Change is constant. Change is a gradual and natural process that requires direction and planning to reach a specific end goal. While it oftentimes leads to positive outcomes, some changes can be difficult to implement and maintain. In this two-part series, I will discuss four change management tips for a successful procurement transformation.
When it comes to a procurement transformation initiative, change management is a critical driver for success – there exists a problem to solve, and you have to work together with individuals and groups across the organization to solve for it.
Change management proves to be a delicate topic that could cause more issues than it solves if implemented incorrectly. Based on my experience in procurement transformation and change management, I find the following common factors to be crucial elements of ensuring a successful procurement transformation initiative.
1. Stakeholder alignment.
A procurement transformation cannot move forward without harnessing the support and buy-in from all parties involved, especially your internal stakeholders. All too often, people assume others will be on board with change or will follow the initiative willingly when it’s not necessarily the case.
Consider these tips when solving for stakeholder alignment:
- Meet with each group of stakeholders or each stakeholder individually, review their position in the initiative, identify their needs, and understand any roadblocks that could arise during the initiative.
- To ensure continuous buy-in, consult the appropriate stakeholder(s) before making any decision or change in direction.
2. Communication. Communication. Communication.
Communication goes alongside stakeholder alignment; having a strong communication plan is essential to a successful change management initiative. I have found that you cannot over-communicate when implementing a change management initiative. People want to be informed.
Consider these tips when communicating during a change management initiative:
- Use different modes of communication to account for different styles of learning and collecting information.
- Use a project management tool to keep the team informed and collaborative as the initiative progresses.
- Use emails and meetings to provide updates to stakeholders and to answer questions periodically.
- Connect with offsite stakeholders one-on-one through consistent phone calls to make them feel included and informed.
- Use executive summary pages when the team has achieved milestones to keep everyone involved and excited to continue forward.
In my next post, I will discuss the final two tips to a successful procurement transformation initiative. Stay tuned!