Important Steps To Selecting A Contract Management Solution

Once you recognize that poor contract management is a significant business risk and you decide to solve the problem, you have overcome what may be the biggest obstacle: normal business or sheer inertia.

It's clear whether you start with paper documents, spreadsheets, or a combination of the two, you'll be looking for a technology solution. At this point, another danger arises: an unclear process that causes delays causes "project slack" and threatens to replace one set of risks with another.

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Bottom line: Once you've identified a problem, you want to move on to a solution quickly. Here are eight steps you can take to start preparing for mediation.

1. Define projects and assign responsibility for finding contract management solutions. Whether you name a person or a team depends on the size of your organization (and the size of the problem).

2. Make sure the mandate and timeline are clear. Understand what it's like to find the product that best fits your contract management needs. Specific when. Set a deadline, whether it's a month, three months, six months, or a year.

3. Collect initial product information. It gives you an overview of the functions and possibilities.

Now is the time to collect basic pricing data, including vendor fees for installation, deployment, customization, and/or maintenance. Exploring solutions that don't fit your budget is a waste of valuable time, no matter how great the technology is.

4. Create your wish list. List the features you want your system to have. Classify features as essential, important, and desirable.