We know that contracts are the lifeblood of businesses, and bread and butter for their lawyers. Despite being an integral part of any business, innovations in the contract management process are far and few. As a result, the contracting process has earned its reputation of being lengthy and tiring.
From creating the first draft, to reviewing and finally execution - the contract lifecycle process is prone to errors which means lawyers need to double and triple check each new version. To top this off, people think that a lawyer’s work is complete when a contract is executed. Post execution management of contracts is an equally daunting activity. Keeping track of dates, rights and obligations of all contracts is another challenging, but lesser known aspect of contract management.
The fact that for the longest time technology solutions that helped lawyers manage their contracts did not exist was unfortunate. However, in the last few years things have changed and contract management now does not need to be as complicated and tedious as it once was.
Contract management is the process of managing contract creation, execution, and analysis to maximize operational and financial performance at an organization, all while reducing risk.
The process of contract management also involves keeping track key pieces of information from agreements for operational efficiency. For example, if contracts can be identified based on party names, expiration dates or types of obligations, lawyers can stay on top of which engagements to renew and which to let go of.
A contract management system also plays a critical role of creating a knowledge base. Imagine being able to refer to specific provisions of your historical contracts in the process of reviewing existing contracts.
The ability to access this information with just a few clicks is not something that most legal teams have seen or expect. However, at SpotDraft we are actively working on helping lawyers want more - from technology and their time.
To help legal teams take the first step towards embracing technology, we have designed a basic contract management template on an google sheet. All you need to do is input certain pieces of information about any contract and the spreadsheet will help you keep track of expiry dates (and updates to the contract information) by sending you automated emails.
The spreadsheet is intended to perform two functions -
1. help lawyers, or legal teams, manage their existing contracts; and,
2. help lawyers’, and legal teams’, experience new possibilities with even the slightest amount of automation.
For lawyers new to technology, you can use this spreadsheet to create a basic management system for all your contracts, and understand the possibilities a contract management system provides to optimise your team's output.
For lawyers not new to technology, you can use this spreadsheet to understand what are the must-haves in a contract management system that would be useful to you.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in case you have any suggestions and we can continue improving this sheet together.