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Handle Change Management in Procurement

Handle change management in procurement
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An American businessman Philip Crosby wrote what was to become a famous quote: “Slowness to change usually means fear of the new”. Though the quote has a satirical tone, it stands true even today.

Almost 70% of the organizational-change initiatives fail globally. This is because it is relatively easy to design and formulate the change management initiative, but it is very difficult to actually implement and execute the initiative to get the desired result. In an exclusive interview with Zycus, Moustafa Helmy, Head of e-Procurement Systems at Qatar Foundation mentioned that change management was one of his biggest roadblocks in achieving the outlined procurement goals. In most of the cases, change initiatives fail because of the employee’s resistance towards the change.

Why do you think employees resist change?

The most common belief is that there isn’t any need for change. A change in the daily tasks & process that employees got accustomed to, will make the process tougher and longer, affecting the existing cycle time.

According to Zycus’ recent research study, in collaboration with the Michigan State University titled “The Drivers and Barriers to Effective User Adoption of Procurement Technologies”; some of the biggest challenges in adopting new procurement technologies includes:  the inclination towards legacy systems, the demand for a user-friendly environment, lack of time & commitment to adapt to newer systems, perceived loss of control, and investment in technology being seen as an expense.

Eventually, the resistance escalates to a project failure taking the organizations time, expectations & investments down the drain.

How to avoid failure in a change management initiative?

Although a paradigm shift is seen in the procurement space, still a large no. of companies prefer to use legacy systems. Procurement is always about moving and growing faster, enhancing relations with suppliers and finding out unique ways to achieve big savings target. This requires the skill and ability to adapt to changes that comes your way. Let’s have a look at how we can avoid failure when change management comes into picture:

  • Learn to manage resistance
    Managing resistance is challenging. It involves being in touch with your surroundings whilst trying to adapt to new processes. Anticipate your challenges and objections that you might face from your stakeholders and find workarounds for them.
  • Engage stakeholders
    Engage all your stakeholders from the beginning. This ensures that the whole team is on the same page throughout the project. Imbibe a culture where every individual understands their roles, responsibilities and consequences of the future change.
  • Training & Support
    Make sure training sessions are conducted as well as attended by all stakeholders soon after the implementation of new technology. Share all the methods how end users can get support for their queries. Be patient & lend a helping hand to all the stakeholders who might have difficulty in adjusting. This will ensure quicker adoption of the implemented technology.

Change management is not only about changing a process. It’s also about changing people, their habits, their work style & making them more goal oriented.

How did you deal with a change management initiative at your organization? Share your views in the comments section.

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