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Market Dojo is pleased to welcome a guest post from Noel Green.
Noel is the Founder of ContractsWise, the innovative cloud-based contract management and administrative software provider that supports contract improvement and risk mitigation.
Having worked in the contract management sector for the last decade, here are my 10 Contract Management questions that not only need to be asked but are critical in ensuring that contract managers are optimising their performance of contracted services.
For full disclosure, this list is by no means a comprehensive list, but just questions that I believe are integral to the success of anyone attempting to manage their key contracts.
1. Do you have clarity on the objectives of the contract? – All too often there is a lack of understanding on what the contract is meant to be delivering. Do key stakeholders understand the aim and expectation of the contract and has this been effectively communicated with the supplier?
2. Are you giving the supplier an excuse for not performing? – Does the supplier need additional information or support from your organisation to deliver on the contract?
3. Are you making full use of the supplier’s expertise? – Suppliers are typically chosen not only for their ability to deliver goods in an effective manner but also due to their experience and knowledge in a particular field. Are you giving your supplier the opportunity to offer their ideas and thought on how you can work more effectively together?
4. Is it both you and your supplier’s ambition to build a strong, respective working relationship? – If your idea of a relationship with your supplier is one of cooperation and collaboration, but your supplier is characterised by confrontation and animosity. Can the relationship be mended or should the supplier be re-evaluated in consideration with their view of the relationship as non-strategic?
5. Do you understand the risks associated with the contract and is action being taken to mitigate or avoid these risks? – Do you regularly review the risks of the contract with stakeholders? They may be in a position to identify new risks at an early stage and implement risk mitigation actions.
6. Do you know what the stakeholders think of the contracts performance? – Often stakeholders within different departments may have differing views on how a contract is performing. Try to understand all of the stakeholder’s views, whether they are pulling their hair out or delighted by its performance.
7. Is the performance of the supplier being monitored? – Performance reports from all of the stakeholders and maintaining a record of the contract can be used to provide information on the overall contract performance.
8. Are the most important contracts being managed? – Typically contract management resources are scarce therefore it is integral to put the most effort into contracts that are critical to your organisation as a whole.
9. Do senior managers acknowledge and review contract performance? – The most important contracts will have a significant impact on your organisation, therefore if they are successful is this being recognised? If they are performing badly are the senior management reviewing and aware of the associated risks?
10. Is contract information being efficiently organised and retrievable whilst being safely stored? – Contract administration and management can become much more efficient if everyone is aware of where the contract documentation is being stored and retrievable by those who have the authority to do so.
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