Asking the right questions and providing the right predefined answers in your questionnaire (Q&A) are crucial for contract automation. Formulating your Q&A poorly may confuse or annoy users. Repeated and redundant phrasing can be tiresome. Providing lots of explanations via information icons (tooltips) can be off-putting and cause users to ignore them. It is important to keep the user engaged and make completing a questionnaire as easy and straightforward as possible. This guide will help you formulate your Q&A effectively.

As a general note, when creating new questions it is important that the tag names are meaningful. Doing so enables a quick and smooth integration with CLM, other contract creation templates and external applications. Never use tag names that either only incorporate a default answer or are so generic as to be indistinguishable from other tag names, such as [edit.30 days] or [edit.Number of days] (rather than [edit.Milestone 2 Term for delivery], for example), or [date.Date] (rather than [date.First delivery date], for example).

 

A. TAG NAMES

1. Keep tag names meaningful !

A meaningful tag name simplifies (implementation) work for other Weagree functionalities. Tag names are reused (a) as the default field label in the CLM, (b) as name of a metadata property in API-messages; and (c) as part of the prompt sent to the AI-model.

2. If a tag is part of a series, or likely to be varied on or alternated, start it with a common denominator, such that tags of the same kind are grouped (alphabetically listed).

Examples: Date of Expiry, Amount of Purchase Price, Milestone nn, Party nn DPO.

Apply Weagree’s best practices for using defined terms and definitions.

 

B. GENERAL Q&A DRAFTING PRINCIPLES

1. Keep it short! The under-water-screen (Weagree’s realtime editor) shows the nuance, if needed.

2. Do not use formal language or legalese. Avoid legal terms or explain them concisely in the info icon.

Find the best verb. For terminology, see I below.

3. Each question should be formulated as concisely as possible.

a. The flow of the question should lead the user into a concrete answer.
b. Formulate a sentence such that it reads from a known context into the main message, with the sought Q&A-topic as much as possible in the back-end of the question. If the most important information is halfway through the Q&A-question (instead of at the end), the reader may miss the importance of it or even the entire point.

4. Questions must be formulated consistently across the questionnaire of the template, and as much as possible consistently across all other templates of the portal.

In case of specific instructions of our customer regarding the Q&A, which clearly deviate from an established practice, the customer should be consulted and asked for reconfirmation.

 

C. FORMULATING Q&A QUESTIONS

1. Every Q&A question must begin with a capital and end with a punctuation mark (normally a colon or a question mark).

In sequences of related Q&A-questions characterised as enumerations, simplification is preferred. For example:

  • Seller – Name contact
  • Seller – Phone contact
  • Seller – E-mail contact

2. Every sentence has a subject and a predicate. The predicate may be the choice-answers (which means that the sentence reads on into the Q&A-answers, and in such case, each answer would be the final part of the question.

3. Questions should refer to Parties, Products, Seller, etc. in underscores, except in respect of the key subject matter of the Q&A-question (the key words should not be with initial capitals).

For example: in case of a contract clause addressing the improvement of the lead time of a product, the question could be: “Will the supplier be obliged to continuously improve the product’s lead time?” (Note: “supplier”, “product” and “lead time” are in underscore).

4. Read the surrounding contract clause to capture the correct terminology (e.g. verbs and nouns to be used).

 

D. FORMULATING Q&A ANSWERS

1. Q&A-answers must be concise, leaving out all unnecessary details.

Note: such details can be inserted in the info-icon (explanatory note), and the wysiwyg under-water-screen shows appropriate detail.

2. All choice-answers (as they appear in the Q&A) must start with a capital, and must not end with a semicolon or full stop.

Important note: the contract text to be inserted by virtue of a choice made must be as the underlying template requires!

3. A Q&A-answer should – if possible – not start with a numeral (e.g. avoid 1, 2, 30, 45).

The numbers one through ten should be written in full, and higher numbers should be in numerals (e.g. 12, 30), except in case of amounts and units of measurement (which must always be expressed as a numeral).

Important note: if multiple consecutive numbers are proposed, be consistent with all the numbers (whether you choose to write them as numbers or in full – e.g. not Seven, 12, 30).

 

E. FORMULATING AI PROMPTS

Your Q&A-questions and Q&A-answer options are used as the default prompt to AI-review a third-party drafted agreement or to extract CLM data from a signed agreement. To increase the effectiveness of the AI-review, you can override the Q&A-question or Q&A-answer options by simply inserting your own AI prompt.

1. Formulate all AI prompts in the same language as the language used in the CLM contract sheet (or underlying template-Q&A). Instructions to the AI model should refer to it as “you” (e.g. you must or you may).

2. In formulating the AI prompt, include all key parameters required to identifying and classifying a certain contract provision adequately, using the most appropriate verb, words, terminology and other important clause parameters.

Consider that including parameters unusual or uncommon for the relevant contract may confuse the AI analysis (leading to hallucination).

3. The AI prompt should be accurate, concise and focused:

  • An overly broad AI prompt may result in not identifying a contract provision, due to the AI model determining (a) that you required the presence of all such prompt-parameters, and (b) that they are insufficiently present in the AI-reviewed contract (false negative).
  • An AI prompt that attempts to capture multiple contract parameters may result in an inadequate, confirmative AI-determination based on one or several of the prompted parameters, suggesting that all are present in the AI-reviewed contract (false positive).

4. Do not include prompt elements that will already be populated by Weagree:

  • The fictitious background of the contract reviewer (i.e. a legal contract analyser).
  • That the review relates to a (legal) contract.
  • Aspects that also apply to all other AI prompts in the same template.
  • Technical or format-related instructions regarding the AI-returned output.

 

F. DEFAULT ANSWERS

1. Default answers must be consistent with the formulated text in the Agreement.

2. Choice questions must be given a default answer as much as possible.

3. The default Q&A-answer (of choice-questions) should be the first Q&A-answer.

Note: this may reverse the consistent order of Q&A-answer options: sometimes Yes > No, sometimes No > Yes. In such case, to avoid confusion a consistent order of Yes > No (or the other way around) may be preferred.

4. Insert the required unit of measurement in the answer field to avoid confusion (e.g. [__] kg, EUR [_____], USD [_____], [__] days, [__] months).

Note: in order to improve consistency, if a numeral of 1 to 99 is required, use two underscores; if any numeral or words may be entered, always use five underscores.

Important note: check whether or not the customer wishes to leave all answer field empty.

 

G. POLICIES REGARDING OTHER Q&A ELEMENTS

1. An explanatory note should be included only when relevant, and always be concise: the wysiwyg under-water-screen already provides context. An explanatory note may clarify the question, provide guidance for answering or (alternative) answers.

The explanatory note must end with no full stop (but preceding sentences will end with a full stop).

If an answer to the Q&A may potentially lead to a violation of the law (e.g. competition law). An explanation must be inserted, starting with an all-caps “WARNING” or “IMPORTANT”.

2. The if unanswered answer text must be the same as the default answer, except that the underscores must be replaced by the blob-tag between square brackets e.g. [[*]] kg, EUR [[*]], USD [[*]], [[*]] days, [[*]] months). If the customer prefers not to provide for default answers, the if unanswered field should nonetheless be filled.

3. Leave the authorisation level indicator of the Q&A-answers unchanged, unless you want to filter out the Q&A-question or Q&A-answer option for certain lower authorisation levels.

 

H. MISCELLANEOUS Q&A-OPTIONS

1. Always tick the option Use answer name (not the answer text).

Only very exceptionally, the answer’s phrasing is better when using the text that is inserted by the answer option (in which case the option must be unticked).

2. Where possible, in global questions, extend the answers that directly answer an implied (second) question. For example:

kb-contract-lifecycle-management-ca-formulate-your-qa-1

 

I. PREFERRED TERMINOLOGY (ENGLISH)

Be meticulously consistent in the terminology used:

  1. Use ‘will’ instead of ‘shall’ in all cases, regardless of the terminology in the contract.
  2. Enter (to prompt for inserting data, a value)
  3. Tick (to tick or untick a Q&A checkbox)
  4. Select (to select a radiobutton or dropdown option)
  5. Pick (a date)

 

J. CORRECTING THE CONTRACT TEXT

Typos should be corrected. Obvious grammatical errors should be addressed with the customer.

Textual corrections of the inserted model contract must be made in accordance with a document Template insertion conventions (check if this may be tailored for the customer involved).