Daily Archives: October 24, 2014

Procurement Trend #27: Inter-Departmental Collaboration

Twenty-four trends remain
Together they bring disdain
We’re trapped in the mundane
They are Lucifer’s bane
… and we cannot rest until they are slain!

We cannot give up. We cannot give in. We must shed light on the darkness that each and every false prophecy brings. Only then can we move forward.

The journey is long and hard, but at the end of this thirty part series, you should not only understand why so many historians are still talking about the false trends we debunked in our Future of Procurement series, what you need to do to prevent staying in the past with your organizational “peers”, but what you need to do to not only stay in the present but start marching towards the future, which is coming faster than you think.

So why do so many historians keep pegging this as a future trend? There are a number of reasons, but among the top three today are:

  • Stakeholders are multiplying
    as Supply Management spreads
  • Stakeholder review and participation is increasing in importance
    as more knowledge work is being outsourced
  • Fiefdoms still exist in large(r) corporations
    as many organizations still measure your worth by the number of people under you or the budget you control and not the value you bring to the organization.

Multiplication of Stakeholders

Team management skills are now at a premium. A Supply Management leader not only has to manage a cross-functional team to be successful, but a team where each department being represented is typically at odds with each other and itching for a full-contact rugby match. (It wouldn’t be unrealistic to suggest that your organization might want to start by bringing in a career kindergarten teacher.)

Project Management skills are also becoming more important by the day, as the Supply Management team will need to maintain appropriate focus in each of the cross-functional team members to insure that things get done when they need to get done to keep each sourcing event and procurement project on schedule.

The Knowledge Economy

While often overlooked, knowledge management and collaboration portals will soon become a key part of your organization’s technology infrastructure. Your organization needs to capture all input and organizational knowledge (before it walks out the door), track all relevant issues, and make sure all of the relevant information not only gets in the hands of who needs it, but when external parties are involved, capture their knowledge, decisions, and processes (and not just output) as well in case it needs to be reconstructed or redeployed later on.


Off with their heads! Well, figuratively at least. If your organization has one or more fiefdoms, then your organization has someone unwilling to relinquish control, even if that is what is required for the greater good. In this case, your organization has to fight the urge to try and fix the problem with more training or yet another reorganization (which is typically very, very disruptive) and simply do what the kings of old did when they had problems with the dukes — and take off their heads!

If, and only if, the leader can be reformed, give her another management position within the company (and possibly initiate some inter-departmental collaboration at the same time as she will more than likely be more than willing to work with her old department). But if he’s stuck in his ways and can’t be reformed, bite the bullet, give him a fair severance package, and push him out into the outside world. Just like a ship that’s dropped anchor can’t sail, a company with a lead filled sandbag can’t rise above the clouds, no matter how much hot air that individual puts out on a daily basis!