Successful contract automation requires three things

Contract automation, is it a challenge for you? Do your team members still use their latest-transaction document, instead of the contract templates that had been prepared so carefully?

Change management in 9 best practices. The blueprint for ‘contract automation implementation’, our framework here, is bestseller SWITCH (change when changing is hard) written by Chip and Dan Heath. They describe the success factors of successful change management and causes of failure, structured by reference to the metaphor of an elephant, its driver and the path to change.

Successful contract automation implementation requires three things, nine best practice rules:

1. Direct the rider. The rational side of implementing a legal tech innovation requires attention as much as your lawyers’ emotional side. Why? Three aspects:

2. Motivate the elephant. To start using contract automation, it is not enough to rationally understand that the Weagree Wizard is ‘the inevitable future’. People need to be motivated. Lawyers intellectually understand that old-school contract creation is chock-full of inefficiencies. But for their elephants to appreciate this and adopt contract automation in their daily practice requires emotional engagement. The emotional side (what looks like laziness, is often exhaustion) is certainly the most underestimated force in succeeding in your change effort. Again, three aspects:

3. Shape the path to contract automation. Shaping the path, the environment where the rider and its elephant move around, is the third dimension of a successful change management strategy. Be aware that what looks like a people-problem, is often a situation problem. Often, when you leave your context or environment as it is but want change to occur, you’re headed to be unsuccessful. Changing the environment of your legal team can have profound effects on whether you succeed in improving productivity, your legal department’s response time, the quality of your contracts, the level of compliance with contracting requirements, the accessibility of contract know-how, and the fun of working. Once again, three aspects:

Beware. Avoid making a diagnostics error:

  1. What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.
  2. What looks like laziness (‘my latest-deal contract should work for now’) is often exhaustion.
  3. What looks like resistance (‘automating my contract is impossible’) is often a lack of clarity.