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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Scrum in Procurement — What You Should Know?

Key take-aways

  • Scrum in procurement is a management framework that focuses on breaking down complex tasks into manageable pieces.
  • Scrum in procurement fills in the gap between the subprocesses and major processes and functions of procurement.
  • Scrum’s function in procurement aims for inclusivity since it is a framework designed for project management.

Scrum is a popular framework for agile project management that is focused on delivering value by breaking the work into small parts and regularly improving upon them through continuous development. However, how can we connect it to procurement?

In this article, we will discuss what scrum in procurement is. Additionally, we are going to show you an example of Scrum in procurement and how Scrum can promote coordination in procurement.

Once you finish reading this article, you will have a deeper understanding of how you can connect Scrum with procurement. Let’s start!

Scrum in Procurement: Their Connection

Scrum can be connected and can prove to be highly valuable in the procurement selection process. Since no individual possesses all the required expertise, such as technical skills, cultural alignment, EEO compliance, and incremental employer branding, breaking down the work into manageable pieces is essential.

Rather than overwhelming a large group with partial knowledge, a scrum in procurement allows the formation of specialized teams, each focused on specific outputs. These teams develop hiring specifications, competency models, and decision inputs, while another team focuses on polishing the procurement process and policies.

A separate team validates test and interview protocols, and a fourth team researches to establish metrics for tracking and evaluating the hiring process’s performance in its initial year. Furthermore, an additional team configures the necessary IT software to support selection decisions.

While these teams may share some members, they operate within their dedicated areas. The outputs of each team undergo a thorough review by internal customers and external consultants.

The initial iteration of the procurement process is launched as a final release, and a separate team, led by the procurement/selection process owner, takes charge of ongoing management and improvement.

Should new features or applications be introduced, new scrums are initiated, allowing for iterative cycles and continuous process enhancement. While the process maintains stability during usage, it remains open to innovation based on the needs of internal stakeholders and the availability of resources.

Furthermore, a scrum in procurement strives for inclusivity and consensus-driven product development. It ensures the involvement of voices which comprehend and represent the value, policy, culture, and risk factors throughout the design and construction stages.

Example of Scrum in Procurement

A big manufacturing company in New York wanted to improve how they managed their suppliers. They had different ways of doing things because of past acquisitions. The leaders knew they needed change to match their new strategy.

The procurement team has fresh ideas to fix things. They wanted better relationships and to collaborate more with suppliers. They also wanted to focus on how well suppliers performed and be able to adapt quickly to changes.

Even though they were new to the agile way of working, they thought it was the right approach. They included many people, such as top executives and union representatives, in their plan. They had to change procedures, rules, and contracts, and invest in new technology.

It took about 18 months to make all the changes and worked on different things step by step. They had teams with company managers and procurement experts, supported by top executives and outside experts.

After they implemented and made all the changes, it was finally done. All their efforts paid off and they made huge improvements to their supplier management system.

Promoting Coordination Through Scrum in Procurement

In the world of agile procurement, it can be tough to directly connect specific tasks to customer value. But we can still measure progress and learn from different phases of the procurement process. Let’s talk about some simple tools that help the procurement team stay on the same page:

1. Procurement burndown report

This tool tracks how much work is done and how much is left during a certain time. The burndown report helps the team see how fast they’re moving and predict how quickly they can finish the remaining tasks.

INFO_ Scrum in Procurement — What You Should Know

2. The control chart

This tool measures how long the procurement team finishes a task. By looking at this chart, the team can figure out where they can get better and faster.

3. The team should have a clear list of tasks

Procurement teams should decide which tasks are most important for the company’s goals. By setting and tracking goals, everyone stays focused and works together for success.

Conclusion

A scrum in procurement is a popular framework for project management that concentrates on delivering value by breaking the work into small parts and constantly improving them, which allows the formation of specialized terms, each focused on specific outputs.

In addition, this allows a separate team to focus on developing hiring specifications, competency models, and decision inputs. With that, it also paves the way for other teams to focus on polishing procurement processes and other policies.

Furthermore, it can be tough to directly connect specific tasks to customer value and that’s when the scrum in procurement comes in. It acts as a bridge that connects procurement processes together and coordinates them to be successful altogether.

Frequentlyasked questions

What is Scrum?

It is a popular framework for agile project management that is focused on delivering value by breaking the work into small parts and regularly improving upon them through continuous development.

What is Scrum in procurement?

It refers to the management framework that focuses on breaking down complex tasks into smaller, manageable pieces and using specialized teams to handle specific aspects of the procurement selection process. 

Is Scrum suitable for all types of procurement projects?

While Scrum can be beneficial for many procurement projects, it may not be suitable for all types. The suitability of Scrum depends on factors such as the complexity of the project, team expertise, and the organization’s overall approach to project management.

About the author

My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics