates.

Collaboration is the key to overcoming conflict. To ensure complete clarity of contact and mutual dedication to progress, project members from various business units should sit together by team, rather than by department, and work together every day.

The people have the power. Projects are focused on and guided by enthusiastic stakeholders. Teams are given the resources, support, and working environments they need to succeed, and they are trusted to accomplish the tasks that have been assigned to them.

Make the interpersonal a priority. The most effective and productive way for teams to exchange information is through face-to-face contact.

Every project is guided by demonstrable value. The most useful metrics are deliverables that meet or exceed consumer standards for completeness, accuracy, and value.

Maintain Continuity and Durability. Although providing value to consumers is the first priority, processes should be created, checked, and optimised for long-term sustainability to ensure that all stakeholders can keep up.

Improvement is continuing. Agility is guaranteed. Processes should be as good as they can be when they’re developed and implemented, and they should evolve over time to become even more successful.

Maintain a straightforward approach. Maximum profit from the smallest amount of energy.
Self-Directed Teams Are Successful. Agile project teams that are allowed to self-organize achieve the best outcomes.

It’s never too late to get better. Processes aren’t the only thing that can be improved. Teams should assess their effectiveness and performance on a regular basis and make the required improvements to improve both as much as possible.

Project teams in every industry may begin to turn their emphasis away from rigidity and toward agility by following these concepts. Being agile means being at ease with, and capable of exploiting, the only constant in the age of digital transformation: Alteration

Terms for Agile Procurement

It’s important to grasp the language used when explaining the agile technique. The Agile Alliance maintains a detailed glossary to provide full context, but the following are a few of the most relevant words to know for those trying to understand and execute agile processes:

Agile project management is based on iterative, collaborative, and contextually reactive methods. They are data-driven, straightforward, and prioritise demonstrable value. They place a premium on outcomes and mutual prosperity, fostering healthier, more profitable business partnerships while also providing value that was previously unattainable.

The party or parties who commissioned the project and whose satisfaction with the project’s deliverables is critical.

A sprint is a one-time iteration of a procedure.

Scrum: Scrum is an iterative system of processes that uses sprints to accomplish the goals of any given project. It is perhaps the most well-known of the agile systems. Scrum is a distinct and unique implementation of general agile concepts that is often confused with or used interchangeably with the word “agile.”

To complete tasks, reach or surpass customer standards, and deliver value, Scrum relies on three distinct roles—Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Scrum Teams—as well as three key artefacts—Burndown Charts, Product Backlog, and Sprint Backlog.

Product Owners are known as “the customer’s voice.” They interact with the project team and are in charge of communicating the overall project vision, making critical decisions, and leading the team, among other things. Some projects may have two or more product owners, each responsible for different positions, depending on their scope.

Scrum Masters keep track of the project’s overall success and hold regular standup meetings. Their primary responsibility is to eliminate roadblocks to completion and reduce delays. Scrum masters, on the other hand, should be regarded as shepherds and caretakers rather than overlords or taskmasters, since agile methodology promotes self-assignment of tasks.

Scrum Teams are dynamic, ever-changing groups committed to completing tasks. They are staffed from a variety of sources. They should ideally adopt the agile principles of teamwork and communication, with the Scrum Master and Product Owner(s) guiding them, but ultimately relying on the 12 principles to delegate and complete the tasks required to complete the project’s deliverables and optimise consumer delight.

In terms of the three artefacts that were used:

Burndown charts are motivational tools that show how much work remains to be done and how much time is left.

User stories and activities that remain for the project as a whole are collected in product backlogs.

Sprint backlogs are lists of user stories and activities that need to be done during the current sprint.

Daily Stand-up Meetings:
15- to 30-minute meetings in which the Scrum Master and Scrum Team address the day’s tasks and goals in detail, with a focus on brevity.

Teams also get together to schedule and evaluate sprints. Retrospective meetings are used to find areas where process improvements can be made in order to achieve quality improvement.

Except for the occasional stand-up meeting, which is held once a day during the current sprint, these events are carried out once a sprint.

When completing a sprint, Scrum discourages members from attending any non-Scrum meetings.

Outsiders with a direct interest in the team’s deliverables and performance are referred to as stakeholders.

Tasks: Tasks are unique goals and duties derived from user stories that must be accomplished during sprints.

Making the Switch to Agile Procurement

When one considers how the agile methodology complements digital transformation and the continuing evolution away from conventional procurement models, applying the concepts outlined in the agile methodology to procurement processes is easy.

Unlike those models, which focused on fixed, cost-cutting strategies, agile procurement aims to reframe procurement as a foundation of value creation that supports corporate priorities and meets business needs.

Take a look at how flexible procurement varies from its more static forerunners:

These are only a couple of the tangible advantages of adopting an agile procurement strategy.

Recognizing the possible benefits is one thing, but how do you apply the twelve principles to your own procurement in the most efficient way?

Many procurement professionals believe that embracing another transformative procurement method, such as AGICO’s advanced procurement software solutions, is the response.

Agile processes can be introduced as a core component of the business process management strategy using powerful and intuitive technical tools such as advanced data analytics, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) that learns as it operates.

Automated, AI-assisted procurement is agile procurement in several respects.

  • For your entire Procure-to-Pay (P2P) operation, iterative and continuous improvement is needed.
  • Data collection, access, and management are all centralised and shared.
  • Contact that is collaborative, mobile-friendly, and cooperative at all levels.
  • Integration with project management, ERP, accounting, and marketing tools makes it simple to form diverse teams that collaborate face-to-face and share resources without having to deal with siloed data.
  • Full data transparency and real-time data analytics make it simple to track value development, spend control, optimise processes, and iterate on complex projects while retaining overall visibility.
  • Improved vendor connectivity and resources like vendor portals help you create deeper supplier relationships, link your system to even more important performance and compliance data, and think and act strategically to achieve mutual success for you and your suppliers.
    • You’re effectively choosing agile procurement as your preferred model for development, creativity, and competitive success if you choose a procurement solution with these capabilities.