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Get Up and Running with CLM in Under a Month

October 13, 2022
One of the biggest concerns about deploying a contract lifecycle management system is the massive time commitment needed to get the system live. Here are six tips to speed this process along.

When rolled out quickly and effectively, contract lifecycle management (CLM) technology makes life easier. These systems offer centralized storehouses for contracts and streamline contract creation and management. Things can get complicated fast, though, and it can take a lot of time and effort to get contracts uploaded and cataloged, build the right workflows for contract drafting and approvals, and start making use of your contract data. Thankfully, with the right technology, expertise, and mindset, you can avoid lengthy implementations and get the most out of your investment.

Here are six steps to get up and running quickly with your new CLM platform:

1. Prepare your legacy contracts

Implementing a CLM system often means migrating your existing contract repository (fragmented or otherwise) into a new system. Scrambling to scan physical contracts, or trying to get global teams to start uploading their locally stored contracts to a cloud storage service can really drag out an implementation.

To get off the ground quickly, it is essential to understand where all your company’s existing contracts are currently located. Companies with the quickest deployment usually have already organized their existing contracts and folders into a single migration parent folder. You don’t have to have all of the documents loaded before you start the onboarding process, but the closer you can get to this state, the more the system will work for you.

2. Document and refine your current contract process

Every organization’s contract process looks a little different. In general, contracts begin their lifecycle with the collection of information, and then proceed through creation of a first draft, back and forth negotiations and redlining, and end with the signatures needed for execution.

Automating these processes effectively in a CLM system means that first you need to have a clear understanding of your company’s entire contract process. What questions need to be asked and information needs to be collected to create a best first draft? Who needs to approve the contract at every stage? Are there approved templates that can be used as basic starting agreements?

How much of this can be streamlined before being rebuilt into your new CLM system?

Signing onto a new contract management system is a great opportunity for you to eliminate unnecessary or redundant steps in your review process, or to simplify some of your templates. The less complexity you build into your CLM processes, the faster the deployment and the better the end-user adoption and administration of your system will be.

3. Find the right project leader

It is a popular misconception, but you do not need a certified project manager to run your CLM implementation. You DO need a leader who can make quick decisions and drive internal stakeholders. If a contract management system cannot automate a specific process step (for example, appending unique addenda to your draft contracts midway through a negotiation), having someone at your company with the power and ability to make a quick decision on an alternative approach (e.g. making this an automated review task to prompt someone to manually attach addenda) can mean the difference between a successful implementation and a stalled one.

Having someone drive your internal stakeholders to get your CLM implementation team the items and answers they need also keeps things going at an efficient pace.

4. Integrate with care

Organizations can sometimes get mired in system integrations when trying to deploy quickly. As a rule of thumb, the more complex the system you want to integrate with, or the more customized the configuration you need, the longer successful integration can take.

For critical integrations, it is important to spend time scoping exactly what you need the integration to do and ruling out what you don’t. Are you moving some files and data between two systems or are you building complex automated logic across multiple platforms? 

Learn how your users are actually working in these systems. For instance, if you are looking to map and transfer data into your CLM system, how is that data populated today in the platform to be integrated, you might find you can bypass integration entirely in some instances. 

For low priority or one-off (where the integration necessitates only a one-time transfer) integrations, consider deploying your CLM platform first and integrating later as part of your technology roadmap.

5. Manage expectations appropriately

It is important to set realistic expectations throughout the process. No CLM system will solve every single challenge for every stakeholder. Start with the right goals and expectations, you want to deploy quickly toward targets you can meet. For example, you can automate a relatively routine process like NDA generation first, and then work toward automating your MSA and other document creation. Consider synching your repository with your CLM system to capture key metadata first, and then focus on configuring the necessary workflows and other must-haves. Implementing a CLM system goes much faster when you don’t try to boil the ocean and instead treat the system as something that is ongoing, that you can develop and improve. 

6. Consult with your technology provider’s implementation team

Lastly but most importantly, work closely with your technology partner’s implementation team. They should be the very first people you speak to after purchasing your new CLM system. If you believe you have very complex contracting and process needs, you can even speak with them before you make a decision to move forward with the system.

Consider also the experience of the team and your needs. Will you be working with a tech delivery team that will focus only on requirement fulfillment, or will you work with seasoned legal professionals that understand contract operations, in-house team priorities, and your holistic CLM journey? The best CLM implementation teams not only see themselves as your partners on your technology journey, they truly have the expertise and know-how to get you where you want to go, fast.  

Get started today

Want to see how Evisort can transform your entire contract lifecycle at the speed you need? Schedule a demo today!

Find out how

Evisort

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Test Evisort on your own contracts to see how you can save time, reduce risk, and accelerate deals.

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Find out how

Evisort

can help your team

Test Evisort on your own contracts to see how you can save time, reduce risk, and accelerate deals.