If procurement agreements cripple agility, why isn’t Lean Agile Procurement everywhere?


The Challenges of Adopting Lean Agile Procurement

Lean Agile Procurement, a methodology that aims to streamline and enhance procurement processes using agile principles, faces hurdles in widespread adoption. This resistance to change can be attributed to deep-rooted human tendencies and organizational inertia. Understanding these barriers is crucial for implementing change effectively.

The Human Resistance to Change

One of the fundamental reasons Lean Agile Procurement isn’t more widely adopted is the inherent human aversion to change.

Fear and Inertia as Major Barriers

  • Fear of Risk: In procurement, decision-making often involves significant financial and operational risks, leading to a preference for traditional methods.
  • Safety in Familiarity: Traditional procurement methods are perceived as safer options, assuring job security and personal benefits like bonuses and promotions.

Historical Perspective on Change

Looking at historical events, like the evolution of techniques in sports, can provide valuable insights into how change is resisted and gradually accepted.

The Case of Dick Fosbury

  • Innovative Change: In the 1966 Olympics, Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump with the Fosbury Flop, going over the bar backward.
  • Resistance to Evident Improvement: Despite its evident superiority, many athletes continued using older techniques for years, demonstrating the natural resistance to change.

Applying Lean Agile Procurement

The application of Lean Agile Procurement requires a concerted effort to bring stakeholders on board and overcome deep-seated reluctance to depart from traditional methods.

Engaging Stakeholders

  • Stakeholder Support: Successful implementation of Lean Agile Procurement requires the support of key stakeholders like Chief Procurement Officers, legal officers, and executives.
  • Building Understanding: Educating stakeholders on the benefits and efficiencies of Lean Agile Procurement is essential to overcome resistance.

Lean Agile Procurement in Practice

While still early in its journey compared to frameworks like Scrum, Lean Agile Procurement has seen successful implementation in various industries.

Adoption in Different Sectors

  • Government and Pharmaceutical Industry: Notable examples include its effective use in New Zealand government procurement and adoption in the pharmaceutical industry, known for complex purchasing needs.
  • Case Studies: The Lean Agile Procurement website offers case studies from established companies, showcasing its practical applications and benefits.

Conclusion: Overcoming Barriers to Adopt Lean Agile Procurement

Adopting Lean Agile Procurement presents challenges but also offers significant benefits for organizations willing to embrace change.

The Path Forward

  • Embracing Agility in Procurement: Organizations need to recognize the value of agility in procurement processes and be willing to challenge traditional methods.
  • Cultural and Organizational Shift: The shift to Lean Agile Procurement requires a cultural and organizational change, emphasizing flexibility, efficiency, and stakeholder engagement.

In summary, the adoption of Lean Agile Procurement is hindered by a natural resistance to change, both at an individual and organizational level. Overcoming these barriers involves educating stakeholders, demonstrating the effectiveness of agile methods in procurement, and gradually building a culture open to innovation and change. As more organizations successfully implement Lean Agile Procurement, its benefits become more evident, paving the way for wider adoption in various industries.

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If you have identified Lean Agile Procurement as a great opportunity to enhance #agility within your organization, visit the Lean Agile Procurement Training course or Lean Agile Procurement coaching page.

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