Our goal is to ensure contracts are fulfilled on time and at the correct cost.
We focus our work on contract planning and execution. The planning process often includes sourcing potential contracting partners, for example by sending RFPs. Our Contract Officers will assist in settling contract arrangement details and in negotiating contract issues such as price, delivery schedules and performance expectations. Developing and following a solid contract management plan puts our team in an excellent position to successfully manage each new contract throughout the lifecycle of the agreement.
Although the word management makes it sound as if this aspect of the contracting cycle is primarily managerial, it requires a great deal of strategy and business intelligence. Entering into legally sound and mutually beneficial contracts is critical to financial success.
We have best practices for preparing a contract management plan.
The first step to ensuring the success of the contracting process is to clearly define expectations, including scope and deliverables, and write precisely what is and what is not covered by the contract.
Our Contract Management Plans will include a detailed timeline of each critical milestone for the duration of the contract, including project start and end dates, delivery deadlines, and progress updates
To avoid contract disputes and maintain positive relationships between all parties, everyone involved in the contract administration process will know the financial terms of the agreement, including contract value, payment periods, and the process for addressing the need for any additional expenses.
The plan will include details on how contract deliverables will be implemented, including who will work on each part of the agreement (including both internal staff and third parties, if applicable). The plan to measure success throughout the contract term will keep all parties informed and updated and allow course correction if necessary.
Every contract comes with risks, but making plans to take these risks can prevent the contract from failing. We identify the potential risks of each agreement and the steps to be taken should those events occur. Building flexibility to schedules and budgets will allow for minor and unexpected delays or problems to be taken in stride and prevent the contract (and possibly the relationship) from suffering significantly.
The seven primary stages of the contract management process increase our ability to meet contract requirements and achieve optimum results.
During the planning phase, our experts will detail the strengths, weaknesses, needs, and objectives of contract management and then define the type of approach or system that will best address all these points of concern and importance.
After we know what the contract management process will look like, we can begin implementing the tools and systems needed to support those efforts.
This is also the time when all those involved in the contract management process are qualified and trained in our contract management solution until they are entirely comfortable using the systems and applications.
Our clients will work closely with contract management during the pre-contract phase to understand the new agreement’s essential details. This will help our clients prepare for the contract management process and incorporate any specific guidelines that will help them manage the contract and deliverables.
Suppose the individuals who negotiated the agreement are not the same people who will implement and deliver as per the contract terms. In that case, it is essential that there be an inclusive handover process, often including dedicated meetings to ensure alignment and a shared understanding of roles, responsibilities, and milestones.
The contract phase is when the work specified in the agreement is carried out, and deliverables are completed, hopefully, according to the agreed schedule and budget. This is also one of the areas where contract management software will ensure we stay on track and give us the necessary foundation to measure performance along the way. Features like alerts, automated notifications, and custom reports will let us know about any upcoming deadlines for deliverables, termination windows, and any other dates we specify are worth following
Typically, as the contract expires, we will determine whether to renew, renegotiate, or terminate the agreement altogether.
Once the contract is over, there are some post-contract tasks to complete. Before archiving the contract, we will review the contract terms in detail to make sure all terms are met and invoices are settled.
Finally, conducting a review will provide our clients and us with an opportunity to uncover valuable information about the contract and the contract management process – including successes and shortcomings – that can help us improve future agreements.