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PD1/May 2014

Professional diploma in procurement and supply

Leadership in procurement and supply

Date

Friday 23 May 2014

Time

Start 09.30

End 12.30 Duration 3 hours

QUESTION PAPER
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CANDIDATES
This examination has FOUR compulsory questions worth 25 marks each.
1. Do not open this question paper until instructed by the invigilator.
2. All answers must be written in the answer booklet provided.
3. All rough work and notes should be written in the answer booklet.

QP04

You are advised to allow 20 minutes to read carefully and analyse the information in the case study
before attempting to answer the questions.
CASE STUDY
Rula is the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) at Connections, a railway infrastructure management company.
During her time in the organisation, Rula has led a procurement transformation programme and an
overhaul of its purchase-to-pay process. She also led a project to centralise all Connections transactional
procurement work in a service centre, and implemented a learning and development programme. She also
introduced a new online internal customer request process, supported by sophisticated query management
software, so that for the first time clear service level agreements on the sourcing and contract management
processes could be offered.
There were many stakeholders involved in these changes, which created conflict, and Rula had to deploy a
range of influencing tactics, using different approaches depending on the nature of the stakeholder. The
operations director, who holds a tremendous amount of power in an engineering- and construction-led
organisation such as Connections, was a particular concern. There were also many cases of conflict within
the cross-functional teams. Rula realised that she could not achieve all of these changes on her own,
therefore she recruited an experienced change manager from outside the organisation to help her.
Rula has earned the respect of the whole organisation. The finance director says that: Rula is a passionate
and compelling advocate of the benefits of strategic procurement. She collaborates effectively, challenges
herself, takes accountability, and has successfully delivered transformation that realises millions of pounds
of hard financial savings. The operations director adds that: Rula has turned some of the fiercest critics
of procurement into its strongest advocates. She has challenged established ways of working, overhauled
sourcing and contract management, and her success is evidenced by engaged staff, improved performance,
and happier internal customers. The Chief Executive is equally complimentary about her strengths, passion
and achievements.
Rula adopts an open door policy with her staff, which enables everyone in procurement to have direct
contact with her. This might be through formal meetings or informal lunches. She places a high value on
teamwork and open communication. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute ideas to the decisionmaking process. When selecting tasks for delegation she selects smaller projects and uses experienced
staff. Rula delegates responsibility to the individuals and encourages them to make many decisions on their
own.
There are occasions when Rula has to adopt a different leadership approach however. A recent supply
failure of critical goods led to her taking a hands-on role until the crisis was over. She also had to insist
that procurement managers adopt the organisations equality and diversity programme when they
seemed reluctant to do so. She had to make it clear that the training programme was compulsory and
not an option. Similarly, the Chief Executive recently set up an environmental committee with the aim of
influencing the behaviour of the whole organisation by reducing waste and improving its carbon footprint.
As this went to the core of Connections business objectives, Rula did not delegate responsibility and was
assertive in driving the agenda forward in the procurement department.

PLEASE TURN OVER

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PD1 Exam Questions May 2014

QUESTIONS
These questions relate to the case study and should be answered in the context of the information
provided. You are advised to spend 40 minutes on each question.
Q1 Analyse, using a range of theories, the different leadership approaches adopted by Rula. (25 marks)
Q2 Within the case study Rula works with a range of internal and external stakeholders.

Suggest and apply a methodology for analysing and categorising the stakeholders identified in
the case.
(25 marks)

Q3 Using appropriate theory, explain a range of proactive influencing tactics and how they might be
used by Rula to influence the range of stakeholders in the case study.
(25 marks)
Q4 Explain a range of recognised approaches that Rula might apply to resolve the conflicts created by
her changes in the organisation.
(25 marks)

END OF QUESTION PAPER

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PD1 Exam Questions May 2014

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PD1 Exam Questions May 2014

PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM TO:


CIPS ASSESSMENT MANAGEMENT CENTRE
ADAMSWAY, MANSFIELD
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE NG18 9DR
TEL: +44(0) 845 880 1188
FAX: +44(0) 845 880 1187
www.cips.org

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PD1 Exam Questions May 2014