“Making a difference through better stakeholder management”
Real collaboration is key
Procurement leaders are usually accomplished at managing complex and competing stakeholder
However, mid and junior level buyers, sometimes lack these skills. This affects
their confidence and in some cases make them behave in a fashion which is submissive,
defensive or occasionally resistant. In these situations it is difficult to build
trust and truly collaborate with stakeholders.
The first step in building stakeholder management skills is for buyers to figuratively
‘step into their stakeholder’s shoes’ and recognise how procurement is viewed and
the expectations from them as individuals. This baseline is essential for determining
whether there is a gap in what stakeholders are expecting, and what Procurement knows
to be the best way it can add value.
Buyers can then learn different techniques to address this gap, including technical
procurement tools and soft skills. These skills will help them build trust and bring
to life the value that professional Procurement makes at each stage of the sourcing
cycle, For example;
Review supplier markets and the factors that influence them
Weigh up cost effectiveness of different specifications
Identify best negotiation strategies
Improve accuracy and reduce workload through structured process and sharing the
Fundamental points to keep in mind when improving stakeholder management
Convince, don’t mandate.
Compliance with procurement processes is rarely mandatory and cooperation with procurement
usually needs to be earned.
Introduce procurement insights & structures which are visibly useful to stakeholders.
Agree terms of reference for effective sourcing and collaborating to ensure the
best value outcomes for each sourcing project. Use tools which make sourcing more
efficient and better value.
Use soft skills.
This takes subtlety, skill, experience and an understanding of business principles
that can feel beyond many buyers’ job grade.
Read our insight guide on Team Stakeholder Management Skills
Read more in our knowledge hub:
How you can get a step change in team performance
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