Contract Lifecycle Management:
tracking contracts your way

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When the right systems and processes are in place, contract lifecycle management can be an effortless side effect of your organization simply doing business as normal. That’s the joy of automation: it’s handled for you with no extra effort. In other words, information flows in and out on each project, which is tracked and archived securely in a master record for your company. With ALOE, we customize tracking and real-time reporting so it integrates with the way you do business — assuring easy adoption and impactful results.

Sometimes knowing where to start is the hardest part. We can help with these easy steps.

  1. Assess Your Department Capabilities and Needs
  2. Let Go of Old Processes That Don’t Work
  3. Automate to Save Time and Drive Revenue
  4. Choose Software that Fits Your Needs
  5. Get Buy-In From Your Team
  6. Assess Training Needs
  7. Measure Your Results

Step 1: Assess Your Department Capabilities and Needs

Being successful with seeing each of your contracts from intake to completion requires an absolutely honest assessment. Make note of the capabilities and goals of your company or department. There are probably special nuances in your organization, perhaps related to your C-suite or the clients your company serves.

Know fully any limits, special procedures, team needs, policies, and flexibilities that your business needs to observe. These are all important considerations when choosing technology. You want a solution that complements and enhances what you do, instead of putting your department in a poorly fitting straitjacket.

Step 2: Let Go of Old Processes That Don’t Work

There may be some habits to let go of or patterns that need to change in order to get automated. We work through this diligently with our consulting clients and can help you identify those obstacles in your path. Be ready to change (or let go of) habits that are not serving your company well. A better way is waiting — and it’s worth it!

While there are plenty of ways to track progress, a purpose-built software solution outperforms them all. Excel spreadsheets must be updated by hand, manually, and requires checking in with all of your people for reports. This wastes one person’s time deeply, and everyone else’s time to varying degrees. Because you have highly paid professionals on your team, those low-value calls and emails may be costing you dearly.

Step 3: Save Time and Drive Revenue

Likewise, there is no reason for the “meeting to plan the meeting” and similar time-wasters. Modernizing your department is all about time, and using it wisely on what your team does best. Furthermore, you will need the right tools that align with your business’s needs and goals (which you have assessed). You can expedite this process with an experienced guide to lead the way.

Step 4: Choose Software that Fits Your Needs

What’s keeping your team from their most valuable work? You should automate everything on that list. We created our flagship product ALOE (Automated Legal Operations Environment) specifically for contract lifecycle management. As legal and tech experts, we have lived the pain points that drain your department of valuable time and resources. We created a solution that actually solves the problem.

How could your organization save time? Here are just some of the ways our contract lifecycle management platform greases the wheels and automates:

  • Workflows are customized to your specific processes.
  • Project-specific emails are integrated into the workflow.
  • Documents are tagged by project and archived.
  • Contract changes and approvals are visible and tracked.
  • Timelines and alerts are visible across departments.
  • Capacity planning tools assign work for maximum efficiency.
  • Entire project history is visible with the click of a button.
  • Key performance metrics and reports ready in seconds.

Choose a technology that most closely aligns with your business needs.

Step 5: Get Buy-In from your Team

The biggest obstacle to automating and modernizing your department is the roll-out: we need to make this as easy and fun for your team as possible. In other words, we need to get them in on the vision and show them how much the new processes and workflows are going to change their own lives.

Because isn’t what this is all about, at the end of the day? Your lawyers signed on to be lawyers. Moreover, your business development team signed on to make new relationships and drive growth. CLM should be saving them significant amounts of time. Our product ALOE can save each team member upwards of 10 hours per week… That’s huge!

Learning a new system takes a bit of time, so allow for it. You will be rewarded many times over for every year to come. The ROI from automating is massive and comes from all angles. For example, you will save hours. In addition, you will also never losing important documents, sending out wrong versions, or reconstructing timelines.

Step 6: Assess Training Needs

Look at the costs your organization stands to save, and consider investing in additional training and consulting time. Many of our clients hit their revenue goals faster and achieve higher goals with the added support. ALOE always includes an initial 60-minute training session, and our Professional tier is highly customized to your business prior to that event.

Remember, your people and their industry have been handling contract lifecycle management as best they could for many years. Make it as easy and inviting as possible to transition to something new. See that they know what awaits them on the other side.

Bigfork Tech is available to fast-track this process for you with our consulting services.

Step 7: Start Measuring Your Results

What gets measured gets managed, period.

As a result, the very act of checking your department’s numbers over time will lead to an additional performance boost. With the right tool, pulling reports and analyzing them should be easy.

You will now have access to a wealth of data to inform your decisions. Your star performers, most-discussed projects, client approvals, and the latest revisions to agreements will all be a click away. Actionable data is instant and requires no more participation from your people than simply doing their work.

Completely modernize your contract lifecycle management processes. Know your goals, choose the right tools, and inspire your people.

From the Bigfork Blog: Three traits of good legal ops departments.