Failing to implement contract automation successfully? 9 best practices

Do you have team members who ‘resist’ change? Are you short of time to innovate effectively? Don’t know where or how to start? Does implementing contract automation feel like a mountain – without a starting point, like an endless project? Do the grapes hang too high for some of your team? Meeting these challenges is easier than you think.

A framework of 9 best practices.

In our ten years of implementing contract automation, Weagree has gained a lot of experience in successful change management. Reason to develop an easy-to-apply framework, with tips, do’s and don’ts how to optimise your contracting processes swiftly – and become a champion.

As ever, we’re sharing our best practices on our website: click here.

They are divided into three parts: how to influence the emotional elements of change (the elephant in your head), how to optimise the rational aspects of implementing legal tech (the elephant’s rider), and making the path, and your challenge, easier.

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Absurd inefficiencies.

It sounds absurd – being incapable to innovate effectively – but many lawyers experience it as their reality. Team members who are:

  1. still creating contracts based on ‘latest-deal example’, spending time on repairing cross-references and inconsistent definitions, removing redundancies at risk of making errors.
  2. not creating contracts in an automated fashion, up to 120 times faster, because “there are too many Q&A questions”. (Did you realise that every Q&A question is relevant and to be answered in old-school contracting as well?)
  3. allowing a response time by Legal of more than three days, where contract automation reduces response time to a few hours (or zero).
  4. not structurally allocating time to improving contract know-how, but perpetuating in short-term client-first service. Little ‘pearls’ of transaction-precedents never end up as a model contract or in a proper clause library.
  5. ignoring the importance of model contracts for the so-called ‘urgent’ questions from business managers knocking at your door.

The precondition to your success with innovative technology is its user-friendliness. We have made it our compass. But to change people’s behaviour, you need to steer your elephant.

Introducing the framework – 9 best practices.

Bestseller authors Chip and Dan Heath created the framework for effective change management (SWITCHChange when changing is hard). To keep their framework simple to copy, they formulated nine best practice rules and divided them into three pillars; they used a threefold metaphor (of an elephant, its rider and their path) to make it manageable.

We translated our own success stories into the nine best practices, and discuss three crucial diagnostic errors that must be avoided if you want to be a successful leader. We presented the framework in a customers meeting in November.

In December 2017, we welcomed some 15 multinationals and law firms as new customers, and quite a number of existing customers picked up our innovation challenge with new user groups. These months, we are supporting them with our framework. So we continue to learn, and will of course keep on sharing our best practices for implementing contract automation.

Should you have any suggestions or questions, please let us know.