During Ivalua on Air, we hosted a roundtable on the ‘Best Practices For Deploying A Global Spend Management Solution’, it was a great honour to have Blaine Hurley, Senior Director for the Sourcing Excellence Group within Global Strategic Sourcing at WHIRLPOOL, Matteo Perondi Group Procurement Strategy & Delivery – Procurement Excellence Head at GENERALI and Paul Noel SVP of Procurement Solutions at IVALUA sharing their expertise and knowledge on global project management (and some cooking tips) … for those of you who were unable to attend here are the main bits you missed:
- The most important part of a spend management project is Data… Good Data! When you want to prepare a good dish, it is not enough you have a good skills and a good receipt you need first good ingredients, fresh ones, in the correct season, that can fit together. In the same way, for an effective spend management, you need good data. “I have seen company with many data, but often useless and other company with few data but perfectly linked and able to provide timely insights.” Once you decide with data you need and you can have, then you can decide which departments should be involved.
- Involve all internal actors in the early phase of the project: Finance, Legal and IT departments.
- Think globally, but act locally. Align global processes and standards as much as possible keeping in mind some parts of the world have different regulations that require some variance in process flow. Understand the local while thinking of the global consequences. “The result is a fusion that works everywhere but retains a local flavour in each region”.
- Get global and local teams to work together “global team helped with regional design sessions because they brought a global perspective and helped break barriers at the regional level with creative ideas and new thinking”.
- Distinguish between what is immediately needed and what you want eventually. “Think about crawl, walk, run in everything you do during the specification and planning phases. It helps to focus on what’s critical and possible first”.
- Keep in mind that Change Management is the single biggest challenge of any project, especially when you are talking about a multi-year, multi-phase project in many regions around the globe. It must start from the initial proposal and never ends. “Each Region and group impacted by this change must understand why they need to change, what benefit they get personally by changing, and that they feel like they have some ownership to this change through direct input and involvement. Change management is much more than training and communication, it is your opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the organization and must be a full time priority at every level of the company.”
- Upfront preparation is your best defence to delays. Second is strong program management. “A good PM needs to hold all people accountable to meet their commitments and manage this through the development of a clear process work flow and project schedule with milestones so that everyone has visibility as to who is required to do what and by when.”
- Engage interest and support from employees and users, by showing them how we can improve their quality of life and efficiency by sharing the vision of current vs future state. Give them a reason to “want” to change.