PURPOSE OF A PROCUREMENT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (PLDP)
– Market your procurement organization as an industry leader that provides its employees with the ability to accelerate learning, skills and leadership acumen.
– Enhance employees thought leadership and critical thinking abilities so they begin to think and act like procurement general managers.
– Provide employees a head start in different areas of your procurement organization after completing the program.
– Attract top graduates from your targeted universities while enhancing employee loyalty and retention rates.
– Promote within instead of looking outside your organization for qualified procurement talent.
ESTABLISH TOP LEADERSHIP QUALITIES & CREATE PROGRAM GOALS
To get started, it’s important to understand what defines a strong procurement leader within your organization. Top skills and qualities individuals should be competent in:
- strategic sourcing;
- contract management;
- change management;
- and talent development.
The trick is to build from within if you can. Work to assess current leaders within your procurement organization. This exercise can also help with determining where you have skills gaps so you can leverage the Procurement Leadership Development Program to close them.
Consider what you want this program to look like. What does your procurement organization value and what opportunities do you have for improvement? What do we want our future procurement leaders to accomplish?
REFERENCE ORGANIZATIONS WITH LEADING PLDP PROGRAMS
At this point, you should acknowledge the leading organizations that have sophisticated PLDP programs in place to help build a framework for your program. A few great examples:
Recognize that these are just frameworks to branch ideas off of. Each organization’s individual program should be tailored to close gaps that were identified through assessing internal talent.
CONSTRUCT A CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAM
Construct a cross-functional team from your procurement organization to provoke ideas for the program and its resource needs e.g. identifying the departments and teams that should host work rotations, training needs, etc.
Something to consider would be enrolling mid-level directors and managers in a certification course where they can learn best practices for implementing a LDP program within your procurement organization, especially if you have no prior LDP program experience.
BUILD PLDP BLUEPRINT
When creating the skeleton of a procurement leadership development program, your blueprint should include:
- Type and Length of Rotations: Do you want participants to rotate through various areas of your procurement organization or expand into other departments such as finance, marketing, and R&D?
- Projects & Training: Are there ongoing needs within specific areas of your procurement organization that could use assistance? Go back to the skills and qualities you look for in a leader and establish where in your organization an individual can obtain or further those specifically.
- Communication Templates: Establish program agendas, action plans, progress reports, and an exit plan for when a rotation wraps up. Having these touch points and a strong process can help ensure program success.
DESIGNATE A MENTOR IN PROCUREMENT / SUPPLY CHAIN
Designate each participant a procurement/supply chain mentor within your organization. As participants rotate throughout different areas, they will have reliable guidance from their mentor who has the ability to enhance their leadership skills, facilitate introductions throughout the company, etc.
EVALUATE PROGRAM CONSISTENTLY
Naturally conduct consistent evaluations with all participants involved with the program to check up on their progress, growth, and advancement. Be sure to discover:
- Are there any areas to improve upon?
- Are the participants developing the right skills?
- How well are past graduates of the program doing from a performance review perspective?
In some ways, PLDPs are like long-term talent development strategies. A PLDP provides a pipeline of leadership talent within your procurement and supply chain organization while improving retention rates and developing organizational leaders.
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