Top 5 Excuses for Contract Management Failure and the Real Problems Behind Them

The job of a contract manager is not easy. We face challenging situations daily and, often, feel overwhelmed trying to juggle multiple contracts at once. While we sometimes face situations that we can’t control, we must focus on what we can control. It’s easy to deflect blame for contract issues or errors on something or someone else.

Here are the top 5 excuses we hear from contract managers and the real reasons the failures occurred. Once you read this article, you’ll see just how easy they are to avoid with proper planning and access to the right tools.

Editor’s Note: To learn more, download our whitepaper on the top 10 contract management best practices.

1. The team is full of incompetents.

We often hear this excuse from contract managers still using a manual approach to contract lifecycle management. It’s no surprise that people are unprepared or unable to complete tasks when there is no visibility of those tasks. A paper-based system doesn’t provide the big picture of the project and makes it hard for people to prioritize, especially if they have no idea of pre-requisites and next steps. Your team members have multiple projects to keep track of, so the best way to succeed is to use contract management software that allows them to visualize the entire process from start to finish.

2. I didn’t have enough time.

Out of sight, out of mind. If you’re like most people, you take notes during meetings and never look at them again. This is why we need reminders, but those reminders shouldn’t depend on somebody remembering to send them. Reminders should be set in advance and automatically sent to your email inbox without anyone doing anything. This shouldn’t be a manual process involving a spreadsheet and should adapt automatically throughout the contract lifecycle. You need contract management software that lets you schedule and update automated email reminders to help you prioritize and have more time to work on other, more pressing tasks.

3. Everybody kept making changes.

It’s inefficient and challenging to maintain version control when you’re emailing back and forth revisions between multiple parties. You never know when one or all of them is working on a specific version or if it reflects all their edits. This frustrating process can be fixed with contract management software using a check-in/check-out feature that allows simultaneous edits to be made and notifies the next reviewer once the document has been updated. Does your email do that?

4. I couldn’t get the information I needed from department X.

If you are limiting access to key information, such as approved contract templates and clauses, you are limiting the ability for people to do their job. Effective contract management cannot exist if all your latest clauses and templates are locked or stored in a single computer or worse, spread out on multiple hard drives. Your team should be able to access these resources quickly and easily without having to double check if they are working with the latest approved language. A contract management system enables you to maintain a centralized library with the latest forms and clauses, securely accessible anywhere at any time by approved team members.

5. Working with that client is impossible.

This is a variation of the first excuse, when in fact, we may be the reason why our clients are difficult to work with in the first place. If we are still mailing them hard copies of each agreement via snail mail, forcing them to review documents manually, and having to mail us their revisions, we shouldn’t be surprised that they take so long to return and/or sign documents. An effective contract management process with enhanced document scanning and accurate OCR and electronic signature makes contract execution a breeze and any client to easier to work with.


Stop making excuses and instead identify the real reasons for your contract management failures. Then, with the help of a contract management system like the one from Contract Logix, you can make your excuses and failures disappear. .

spreadsheets with contract management