Agile procurement methodology

May 31st, 2016

Overview of select subsets of the popular development methodology

 

 

Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Manager of Customer Services at SafeSourcing

An Agile approach to project management methodology is most commonly used in software development, but has seen extensive use in business as well. Agile in and of itself is a relatively unspecific concept in execution, and as such has been flexible enough to find wide use in a variety of industries, and has been particularly well deployed in small or start up companies that must be adaptive to their customers’ needs and volatile markets.

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development[1] summarizes the methodology as:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Several sub-categories of Agile methodology have emerged that break down execution more specifically:

  • Scrum – The most widely used Agile framework, it incorporates product owners, cross-functional teams, and “sprint” planning and reviewing.
  • Lean – Probably the most well-known and practiced outside of the development community, made famous by Toyota’s just-in-time manufacturing practices
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method – Follows the mission of “fitness for business purpose”, and ranks activities by incorporating the pareto principle.
  • Crystal – Focuses on team size, system criticality, and project priorities.

One of the greatest strengths of the Agile approach is adaptability. Most procurement projects are necessarily iterative; It usually takes several exploratory steps for all parties to reach parity between the customers’ needs and the suppliers capabilities. During each step, the project’s direction may fluctuate quite a bit, and the procurement team must be ready to recreate timelines, reformat strategy, relocate product or even change team members. Diving into the details of the frameworks above can be arduous, but the benefits of finding a framework to sync your team’s workflow can be enormous once you find a methodology that works for you.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

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[1] “Agile Manifesto.” 2003. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.agilemanifesto.org/>

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