Academy Insider Vol 5 – Fall 2016

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Message from the Editor

Now that summer is over, we’re quickly approaching the end of the year. In many companies, that means time for budgeting. As you establish a budget for training, it’s important to keep the following considerations in mind:

Training needs to be focused and is most effective when it fills individual skill gaps. eLearning can take an important role, as it can be assigned to individuals. We like to use eLearning in combination with classroom training, for example for our Category Management training. It helps level-set without bogging learners down with a huge time commitment.

Training must addresses organizational needs. Category Management training should be part of the overall Procurement transformation, and not just stand-alone. Training should not just lead to increased knowledge, but should drive behavior. Those behaviors need to be aligned with the changes in your organization.

This fall, for the first time, we are offering new one-day courses on Supplier Management Training and Negotiation Training for category managers. This is in addition to our ongoing Category Management Foundation and Category Management Excellence courses. Be sure to keep them in mind when establishing your training budget.

Susanne Wrage
Director, Denali Academy


Blending the Right Learning Solutions for Category Management Success

Last year in Academy Insider, we discussed the advantages of Microlearning—a learning trend that has proven to be an extremely effective approach to learning faster and more efficiently. It targets the way a human brain is wired to learn: in short, digestible learning units.

A challenge for the learning and development team is to create effective and engaging training elements that is tailored to Procurement professionals, namely Category Managers. They have to identify a learning model that best fits their content. And, when it comes to Procurement, it’s never one size fits all. 

For example, to train team members on a particular methodology within the category management process, such as Porter’s Five Forces, or Stakeholder Mapping, consider creating 2 to 4 minute videos that illustrate strong examples. Videos can also reinforce learning for areas such as communication skills, where role play helps model behaviors. Or, to help the team understand phases involved in the strategic sourcing process, a better approach may be to create a 1-hour eLearning course that walks them through the phases involved in the process.
The aforementioned approach works well for foundational or beginner-level training. However, in Procurement and Category Management, things become more challenging and complex as team members progress from beginning to intermediate, and then onto an advanced level. Oftentimes, the training focus then shifts from providing knowledge around topics (e.g. what is Porter’s Five Forces about?) to application and changing behaviors. Behavior changes cannot only be driven by knowledge checks and quizzes.
As the focus shifts, so do the training formats. Simulations are a particularly effective way of driving new behaviors. They model real-life situations—which can be quite complex—and showcase the right behaviors.  One framework for such training is the CCAF Design Model. It consists of four elements:
  • Context— When developing content, it’s important to create a meaningful framework and conditions. For example, a stakeholder has an issue is with an approach that one of the Procurement team members has taken while gathering stakeholder requirements.
  • Challenge—Identify the situation and create a stimulus or urgency to act. Category Managers need to act to solve the issue and satisfy the stakeholder.
  • Activity—Ask for a physical response to the challenge and identify the activities or tasks to satisfy the stakeholder. The learner needs to understand that the approach displayed in the context was not optimal and needs to know appropriate responses for a positive resolution. That way, a non-optimal behavior can be replaced with the desired one.
  • Feedback—Reflect back to the learner about the effectiveness of their actions. Once feedback is provided, it helps to understand and validate the approach.

Procurement training has seen quite an evolution since the days when multi-day classroom training was the norm. With the support of modern technology, and modern instructional design frameworks, it has evolved to a preferred blended learning model that offers several advantages. Bite-sized learning makes the training easier to digest, and it is easier for team members to find the time for focused learning. Videos and simulations can help model and reinforce positive behaviors, while keeping the training scalable and cost-effective.


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Featured Whitepaper: Managed Sourcing Execution in an As-A-Service Economy

While procurement organizations traditionally handle the execution of all sourcing activities in house (analytics, Rfx management, negotiation, supplier management, etc.), aggressive growth goals require the consideration of alternate approaches. In response to such an opportunity, procurement should be prepared to leverage managed services—also known as Procurement-as-a-Service (PaaS)—as part of their overall spend management strategy. Download now…


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Featured Webinar: The Education Imperative: How to Develop Your Team Through Next-Generation Learning

Providing comprehensive training and development for procurement professionals. Denali Academy offers holistic and modular training programs designed to help shift skill-sets from tactical to strategic. In this SIG webinar, Susanne Wrage Of Denali Group discusses: 1. Cost Savings the “ Gold Standard” in Measuring Procurement Value; 2. Value Creation Beyond Cost Savings; 3. Hard and Softer ways to… View now
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Continuing Education Hours Available from Denali Academy

Denali Academy training is eligible for Continuing Education Hours (CEH) for any of ISM’s certification programs, such as CPSM or CPSD. It is also eligible to earn CPP points for the American Purchasing Society’s Certified Purchasing Professional program. Your certificate of completion can also count for 16 CEHs towards maintenance of your SPSM Certification from the Next Level Purchasing Association. Academy scholarships may be available for non-profits, job seekers, and students.



Denali Academy e-Learning Modules

Click here to try a sample of Denali Academy’s eLearning Modules

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See How Denali Sourcing Services Can Help Your Procurement Organization Drive Greater Value

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Buzz About Denali Academy Training

“This training got our Procurement leadership team off to a great start. I hope that we’ll continue training across the category management base with a deeper cut into category management and strategic sourcing.”

Director, Strategic Sourcing

“I was given the option between signing up for Category Management Foundation and training from another provider. Based on the feedback from my colleagues who attended your training last year, I chose the Denali training.”

Category Manager
Automotive Industry