Thursday, 19 June 2014

Effective Transformation Part 1

Authored by Samira El Tayeb

Undertaking any transformation process can be difficult for a number of reasons. The desired future state requires the individual to change their entire mindset in order to successfully implement change. In addition to this, the future state is essentially unknown, change will only emerge in due time. So how do we approach this process to ensure we achieve the desired goal?

Transformation can occur in something as simple as getting off the bus a stop earlier to improve one’s fitness, to something as challenging as adopting a new dieting plan to prolong unwanted health issues - what does remain consistent is the approach in which we take to effectively manage that process. In any attempt to transform, the first step would be to stop, take a look at your surroundings and evaluate your current situation. In the case of a new diet plan, naturally the first action would be to weigh yourself to see how many pounds you’ve put on from your last weigh in, or to calculate your BMI or take your measurements, the point being to have an understanding of where you are now, and what goal you want to achieve - Only then can you determine what is required to achieve said goal.

During my time working for a strategic solutions technology provider managing Supply Management processes, I have witnessed the change taking place within the procurement. Many organizations are making the move from traditional paper based methods of procuring to online eProcurement systems, completely transforming the way they operate. The transformation process for this is no different to that of our diet plan; you must understand the current situation and the need for change in order to establish the organizational goals. When making the move from paper based to an online procurement process, identifying the departmental challenges such as, a manual tendering process or lack of visibility in spend management, is the first step. From here you are then in a position to set clear goals (a seamless, integrated online approach or better governance, cycle time and transparency) in alignment with the initial challenges. A common mistake affiliated with the automation of a paper based process is the mentality that the same process is being followed just minus the paper work which is not the case. Only once you have established the organizational goals can you then effectively outline what is required to meet those objectives.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post where we will begin exploring some of the solutions to reaching departmental goals and some of the pitfalls involved in the transformation process.

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