I recently spoke on the Reinventing Professionals podcast with Ari Kaplan about meaningful contract management. The podcast is designed to offer ideas, guidance, and perspectives on how to effectively navigate a perpetually shifting professional landscape, and it has a unique focus on the legal industry and the technology that is driving its evolution. In my prior article, I discussed the growing contract management space and what it can offer you.
What should you consider before implementing a contract management solution?
While an organization may have a number of things to consider before switching over, I recommend focusing on end-to-end solutions, collaboration features, and actionable outcomes.
- End to end, easy to implement solution. One of the important things to consider is whether you’re getting an end-to-end solution. Is it a SaaS-based, out-of-the-box solution that you can implement relatively quickly and easily? This is especially important to consider for small and medium-size organizations or those organizations that are strapped for resources.
- Meaningful, real-time, simultaneous collaboration. Another question an organization should consider is the ability to collaborate in real time. Can a platform allow you to work simultaneously with your colleagues, or do you have to take turns and work sequentially? It’s a very important factor to consider because you gain a lot of efficiencies when you work simultaneously. That is where you can really work together and create better relationships and transparency.
- Actionable outcomes. The last thing to look for is whether your contract management solution allows you to create an actionable outcome. Does your solution leverage the data that is collected from your contract activities? Does it help you create better contracts? Does it flag information for you?
What resistance to implementing a contract management solution do you anticipate?
Contract management solutions are technology. They change the way you manage people and processes in your department. And I joke that everybody wants a change, yet everybody is afraid of it.
- Pain points. I recommend starting with pain points related to the contract. What are the frustrations?
- Have a plan. Once you begin to understand the pain points and can articulate why you need a contract management solution, it’s very important to meet with everyone involved and together come up with an implementation plan that works for everyone. You really want people in your department to be excited about the solution.
- Roadshow to bring everyone along. Finally, once you implement a solution, it’s very important to actually show it off and increase its visibility and adoption.
In the end, you really would like everyone to learn and use the technology. Remember that people who implemented your contract management solution tend to be a little bit more tech savvy. It is up to them to bring everybody else on along for the ride.
Olga V. Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. Olga founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. Olga also co-founded SunLaw, an organization dedicated to preparing women in-house attorneys to become general counsels and legal leaders, and WISE to help female law firm partners become rainmakers. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat and Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security. You can email Olga at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @olgavmack.
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