Riportiamo di seguito l’articolo di Mirko Kleiner, creatore di lean-agile-procurement (LAP), co-founder di Flowdays, pubblicata sul magazine “The Procurement – Qualifica fornitori” (Anno 4 Numero 2) nella sezione International.

Thought leaders like Dr. Jeff Sutherland promotes Agile in his book  “Doing twice the work in half of the time“ (1). Wouldn’t it be cool to increase time-to-market in procurement as well?

No wonder agile is currently one of the top three strategic topics(2) in corporate boardrooms. Case studies from all sectors and industries have proven that following agile principles and practices dramatically increases the timeliness and quality of business outcomes.


“We’ve real data that’s seeing twice as many work items getting cleared up in half the time at half the cost, with 70% fewer incidents for better value, faster, safer, happier outcomes.”

— Jonathan Smart, Head of Ways of Working, Barclays Group (3)

Even big players like GE, Barclays and Saab (4) have started their agile transformation, not just within specific functions, but across all functions so that their organizations can become more flexible and adaptive to address increasingly volatile and more complex market demands (2).

Agile Transformation without Procurement – A business-critical Risk

Unfortunately the procurement function is still not part of the agile journey in most organizations. In some organizations the focus on procurement agility is within its own “silo” and not addressed as part of a more holistic approach to organizational adaptability (5).

What happens if procurement isn’t agile enough as we saw in 2016 at Volkswagen. One of their small suppliers stopped delivery and two factories with 27,000 employees had to stop the assembly lines. As this was the only supplier, the procurement group had no plan B) and had to enter into negotiations with little to no bargaining power (6). To be fair, even Toyota, the inventor of lean, would struggle in such a case. That’s why Toyota is currently engaged in an organizational agile transformation as well.(1).

From Supply chain to adaptive Partner Ecosystem

Leaders in the be new procurement landscape understand that their suppliers, vendors and customers (and indeed their own organization) are part of an adaptive ecosystem. Ecosystems thrive and survive based on achieving balance and mutually beneficial outcomes.

In 2016, a leader in this new kind of procurement landscape, GE created the first prototype of a 3D-printed aircraft engine, built in mere days and weeks, not in the years it used to take using traditional methods and ways of working with their partners. They announced recently they will go into full production this year (7).

Partners in these kinds of ecosystems understand the need for next-day-delivery – not promises for next year.

“Having just one supply chain is like a PC with a single-threaded processor”

— Joe Justice, Creator of scrum@hardware, Scrum Inc

Organizations can no longer afford to spend six to twelve months (5) sourcing new partners, while their competitors can deliver even complex products and services within days and weeks.

Such innovative and highly-available partner ecosystems will become even more mission critical for every organization that wants to be resilient and sustainable. That’s why we need the procurement profession to become active participants and leaders in creating adaptive partner ecosystems rather than contractual handcuffs that constraint value creation and ecosystem innovation.

Sound too much like science fiction?

Lean-Agile Procurement is the future – The future starts TODAY!

The experience so far is that very soon only the complex sourcing use cases will be left following the current digitalization of operational procurement. It is not longer if, but when and how. The procurement profession needs to become part of the value creation and innovation journey using agile and adaptive approaches.

It’s time to become familiar with lean-agile procurement; the first proven approach for handling complex sourcing based on lean and agile principles.

lean procurement Canvas, by Mirko Kleiner, flowdays Switzerland (8)

The lean procurement canvas and lean-agile procurement (8) are a similar disruptive approach for procurement and partner management as the business model canvas (9) and lean startup (10) were for business development. For example, in one current success story a complex IT-Sourcing was done within 4 DAYS instead of MONTHS (11)!

Find out more under


YES, agile is often just a buzzword. However, it’s worth taking time to understand which of its principles and practices would be beneficial for your procurement organization.

Approach it as a toolbox and start small, but start! If you are already running an agile transformation start including procurement as part of the business critical expertise necessary for holistic transformation.

Start thinking in partner ecosystems and apply agile principles and practices together with other functions. There are already proven agile approaches for procurement such as lean-agile procurement.

Get in touch and we can help you to keep your competitive advantage. Our client current success stories demonstrate positive results on time-to-market, lower costs, and improved overall business outcomes and ecosystem innovation.




  1. Dr. Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of SCRUM, Author and founder of Scrum Inc.
  2. State of Agile Report 2018
  3. Jonathan Smart, Head of Ways of Working, Barclays Group Jan 2018
  4. Scrum@Scale bei Saab, Toyota, Scrum inc.
  5. Survey/research about agile@procurement & sales, flowdays, Switzerland
  6. APA/VW/Handelsblatt Aug 2018
  7. adaptive Manufacturing, GE 2016
  8. & lean procurement canvas by Mirko Kleiner, flowdays
  9. Business Model Canvas, Alex Osterwalder
  10. Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  11. Success Story at a Swiss Health Insurance, 2017