November 9 by Lauryn Haake
In the past fifteen years, we’ve seen the popularity of process-driven improvement increase to support the expansion and contraction of companies and the thought that a better process can cure all ills. While that may be true, better processes aren’t better if they stand alone. As companies focus more on process improvement, it becomes necessary to collect and harmonize those processes into cohesive programs. Program management, defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually, is the future for companies that want to take better contract processes and group them to achieve truly best practices.
For a Contract Lifecycle Management (“CLM”) program to work, it must honestly and wholly envelop all the processes that companies have for their contracts. It doesn’t mean that they must all have the same processes, but the program must organize them into manageable pieces.
CLM Programs will allow companies to organize:
• Request processes and employee request engagement
• Contract drafting and clause selection protocol
• Negotiation positions and risk management
• Approval policies and compliance
• Signature policies and compliance
• Obligation management
• Information governance and records retention
To truly be a high performing company, it will not be sufficient to maintain a contract lifecycle management system and a singular contract process. Rather, companies will look to the creation, deployment, adoption and measurement of a contract lifecycle management program to reach the next level of success.
Questions to Ask in the Here and Now:
• Do we approach our contracts as a full lifecycle or are they treated in siloed processes?
• Have we considered connecting our contracts processes to other orgs beyond Legal?
• Who can take a step outside of our current process to evaluate our program management?