Many of those attending LocalGovCamp* are digital practitioners, folk working hard everyday to redesign the services their organisations deliver to work better in the digital age. Key to making this happen is having everyone involved working closely together, collaborating to achieve a common desired outcome. But often procurement is left out of this.
Why might this be? Too often, in many organisations, procurement is seen as the ‘department of no’, a team who bring with them the reputation of slowing projects down or stopping them altogether. As many digital transformation projects will involve buying in capability of one kind or another – whether technology or people – this can cause major problems.
At LocalGovCamp, Advice Cloud are looking forward to running a session on agile procurement, which aims to tackle this issue head on. Agile procurement is the process of more deeply integrating procurement within projects and teams, getting procurement professionals involved earlier in purchasing processes and increasing the flexibility of the procurement function to quickly meet business objectives whilst still protecting the organisation.
We are really looking forward to hearing from people what their experiences of involving procurement in digital transformation have been like, and what their ideas are for making the process run much more smoothly.
We have our own though, and will be seeding the discussion with the following:
- There’s a tendency for some procurement teams to focus on what they are most comfortable with and feel they do best, which is often large, cumbersome tenders and OJEU processes. Instead, greater knowledge of and use of frameworks can make purchasing a faster and easier process, speeding up the delivery of digital transformation.
- Digital practitioners can’t pretend that procurement is a topic for others to worry about. Nobody is expecting everyone to become a procurement expert (although wouldn’t that be nice?) but some knowledge would go a long way in making it easier for the procurement professionals to get involved in projects. Stuff people need to know includes what the procurement thresholds and rules are for your organisation, what frameworks are out there and are most like to be of use to you, and to understand how best to manage a supplier once they have been engaged.
- Getting procurement involved early ought to be easier if the above two things are in place. It’s really key to getting the right outcomes from a project, and ensuring that the process of purchasing doesn’t slow down the whole endeavour. It also means that if there are issues to consider, these are raised at the start of proceedings rather than at the last minute.
So if you’re working in digital in local government and would like to find out how to make agile procurement a reality in your organisation join the session!
* For those that don’t know about it, LocalGovCamp is the annual unconference for digital practitioners working in and around local government, organised by LocalGovDigital, a network of digital people in the sector. It differs from a traditional event in that it is attendee driven and very interactive.
You can find out more about it on the LocalGovDigital website: https://localgov.digital/news/2018/05/localgovcamp-2018
Advice Cloud are proud to be sponsoring the event this year, and we look forward to seeing you there!