contract management planning 4 step guide

How to Make Your Contract Management Planning More Effective in Four Steps

Technology is often presented in the media as a set of shiny toys, but the point of it all is ultimately in the function, not the form.

These days, organizations, and their legal departments, lean on technology to give them confidence and a feeling of safety that they are creating a better work product and better managing risk. That helps explain why Gartner experts anticipate legal departments increasing their spending on legal technology threefold by 2025.

That especially holds true for Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) technologies that help ensure agreements are solid and defensible even when a contract doesn’t have to be sent numerous times back and forth to all the participants for many miles of red ink. In-house legal teams and law firms are traditionally regarded as change-averse, but increasingly we see them embracing a brand new discipline known as Contract Management Planning (CMP).

At Parley Pro, we crafted an intelligent way to merge old-school contracting negotiation with new-school contracts to infuse all of that confidence and safety we just mentioned. The goal of CMP to is unlock all of the insights and maximize the efficiencies systems like Parley Pro were created to provide in the first place.

So, how does it all work? How to build a plan to manage your contract lifecycle with technology and not blow a gasket? Or your budget?

Let us explain how to complete the CMP process in four steps.

Step 1. Set CMP’s Goals and Strategies.

Every success depends on the formula of skillfully stating your goals and executing strategies to help you realize them. Naturally, then, the first step in the CMP process is to figure out your organization’s current contracting situation and your goals for improving on that situation. What gaps need to be filled and how will you cut off risk more effectively?

Dig deep, very deep, into your organization and its existing workflows to help you answer these questions and others. Being deliberate and taking your time to complete an analysis will help you to make a list of your priorities and then determine how to proceed most strategically.  

Step 2. Articulate the Value of CLM Technology.

This step is about taking the understanding of your organization’s contracting processes you developed in Step 1 and then mapping out how CLM will promote digital transformation. It’s time to start selling your vision internally. 

What value do you expect CLM to create at every step along the contract lifecycle for each of your organization’s internal stakeholders? List out those benefits and approach each stakeholder with focused messaging.

This is all about gaining as much user adoption as possible and meeting your users where they actually are, rather than where you think are. We will share examples of specific benefits you can cite to win your users over as you go in future articles.

Step 3. Assemble Your CMP Team.

In any business process, your most precious resource is your people, especially those who share your values and mindset. Which people within your organization are not afraid to stretch themselves and evolve together in a “fast tech” world? 

By “fast tech,” we mean there is a tendency to choose what’s in fashion reactively without careful thinking or proper feedback. CMP slows your role by design and recruiting the right allies and strong voices will help you do that even further. 

Now, suppose that you have already gathered your “dream team.” What comes next? Never stop asking that question. Develop your work in all directions without missing the big picture. Build in time and incentive for your team members to self-reflect and share ideas without fear. Change management may be hard but it needs to be dynamic for it fosters the best organizational culture possible.  

Step 4. Identify CMP’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Down the line, you will need to demonstrate the successes and continuous improvement CMP is supposed to produce. Tracking strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments is the most effective way to improve your processes for the better.

To do that, you must develop meaningful KPIs before selecting or implementing a CLM system selection. There is no universal recipe for success. The only way to get the accurate, appropriate data required here is to study your goals and business objectives, and then design the metrics that will best capture and convey them. 

We will share specific KPIs you can use to measure your results in another article soon.

Once you complete this comprehensive four-step process, you will have created a smart framework for fitting the CLM technology you use into the nooks and crannies of your business. The feeling of safety you hopefully will feel will be based on your and your team’s understanding of every detail you uncover and incorporate along the way.

Want to learn more about Contract Management Planning? Download Parley Pro’s detailed white paper on this exciting new discipline today. Also check out this presentation by Olga Mack, Parley Pro’s CEO, to gain even more insight into CMP.

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