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"Unmuck" Your Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) System

Frustrated and overwhelmed with your contracting technology deployment? No matter where you are in your contract technology journey, here is some practical advice from individuals who each inherited a CLM designed and implemented by someone else. 

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1. Assessing your Current Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) Tool and Status:

If you've inherited a CLM tool mid-flight or are tasked with implementing one, the best way to start is to assess your CLM state:

-Review the current tool and what it does, find out who is using it and how, find the right stakeholders and meet with them to figure out their needs and challenges, map those needs (it's not just affecting the legal department!), understand what templates are being used and what isn't. 

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2. What makes Implementation so difficult?
CLM is often a solution that's caught in the middle. You are sharing this process with the legal department, procurement, business development, etc. To help with implementation, make sure you have the right people in the room; be sure to communicate using terms that all teams understand.  Include everyone who might be impacted or impact this tool to make sure that moving forward is an open and transparent process and pain points are addressed.
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3. Build a Strong Vendor Relationship: Behind the CLM tool you have is the vendor that created it. When you start on this new intitiative, make sure to build a strong relationship with that vendor.

-Keep open communication with their representatives, ask them questions about the tool so you understand how it works, bring internal stakeholders to vendor meetings to better understand interaction with the tool.

Remember: Ask questions, don't make demands. You're growing trust with this vendor and better you work with them, the better the tool works for you.

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4. Refining with Maturity: Start with easy/small assignments and grow outward. Find an easy win(s) and stack them up to show progress. NDAs have been an easier contract to automate; perhaps start there:

-Listen to your power users and learn from their techniques. Gain feedback from  your center of excellence. Marure your communication channels internally and externally.

Remember: It can't be you alone; you need to gain a champion and strong stakeholders to mature and grow.

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5. Define your Strategy: As you and your team move forward with your CLM, make sure you keep defining and redefining your strategy as you take on more feedback.

  1. Assess your Situation
  2. Find your Stakeholders (who owns what? who assigns it?)
  3. Find your Champions
  4. Figure out the needs of your team
  5. What are the downstream/tech requirements you need to plan for?

Jonathan Johnson-Swagel explains how to get started with your implementation by assessing the situation and bringing in the right people for the right work, "If you start off the project and end it with just you, it will be a failure."

How do you get achieve and sustain buy-in on your implementation? Find out how this system got stood up, who are my key stakeholders, know who it is you can go to work with and problem-solve.

This is a presentation based off the June 14th ACC webinar: "How to Unmuck Your Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) Implementation" with panelists Laura Barrios Griffin, VP, Corporate Counsel & Lead Counsel for Critical Care, Edwards Lifesciences, Daniel Lee, Director, Legal Operations - Technology & Analytics, Davita, Jonathan Johnson-Swagel, Snr. Manager Legal & Business Operations, Uber and Rebecca Yoder, Director, Legal Operations Consulting, Epiq. This webinar is accessible on demand; please contact erin.berkowitz@hyperiongp.com for non-member discount coupon, limited availabilities apply.

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