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Procurement Change Management best practice principles

by | December 9, 2020

Change Management is defined as the approach taken to prepare, support and help individuals, teams and organisations successfully implement change. Embedding new ways of working in an organisation is a key component in the implementation of a new S2P system. If delivered successfully it can make a good implementation transformational.

Getting the technical aspects of a new Source to Pay system right is often relatively straightforward, but the impacts of change on people can be neglected.

Following a few key principals when developing your procurement change management plan can improve your success rate significantly:

  • Lead with the culture – align your methods with the organisation’s way of working
  • Start at the top – advocate senior management to champion the project
  • Make the rationale and emotional case – to energise participants
  • Engage, engage, engage – before, during and after go live
  • Leverage formal solutions – use existing communications channels, as well adding new ones if needed.
  • Leverage informal solutions – engage in ‘water cooler’ conversations
  • Assess and adapt – be ready to change approaches which aren’t reaching people

Procurement Change management Best Practices

It helps to break down the change process into three phases:

  1. Preparation – understanding the nature of the changes coming and making sure that there is a plan for dealing with all the people affected by those changes.
  2. Management – delivering the change throughout the organisation and its suppliers.
  3. Maintenace – continuing support for people, learning the lessons and measuring the level of success.


Successful delivery of a S2P change plan depends on detailed preparation. Without a clear picture of what changes will be made, why they are happening and who is affected by them, any plan may fail to make the changes ‘stick’. There are 3 key elements to the preparation:

  • Understanding the changes and making a case for them that will be easily understood,
  • Deciding how the change plan can best be implemented in your organisation
  • Identifying individuals who will be impacted, or who could help or hinder the plan.

Understand the context of your company and the associated frame of reference and then continuously test the underlying assumptions. Understanding the context shifts above will enable the effective implementation of change.


Delivering the S2P change plan is all about communication. Engagement with all participants, and others affected by the project will help people to understand the change, embrace it, and even become a champion for the new business model.

Use tools already in place to inform and engage, both internally and with suppliers, adding new channels where appropriate. Regular review of a risk register will highlight any shortcomings in the approach and enable agile solutions to be deployed.

Another important aspect is the stakeholders analysis and impact assessments, which will provide a basis for the communications, training and coaching needed prior to going live, and during the cutover to the new S2P system.


The final phase of the change plan starts once the S2P system has gone live. Identifying individuals early in the project who will take on the change leadership role will ensure the work doesn’t stop. Driving adoption of the system can also be supported by reviewing and sharing progress from day 1 of go live.

A post-implementation review should be undertaken after a bedding-in period, to learn lessons for future implementations, or to fine tune processes to deliver the best return on investment. Keep communications going after go-live to encourage user adoption, embed new ways of working, and obtain feedback and suggestions for continuous improvement.

Even competent projects can fail if change is not managed effectively. A clear vision of the reason for the changes and an effective plan for helping individuals on the journey to a new S2P business model can make all the difference.

Download our Procurement Change Management eBook for even more information on this subject.