Friday, 12 September 2014

For want of a compelling strategy

I must have read hundreds of Procurement Strategy documents, many of which were 'cut and paste' of another organisation's. The Strategy document sets out the directional plan for the coming period and signposts to the future desired state, it also provides the framework for making operational and tactical decisions. In getting ownership of the Strategy, the author, or their champion, needs to negotiate and 'sell' to key stakeholders. Of course we recognise that there is frequently a gap between the documented 'intended' strategy and what subsequently happens, the 'realised' strategy. The truth is that many of the documents I have read actually lack any To-Be, indeed many lack an ambition or need for change.

It is against that backdrop I read with interest that Dunelm have chased their chief executive, even with an increase in profit, over failure to reach agreement on strategy. The Directors wanted a more ambitious strategy and the CEO failed to set that out. It is also interesting that the Directors didn't like  the realised strategy which led to criticism that: "The stores look a bit more organised, a bit clearer, a bit easier to wheel a trolley around ...".  We do not know whether or not the Board had previously endorsed that strategy or whether the realised strategy differed from the agreed intended strategy.

Regardless, I wonder how many CPOs need to take heed of the example of the Dunelm example, ensure they have an ambitious strategy with the endorsed ownership of their Procurement Strategy and an implementation plan with appropriate KPIs to ensure implementation.  

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