What is Lean Agile Procurement and how does it differ from traditional procurement methods?


Embracing Lean Agile Procurement: A Modern Approach to Building Successful Partnerships


In today’s fast-paced business environment, traditional procurement methods often fall short of meeting the dynamic needs of organizations. Lean Agile Procurement (LAP) offers a transformative approach by integrating lean and agile techniques to streamline the procurement process. This blog post delves into what Lean Agile Procurement is, how it differs from traditional procurement, and the numerous benefits it offers. Let’s explore the innovative practices that can revolutionize your procurement strategy.

Understanding Lean Agile Procurement

What is Lean Agile Procurement?

Lean Agile Procurement is an approach that combines lean supply chain principles with agile methodologies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement processes. The goal is to shorten the time it takes to establish partnerships and facilitate collaborative efforts between organizations.

Key Differences from Traditional Procurement

Traditional procurement often involves lengthy, formal processes that can be time-consuming and costly. In contrast, Lean Agile Procurement emphasizes:

  • Speed and Efficiency: Rapidly bringing key stakeholders together to discuss potential partnerships.
  • Collaboration: Fostering a collaborative environment from the outset to ensure mutual success.
  • Flexibility: Maintaining adaptable contracts that evolve as the partnership progresses.
  • Cultural Fit: Ensuring that the organizational cultures align for a smoother working relationship.

The Lean Agile Procurement Process

Initial Discussion and Product Vision

The process begins with an initial discussion document and product vision. This step involves using agile techniques to draft the vision and goals of the project. It’s essential to:

  • Clearly articulate the vision and objectives.
  • Involve empowered individuals who can make decisions.
  • Ensure transparency and openness in the initial discussions.

Collaborative Sessions

Bringing the right people into the room is crucial. These sessions focus on:

  • Evaluating Chemistry: Determining if there’s a good cultural fit between organizations. After all, people buy from people, and strong relationships are the foundation of successful partnerships.
  • Forging Relationships: Building trust and understanding among stakeholders to facilitate smooth collaboration.
  • Discussing Contracts: Addressing contract terms early on to ensure flexibility and clarity.

Benefits of Collaborative Sessions

Every instance where this collaborative approach has been applied, it has led to significant time and cost savings. Here’s how:

  • Reduced Bidding Time: By streamlining the bidding process, both suppliers and companies save valuable resources.
  • Cost Savings: Eliminating lengthy formalities reduces expenses for all parties involved.
  • Time Efficiency: Speeding up the procurement process minimizes delays, which can be critical in dynamic markets.

Building a Collaborative Foundation

Establishing a Partner Ecosystem

Lean Agile Procurement goes beyond just forming a contract; it establishes a foundation of collaboration. This ecosystem allows for:

  • Continuous Improvement: Regular feedback and adjustments to the process ensure ongoing improvements.
  • Negotiable Contracts: Flexible agreements that can adapt as the partnership evolves, reducing the burden of rigid contracts.
  • Mutual Success: Ensuring that all partners succeed by working together towards common goals.

Practical Advice for Implementing Lean Agile Procurement

To effectively implement Lean Agile Procurement in your organization, consider the following tips:

  • Empower Decision-Makers: Involve individuals who have the authority to make decisions and drive the process forward.
  • Foster Open Communication: Encourage transparency and open dialogue among all stakeholders.
  • Prioritize Cultural Fit: Assess the cultural alignment between organizations to ensure a harmonious working relationship.
  • Embrace Flexibility: Be open to adapting contracts and processes as the partnership develops.
  • Focus on Speed: Streamline processes to minimize delays and enhance efficiency.

Personal Examples and Success Stories

Real-World Applications

In my experience, I’ve seen numerous instances where Lean Agile Procurement has transformed procurement processes. For example:

  • Case Study: Tech Start-up Collaboration: A tech start-up partnered with a large corporation using Lean Agile Procurement. The initial collaborative session revealed a strong cultural fit, and the flexible contract allowed for rapid adjustments as the project progressed. This approach saved both time and money, leading to a successful product launch ahead of schedule.
  • Case Study: Manufacturing Partnership: A manufacturing company adopted Lean Agile Procurement to streamline its supplier relationships. The initial discussions and ongoing collaboration resulted in significant cost savings and improved product quality, benefiting both the company and its suppliers.

How-To Advice

Based on these experiences, here are some practical steps to implement Lean Agile Procurement effectively:

  1. Start with a Clear Vision: Clearly define your product vision and goals from the beginning.
  2. Engage Key Stakeholders Early: Involve decision-makers and empowered individuals in the initial discussions.
  3. Focus on Collaboration: Prioritize building strong relationships and open communication.
  4. Be Flexible: Maintain adaptable contracts that can evolve with the partnership.
  5. Measure Success: Regularly assess the progress and outcomes to ensure continuous improvement.


Lean Agile Procurement offers a revolutionary approach to procurement, emphasizing speed, collaboration, and flexibility. By adopting this methodology, organizations can save time, reduce costs, and build successful, long-term partnerships. Embrace Lean Agile Procurement to transform your procurement strategy and achieve your business goals more efficiently.

By following these principles and implementing Lean Agile Procurement, you can create a more agile, efficient, and collaborative procurement process. This approach not only benefits your organization but also fosters a positive and productive ecosystem for all partners involved. Let’s embrace the future of procurement together! 🚀

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.

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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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