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If your company has spent years trying to streamline your contracting process, it’s easy to get excited hearing about the ease of implementation or the ability to achieve ROI quickly via a contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool. But once your organization has selected a CLM tool, how do you turn these promises into reality during implementation?
It’s 100% possible for your organization to implement a CLM efficiently, effectively and with demonstrable go-live success. Here are the top 10 tips for an agile implementation of contract lifecycle management:
Document your existing process. Whether it’s on the back of a napkin or a color coded swimlane diagram, starting with a visualization of your existing contract process helps your team understand the starting point for developing a process within CLM. Even if this entire process ends up getting scrapped, starting from the same point helps your team get on the same page.
Know your stakeholders. If your process is the “what”, your participants in the contract process are the all-important “who” (legal, for instance). If you hope to design a better process within your CLM system, you’ll need not only their input, but their buy-in.
Designate an executive single point of contact (SPOC) for build decisions. What happens when there’s a disagreement on a path forward between your legal and sales teams? To streamline the process, you’ll need someone to break ties and stalemates to avoid delays. Delegate an involved leader to be the final vote should these situations come up.
Focus on the big steps before diving into details. If your team has been working through a manual process for years (or decades), seeing the advanced capabilities of CLM solutions can be eye opening. But a good process is more important than any bell or whistle a system offers. Make sure you align on the larger process steps before diving into nuanced functionalities.
Get your subject matter experts (SMEs) engaged. During design workshops, it’s extremely important for the core project team to stay involved. The core team should prioritize engaging cross-functional SMEs internally to ensure that the process design is not only streamlined, but all-inclusive of necessary participants. A bonus of this engagement–these SMEs will be more equipped to become future power users and evangelists of the system within their unique department or function.
Formalize your sign-off process. Once you’ve completed your design, put a bow on it via a formalized sign-off. This act may seem symbolic, but it’s a way to ensure your team is fully engaged and bought in. A clearly defined scope of work that is agreed upon across your team, the vendor and the implementation partner is critical to avoid an untimely “re-designs” in the middle of the build, or worse, after the build has been fully completed.
Tips to follow during CLM implementation
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