Agile Procurement as a World Cup Approach

To win the World Cup many tasks have to be completed because the competition itself is like a Big Project made from several small ones; with each small project delivered successfully the team will go to a new project/phase/sprint until the seventh project (game) is completed and hopefully delivered successfully to be the World Champion. When “La Squadra Azzurra” won the World Cup in 2006 managed by Mr. Lippi many things happened:

  • Italy played seven games with seven different line ups,
  • From a total of 23 players, 21 played at least one game,
  • Lippi implemented a different strategy for each game,
  • Ten players scored for a total of 12 goals (Final Penalties not included)

We may assume that the facts mentioned above were based on:

  1. The highest priority to win each game improving the efficacy from one to another.
  2. Each game was a different story as the changes made in each line up in order to make happier the whole country while winning.
  3. The World Cup championship was won thanks to the daily, hard and continuous work of the whole team.
  4. Lippi was always straight forward in his face to face communication style.
  5. Simplicity: It wasn’t about “Juego Bonito” it was about being effective and win games.

Now I am sure that you, my dear reader, are asking yourself a lot of things regarding Mr. Lippi, “La Squadra” and Agile Procurement, so here we go!

Believe it or not, every line you read above was related to Agile Methodology – ¿But, What Does Agile Means? –  Agile is an iterative/step methodology that values collaboration, communication, the willingness and capability to adapt to changes, and to deliver positive results.

If we compare the Lippi vs Agile Manifesto we will find amazing things:

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 5.31.40 AM

Now that we are clear enough about the Agile Definition we can go through how to build an Agile Procurement function. Based on the 12 Principles of the Agile Manifesto we can clearly notice that all of them apply, so our strategy could be like this:


  1. Build a Willing to Change Culture for each project development no matter in what phase or stage we are. Include your vendors; Agile Procurement Projects must be able to change their vendors at any time without generate a crisis.
  2. Split the Project in Several Tasks (sprints) and Prioritize them. Deliver them is shorter time scales.
  3. Create a Team from World Class Individuals, help them and let them work on the solution. The team shall work on a daily basis.
  4. Less is More. Be Simply and love Simplicity.

The Agile Manifesto promotes the “Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation”, but ¿Can we deal with this considering risk mitigation? Yes, we can!

As I mentioned before, Agile Procurement Projects are divided into several sprints and Agile Contracts must be based on the evaluation of implementation functionality at the end of each sprint and not on fixed deliverables that may compromise, or at least may not contribute to the quality of the products.

Summarizing, an Agile Procurement approach will: Implement innovative solutions that are completely different to the old ones satisfying customer needs, promote Supplier’s collaboration to improve cost efficiencies, recognize the value of speed, among others.


Hi my name is Amintore Confalonieri and my background is Operations, Procurement and Supply Chain, mostly IT and Telecom but I have also worked in Manufacturing, Consulting and Services. I help companies and startups to perform, deliver and operate better with the minimum resources while exceeding the quality service. Highlight the Customer Experience is my GOAL and I am always open to new challenges.

Since I was 22 I have been motivated to improve anyone else’s life one role at a time by leading diverse activities as Rotaract Founder Vice President, Student Delegate to the Academic Council at Universidad Simon Bolivar (QS Rank #34 in Latam), among others.

This article was written for The Procurement Italia Magazine ( on June 2019

Contact Info:

+52 5573366047 || @AmintoreOficial




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About Amintore Confalonieri

Founder | Entrepreneur | Altruist

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