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Good planning: the jet fuel to help procurement reform ideas ‘Lift’ off

As experienced procurement professionals, it can be tempting for us to rush through the planning stage of reform projects. However, planning is about more than drafting a list of activities. This is a critical moment to develop a cohesive theory of change, create alignment within teams, and build buy-in with team members. In fact, we at OCP have found that being very intentional during the planning phase of reform projects is crucial for achieving impact. 

We recently saw the value of a robust planning process at LiftOff, our weeklong kickoff workshop in Mexico City for the 5 teams of procurement reformers participating in Lift. To be accepted into Lift, each team already had to demonstrate a good understanding of the procurement challenge that they want to solve, as well as a solid approach to tackle it. Plus, taking this time boosted excitement around the projects and the months ahead. 

All teams found that taking the time at LiftOff to go even deeper in analyzing their challenge and refine their plans made a difference. 

Our approach

Teams spent most of their four days at LiftOff on activities to develop their plans. First, teams considered the challenge (why), then about the stakeholders (who), and designing the reform strategy (how) and lastly, measuring their impact (what). Together, these pieces resulted in cohesive theories of change to drive implementation efforts.  

Planning Materials

We are sharing the materials we developed for LiftOff to help you think through the why, who, how and what of your own reform plans so that you can use them for your next project as well. 


Here’s what teams valued about the process and how it improved their reform plans:   

What works well 

Here are some insights from LiftOff that can help your teams get the most of our planning processes:  

Asking team members to give the planning process the time that it deserves can feel like a lot to ask. Especially when you’re on deadlines and caught up in the day-to-day. We know this can be hard. But as we have seen at LiftOff, doing this work is essential for long-term success. 

We hope you find our planning worksheets as useful as the Lift teams have. If you have any questions about how to use our worksheets or would like additional assistance with your own reform efforts, please contact us.

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