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Procurement Transformation: A Modern Road Trip, Part 4 – The Road

There you go chug-chug-chugging along on your procurement transformation journey. An experienced driver at the wheel; your GPS with the most efficient route. Your vehicle provides you and your travel companions with safety, style, and a smooth ride. The weather even agrees with you. But hold your horses, kids! Here comes a detour. BAM! Traffic sets in. Not much you can do. Sometimes you need to accept that your journey is affected by what happens with those around you. 

Along the procurement journey, you may happen upon a stakeholder who impacts your trip in various ways. Without their support, the journey would cease to exist. Remember the triptik you requested in part 1? Review the route, identify troubled areas, and align your route in consideration of these slowdowns. It will help you manage expectations. Otherwise, it may cost you getting to the destination in the timeframe you planned, if at all…

So, what does “reviewing the route” actually mean in project terms?  Meet with your stakeholders—early and often. Include IT in your selection process. Contact the PMO office when you enter the contract process to get in the project queue. Conduct future state process workshops with key stakeholders such as AP and legal before you begin product configuration.

Think of this common scenario: your IT stakeholder has projects with higher priority. Because of this, you might need to make an early pitstop to ensure you have the fuel and snacks needed to endure the patience it takes to manage the slowdown. It’s best to establish these expectations early, IT stakeholders are the ones that can make your trip smooth sailing—from a technological standpoint, of course. While there is no bypass around IT during a technology implementation, there may be for budget or other issues that arise. It is up to you to decide what is best for your journey—refresh the EZ Pass, take the scenic route, or dig your wheels in and grind it out in traffic. Any number of obstacles may block your path. How you confront them is the test.

Stakeholders can bring about new challenges. It is impossible to plan for the unexpected, and you cannot predict which stakeholder will be a bump in the road, a washed-out bridge, or a sudden major sinkhole.  It’s not all bad though, some stakeholders might be building an HOV lane or an off-ramp that will speed you along towards procurement nirvana.

In your procurement journey, stakeholders can be like the road. Sometimes it is a slowdown for someone slowly merging in. Other times, it is a full reroute. Whomever you have chosen as the driver needs to be instinctive when reacting to various situations. And that is the delicate balance of navigating the windy, narrow road or plunging through the guardrail and having your journey end in dramatic fireball fashion.

As the destination nears—which, for the record, is not go-live—think about the fun we have had during the four installments of this journey. We’ll be back later to talk about what lies beyond go-live, but for now the road trip memories, stories, lessons learned, and tall tales will live on far beyond your transformation. There is an incredible opportunity for your organization, your process, and your career to mature in these months. Transformation is an infinite trip, and we would be thrilled to join you. We have the playlist ready. Let’s go!


Want to read more? 

Procurement Transformation: A Modern Road Trip, Part 1

Procurement Transformation: A Modern Road Trip, Part 2 – The Vehicle (a.k.a. Technology)

Procurement Transformation: A Modern Road Trip, Part 3 – The Weather