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 usual. 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.
- Assess Your Department’s Capabilities and Needs
- Let Go of Old Processes That Don’t Work
- Automate to Save Time and Drive Revenue
- Choose Software that Fits Your Needs
- Get Buy-In From Your Team
- Assess Training Needs
- Measure Your Results
Step 1: Assess Your Department’s Capabilities and Needs
Start with an honest assessment. Make note of the capabilities and goals of your company or department. There are usually special nuances in an organization, perhaps related to your C-suite or the clients your company serves – what are they?
Know 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
Automated processes can require some habits or patterns to shift to create the most efficiency. We work through this diligently with our consulting clients and can help you identify the obstacles in your path. Be ready to change a few habits that are not serving your company well.
An example of an old process is how progress is tracked against goals. While there are plenty of ways to do this, a purpose-built software solution outperforms them all. Excel spreadsheets must be updated by hand, manually, and requires checking in with all 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
There is no reason for the “meeting to plan the meeting” and similar time-wasters. Modernizing your department is all about using your time 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 determined in Step 1). Expedite this process with an experienced consultant 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 and created a solution that actually solves the problem.
How can ALOE save your organization time? Here are just some of the ways our contract lifecycle management platform greases the wheels and automates your processes:
- 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.
- Project history is visible with the click of a button.
- Key performance metrics and reports available 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 that 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 your teams significant amounts of time, and ALOE can save each team member more than 10 hours per week…that’s huge!
Learning a new system takes a bit of time, so plan time for adoption. You will be rewarded many times over for every year to come. The ROI from automating is massive and comes from all angles. You will save countless hours, never lose important documents, stay on top of the right versions, and stop wasting time reconstructing timelines.
Step 6: Assess Training Needs
Training makes every transition easier. Getting buy-in and a smooth adoption might depend on simply ensuring your team knows what to do. Every ALOE plan includes an initial 60-minute training session, however, you might choose to invest some of the savings you’ll gain through automation in additional training and consulting time. Many of our clients hit their revenue goals faster and achieve higher goals with the added support.
Bigfork Tech is available to fast-track this process for you with our consulting services.
Step 7: Measure Your Results
What gets measured gets managed, period.
The very act of checking your department’s numbers over time will lead to an additional performance boost. With the right tool, pulling and analyzing reports is easy.
ALOE provides you with 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.