Is Lean Agile Procurement built on the foundation of values and principles too?


Lean Agile Procurement: A Path to Efficient and Effective Procurement

Lean Agile Procurement, as you might guess from the name, is built on the foundational principles of Lean and Agile methodologies, applied specifically to the craft of procurement. This approach aims to minimize waste, maximize value, and engage throughput while ensuring adaptability and rapid learning.

What is Lean Agile Procurement?

Lean Agile Procurement combines the best practices of Lean and Agile methodologies to enhance procurement processes. Here’s a breakdown of these foundational principles:

Lean Principles

  • Minimizing Waste: Focus on eliminating non-value-adding activities.
  • Maximizing Value: Ensure every step in the process adds value to the end product or service.
  • Engaging Throughput: Maintain a steady flow of work to enhance efficiency.

Agile Principles

  • Alacrity in Movement: Swiftly respond to changes and new information.
  • Achieving and Learning Quickly: Deliver small, incremental improvements and learn from each iteration.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility to adjust processes as needed, based on empirical evidence.

Core Principles of Lean Agile Procurement

When implementing Lean Agile Procurement, it is crucial to focus on the core principles of empiricism: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. These principles are essential for any new client engagement:


  • Clear Purpose and Intent: Establishing a well-defined goal helps in making quick and decisive actions.
  • Defined Boundaries and Constraints: Setting clear limits allows for efficient decision-making and progress.


  • Regular Reviews: Continuously monitor processes to identify areas for improvement.
  • Feedback Loops: Gather feedback from all stakeholders to ensure alignment and address issues promptly.


  • Iterative Improvements: Make incremental changes based on feedback and inspection results.
  • Flexibility: Be ready to pivot or adjust strategies as new information becomes available.

Decision-Making in Lean Agile Procurement

A fascinating approach to decision-making, as practiced by Amazon, involves the concept of one-door and two-door decisions:

  • One-Door Decisions: If a decision is irreversible, apply more due diligence and thorough thinking.
  • Two-Door Decisions: If a decision can be reversed, make it quickly and move forward.

This approach aligns with the core of Lean Agile Procurement, enabling swift and informed decision-making.

The Importance of Big Room Planning

One of the key aspects of Lean Agile Procurement is Big Room planning. This involves bringing potential partners together to collaboratively figure out if the collaboration will be beneficial for all parties. Think of it as the business equivalent of speed dating. The goal is to:

  • Foster Human Connections: Determine if the teams can work well together.
  • Ensure Mutual Success: Assess whether the partnership will be advantageous for everyone involved.

Applying Lean Agile Principles to Procurement

Focus on Value

  • Identify Value Streams: Map out processes to identify and eliminate non-value-adding steps.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Ensure that every procurement activity ultimately benefits the end customer.

Fast Learning

  • Quick Feedback Cycles: Implement short cycles to gather feedback and make improvements.
  • Pilot Projects: Test new ideas on a smaller scale before full implementation.

Reducing Cost of Delay

  • Prioritize Work: Focus on tasks that will deliver the most value quickly.
  • Streamline Processes: Remove bottlenecks and unnecessary steps to speed up delivery.

Minimizing Wastage

  • Lean Practices: Continuously look for ways to eliminate waste in the procurement process.
  • Efficient Resource Use: Ensure optimal use of time, money, and materials.

Building a Functional Team

To implement Lean Agile Procurement effectively, it is essential to build a cohesive and functional team. This involves:

Team Collaboration

  • Cross-Functional Teams: Bring together individuals from different disciplines to work towards common goals.
  • Open Communication: Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and feedback.


  • Autonomy: Give teams the authority to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • Support: Provide the necessary resources and support to help teams succeed.

Continuous Improvement

  • Learning Culture: Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Regular Retrospectives: Conduct regular reviews to identify successes and areas for improvement.

Overcoming Barriers to Lean Agile Procurement

Despite its benefits, some organizations may face challenges in adopting Lean Agile Procurement. Common barriers include:

  • Resistance to Change: Some team members may be reluctant to adopt new ways of working.
  • Lack of Training: Ensure that all team members understand Lean and Agile principles.
  • Cultural Shift: Foster a culture that values collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement.


Lean Agile Procurement offers a powerful approach to procurement, combining the efficiency of Lean with the adaptability of Agile. By focusing on minimizing waste, maximizing value, and fostering a collaborative team environment, organizations can achieve significant improvements in their procurement processes. Remember, the journey to Lean Agile Procurement begins with embracing transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Start small, learn quickly, and continuously improve. 🚀

Take Action Today!

  • Assess Your Current Processes: Identify areas where Lean Agile principles can be applied.
  • Train Your Team: Ensure everyone understands the core principles and benefits of Lean Agile Procurement.
  • Start Small: Implement pilot projects to test new approaches and gather feedback.
  • Embrace Change: Foster a culture that values continuous improvement and adaptability.

By adopting Lean Agile Procurement, you can transform your procurement processes and achieve greater efficiency, value, and success.

Connect with Advanced Product Delivery.

APD offer private, tailored training courses as well as business agility and coaching. Our public training courses are delivered by practicing Agilists: Product Owners, Scrum Masters and coaches who are expert trainers and facilitators.

Whether you are looking to become a #scrummaster or #agilecoach, we have a range of internationally certified and recognised #agiletraining courses that are perfect for you. Visit Professional Scrum Training courses for more information.

If you are looking for professional, deeply experienced and skilled #agilecoaches and #agileconsultants to help you transition from traditional #projectmanagement to #agile #productdevelopment, we’ve got the ideal team to help you make that transition a success. Visit our Agile Coaching section to find out more about us.

If you have identified Lean Agile Procurement as a great opportunity to enhance #agility within your organization, visit the Lean Agile Procurement Training course or Lean Agile Procurement coaching page.

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