Success factors of e-procurement adoption: project championing and consultation

Engagement from all levels of the organisation is essential for effective adoption of e-procurement or any new software tool. Buy-in from management or purchasing personnel alone is not enough. Following on our initial post on the financial justification, we continue our series on the critical success factors of implementing online procurement software by evaluating the importance of project championing and staff consultation.

2. Project Championing
Applying a software solution to a business challenge represents change on some level for every organisation. As with any change initiative there must be one person or team that assumes ultimate ownership and responsibility for implementation success. It is their role to inject impetus into the roll-out of the new system and act as a contact point if and when problems arise. In the absence of a project champion the implementation process may become confused and haphazard. Senior management has a critical role to play in this regard, either as project champions themselves or as supporters of middle-management or technical staff. The active, public support of senior management signals to the rest of the organisation that the new system is backed at the highest levels. Resistance to change is less likely when senior management have thrown their weight behind the project.

3. End User Consultation
‘If only they had sought our input’ is a lament about management often heard from software end-users. Not consulting with end-users and obtaining their input prior to implementing new e-procurement systems is a recipe for failure. On one level it is a wasted opportunity to tap into their insights and knowledge. On another level it represents a missed chance to secure the support and goodwill of those on whom the success of the new system is dependent. Without the support of frontline staff the likelihood of the new system failing is far greater.

In the final post of this series, we will explore the role of software usability and ongoing monitoring in the successful adoption and implementation of e-procurement software.

The five critical success factors of e-procurement and twelve other aspects of effective e-procurement adoption are explored in full and available free-of-charge in the latest SourceDogg whitepaper Converting to e-Procurement – 17 Aspects of Successful Adoption.

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