Monday, 12 August 2013

Procurement – Its Own Worst Enemy? (Part Two)

Authored by Sarah Clarke

In the last post we took a look at an article on procurement from the Harvard Business Review, which highlighted poor communications in procurement teams both with internal and external stakeholders.
 
As a marketing professional, I am not in any position to tell procurement professionals how to procure, however I can give you insights into some of the tools we use for communications.

I’ll start with one piece of advice – Think Social. And by that I mean think of the ways in which people communicate both inside and outside of your organization. So much of our communication is now within social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. When I look at tools to help my team, I look for tools that naturally fit with the way they behave in and communicate via their social networks.

I have a few current favourites, but I’ll start today with Trello - Project plans meet RAID logs meet Social Networking.

So what is Trello?

 
Well in their own words ‘Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.’
 
Firstly what are they negatives?
 
Trello won’t replace any weighty project planning software, but it will help you visualize your projects and share and communicate this in a compelling way with stakeholders. There’s no Gantt chart functionality either so if you need a Gantt chart to visualize your project then you may struggle with this.
 
So why do I like it?
 
It helps me organize projects within my team, monitor due dates and deadlines, see at a glance what tasks are due and who is responsible for them.
 
It comes with a handy (free) iPhone app which tells the team when a task has been added or completed, and also sends push notifications and emails when deadlines are coming up.
 
It’s an online (and did I mention free?!) tool which means it doesn't matter what part of the world the team are working from, they can all access it. We now use it with our external stakeholders too to get them bought into the projects we’re working on and share tasks and progress.
 
Trello appeals to the way people like to communicate – communities of people tagging others into their posts, asking for feedback, offering voting options and the opportunity to ‘subscribe’ to projects. But probably most importantly, my team and the people we’ve introduced to Trello, like using it, and as a result we’ve used it to successfully drive both internal and external communication.
 
I’ll be back soon with my next current favourite (free) tool, but I’d be interested to hear from any procurement professionals who’ve looked at and used Trello in the procurement workplace.

 

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