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7 Steps to Handling a Contract Management Crisis

contract management crisisYou’ve been there many times before.

  • You have determined that you’re about 3 weeks behind schedule with only 10 weeks left to go on the project.
  • You also find that you’re over budget and realize that this is because you have done extra work without client authorization.
  • Your principal decides that you should ask for a change order from the client.
  • Your client is furious about the change order request but agrees to it, only if you commit to finishing work two weeks ahead of schedule.
  • This all means that you’re now 6 weeks behind the original schedule.

What do you now? Here are 7 steps to managing this and similar contract management crisis.

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4 Contract Management Questions to Ponder in 2015

2015 questions contract management2015 is now here. Just like individuals, companies need to take a time for retrospection.

Here are four critical questions that can go a long way toward improving your company’s contract management processes this year.

1. What is Your Contract Management Strategy?

Some organizations focus on developing clear guidelines for their responsibilities during their contracts. Others pay special attention to meet (or exceed) the minimum performance criteria. And there are others that are all about compliance.

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Why Cybersecurity Must Be Priority in Contract Management

cybersecurity contract managementDespite the rise in the number of corporate breaches by malicious hackers throughout the United States, corporate boards across the nation appear not to be so concerned.

According to a KPMG survey, less than 40 percent of board members in the FTSE 350 Index companies view cyber-attacks as a more serious risk than other potential pitfalls. Those 40 percent of board members may be underestimating the repercussions of security breaches, particularly for contract managers.

In this article, we will explore the top 4 reasons why cybersecurity must be priority in contract management.

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5 Challenges in Contract Management

challenges in contract managementThe field of contract management is filled with obstacles that prevent your organization from achieving operational efficiency. While some of those obstacles may be minor, others are not only eating away your profits but also lessening the chances for sustainable operation.

Here are 5 major challenges in contract management to watch out for.

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Why Using Google Apps for Contract Management Isn’t Enough

contract management google appsThe current number of freelancers in the U.S. is about 53 million. Within the next decade, two out of every five Americans will be a freelancer. This temporary workforce is often spread out across different cities and time zones. This means that several organizations turn to cloud-based collaboration tools, such as Google Apps, to complete tasks.

While Google Apps may be appropriate for certain industries, is it the right tool for contract management? Here are several reasons that show why that may not be the case.

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3 Reasons to Use SaaS for Contract Management Software

saas for contract managementThe Cloud and cloud computing are much more than just buzzwords being pandered by avant garde tech pundits. They are a reality that savvy business managers should embrace in order to streamline and lower the costs of their operations. One particular aspect of cloud computing that deserves special attention is the hosted model of software delivery. Better known as Software-as-as-Service or SaaS.

While SaaS may seem a brand new concept, its origin dates back to the 1960s, when IBM and other mainframe providers offered computer and database storage on a time-sharing or utility basis. The development of the Internet in the 1990s enabled the development of more advanced centralized computing, which eventually led to the rise of the SaaS software deliver model. The term SaaS was first used in February 2011 by the Sofware & Information Industry’s (SIIA) eBusiness Division.

Here are 3 reasons why SaaS makes sense for the implementation of any contract management system.

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Taking Action Steps in Contract Management

contract management project management

“If you know anything about magic, you know that the best tricks are the ones that are the most simple to perform. Levitation relies on pulleys, floating dollars need thread, and the disappearing coin depends on hidden pockets; all of the most remarkable tricks have the most “obvious” explanations. Similarly, the best methods for managing projects are simple and intuitive. They help you capture ideas and do something with them—no more, no less. This simple efficiency keeps you engaged and on task with as little effort as possible.”

This is Scott Belsky, Adobe’s Vice President of Community and Co-Founder & Head of Behance, explaining the Action Method to project management. The action method is an intuitive approach to task management, which seeks to simplify work. While there are various different approaches to project management, this method stands because of its emphasis on action, particularly action steps. This project management methodology is applicable to contract management.

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Management Skills and Successful Contract Management – Part 1

successful contract managementAutomation should be considered an absolute necessity in contract management. Without it, an enterprise will be hard-pressed to efficiently manage its contracts to maximize cost savings and revenue opportunities.

But automation doesn’t work in a vacuum, and it’s not an instant panacea. To realize the many benefits of automation, an enterprise also must have contract managers who know how to utilize the software and possess certain critical skills.

A recent article on the website of the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), “The Competencies a Contract Manager Needs: A Process Perspective,” examines the skills that contract managers need to maximize the value of contract management software. The article breaks the necessary skills down into five areas, each focused on a specific stage of the contract management process.

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Outcome-Based Contracting Requires Contract Management

outcome-based contractingOutcome-based contracts are becoming increasingly popular in B2B contracting, and their use is likely to continue growing—making the adoption of enterprise contract management software even more imperative than it already has been.

An outcome-based service contract doesn’t require a customer to pay until a specific outcome, as defined in the contract, is achieved by the service provider. Rather than billing for activities and tasks, the provider bills based on the results. The CEO of Novartis recently told The Wall Street Journal that he considers this approach to contracting to be the wave of the future.

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Contract Management Ethics

contract management ethicsThe National Contract Management Association’s code of ethics calls for professionals in the contract management industry to “continuously improve” their “professional knowledge and job performance in the field of contract management.”

The NCMA considers it unethical for professionals involved with contract management to accept the status quo and fail to take advantage of advances in the field that enable improved contract performance.  It’s essentially the same ethical concept that requires attorneys to represent their clients “zealously”—contract management professionals owe it to their employers to do their upmost to maximize return on investment for each contract.

In today’s contracting environment, that obligation entails the use of a digital contract management system, which allows contract management professionals to meet the NCMA’s ethical guidelines and virtually always increases contract ROI. Consider the following specific requirements of the NCMA code and how contract management software helps contract management professionals fulfill both the letter and the spirit of those requirements.

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