Shifting the Procurement Paradigm to Support Agile Customers


Companies today are migrating en masse from traditional to agile methodologies primarily, but not exclusively, for product development. Among other things, this means support organizations must update their traditional support models and change the way they work to better serve their customers. It hasn’t been an easy journey for some groups, like those focused on procurement, which have operated with mature processes and time-tested policies and procedures with their roots in 1990s-era procurement fundamentals. But if procurement professionals cling to the traditional techniques to perform strategic sourcing and category management functions, it is increasingly likely they will face conflict with internal customers that are embracing modern agile processes to rapidly develop products and services and differentiate their companies in the marketplace.

The fact is, traditional sourcing methods take too much time for agile proponents. Today, the amount of savings that might be achieved in the traditional RFP process is likely to be outweighed by the lost opportunity of being first to market with a new product. This ISG white paper examines how the rise of agile techniques has disrupted traditional  procurement organizations and explores how they must shift the procurement paradigm so that it no longer focuses solely on spending and savings but aligns more closely with the business to support its objectives.

About the author

Warren Smith is a director in ISG’s Sourcing Solutions organization. With 15 years of experience working for a service provider followed by over 18 years of consulting experience with ISG, Warren engages in constructing, negotiating and managing sourcing transactions. As a former procurement manager, he helps procurement and governance organizations improve their effectiveness.