How to Establish a Collaborative Contract Management Process

How to Establish a Collaborative Contract Management Process


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Contract lifecycle management can be time-consuming and arduous, but it’s an unavoidable administrative process for ensuring compliance and reducing business risk. Contracts are your company’s foundation, helping most operations run smoothly, eliminating erroneous payments, and increasing revenue.

However, this process isn’t without challenges. It involves many people across departments, opening the door to human error, miscommunication, wasted time, and missed deadlines. These obstacles stand in the way of accuracy and efficiency, risking a competitive disadvantage and profit loss.

The key to overcoming these challenges lies in collaboration. A collaborative approach to contract management can accelerate and streamline the process, removing friction from its entire lifecycle.

Here are the essential steps to establishing collaborative contract management for more accurate reviews, faster negotiations, and seamless monitoring, reporting, and renewals.

Remove cross-team collaboration roadblocks.

Besides handling administrative tasks, your legal team must define duties regarding legal processes and documents, communicate vital contract information to stakeholders, and explain how to ensure compliance.

Communicating contract details to multiple leaders across departments can take up considerable time. That’s nothing new because legal has always been the sole department managing contract lifecycle, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement.

Your legal team doesn’t need to be the only department handling contract management. That puts a significant load on its shoulders, taking away precious time to focus on core responsibilities.

Enter contract management software.


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This solution can transfer some responsibility to relevant cross-functional teams, helping legal remove roadblocks, streamline collaboration, save time, and increase efficiency.

It enables teams across departments to manage their contracts with minimal input from their legal colleagues, who can only provide guidance when necessary. They can access all agreements in one centralised place, leverage automated document creation, and enjoy a seamless workflow.

We know what you’re thinking – letting cross-functional teams take the wheel would only create extra work for your legal team. They would still need to control approval and signing and might need to correct errors.

However, many contract management solutions like Contract Eagle offer a template library for self-service contracts. Anyone in your organisation can use custom forms to create pre-approved agreements, saving everyone significant time.


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Electronic signatures are another time-saver, eliminating the hassle of printing, signing, and scanning contracts. Contract Eagle integrates with DocuSign and Secured Signing for seamless e-signatures across devices.

Establish open communication to set clear goals.

Open communication is the key to successful collaboration and smooth operations. It’s crucial in contract management because all teams must understand the importance of legal, financial, and other agreements and their contribution to the contract pipeline.

Your legal team should set clear expectations regarding contract authoring, negotiation, approval, execution, auditing, and renewal.

Helping everyone understand the goals, how they should contribute to achieving them, and what to expect at every stage will help improve their work’s efficiency and accuracy.

Explaining why cross-functional teams play a role in contract lifecycle management is also vital.

For instance, managers, executives, stakeholders, and other teams may need to review and approve contracts before sending them to legal for the final sign-off. Explaining their role in pinpointing errors and mitigating risk will empower them to go out of their way to meet expectations.

Define responsibilities clearly.

Defining responsibilities goes hand in hand with setting goals and expectations. Everyone relevant to contract management should understand their roles and duties and your company’s strategies for identifying and mitigating risk.

Contract management is frictionless when everyone is on the same page regarding goals, expectations, and responsibilities. They can understand all deliverables and perform duties without confusion or misinterpretation.

Create a contract management framework (CMF) to establish governance, define roles, standardise administration and management, and monitor performance. A CMF is also ideal for introducing conflict-resolution protocols and specifying training resources.

Contract management software like Contract Eagle can help put your CMF into practice and handle role assignments, among other activities.


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Clarifying responsibilities and putting them on paper (digital or otherwise) is critical for meeting every contract’s deliverables, avoiding costly mistakes, building relationships with suppliers and partners, and making strategic decisions.

Create transparent project prioritisation.

Your legal team handling all projects means inefficiency. Entrusting some tasks to legal assistants and non-legal teams can create a positive workflow, which is why collaboration is essential.

However, that requires transparent project prioritisation.

Prioritising projects according to their value is crucial for better resource allocation. It can save teams across departments (primarily legal) significant time and effort, helping them focus on urgent tasks and contracts that bring your organisation the most value.

Teams could move low-value, low-risk projects forward without this north star to light their way. Prioritisation gives them a clear picture of what matters most, helping them better utilise resources and focus on critical initiatives.

Before delegating projects, highlight the importance of high-value contract-related tasks passing through senior management and the legal department.

Again, contract management software can save the day. Its collaboration and task monitoring features can help you prioritise projects and delegate tasks to relevant members.

You can also create escalation protocols for each role to ensure a consistent workflow. Whether someone encounters an issue exceeding their duties or someone on leave can’t complete a task, routing it to a more capable hand will be a breeze.

Maintain relationships.

Maintaining positive relationships with partners and suppliers (even after contract lapses) is crucial for long-term business success.

Monitoring agreements to prevent a breach of contract, halt unwanted renewals, and track all relevant terms will help you improve relationships and enjoy long-term supply chains.

Contract management software is your go-to tool for monitoring performance, identifying issues, and resolving them promptly to avoid contracting conflicts.

It’s perfect for collaborative contract management, including performing regular audits, generating reports, renewing agreements, and renegotiating the terms. It gives you a centralised hub where all parties have complete visibility of the pipeline to ensure business relationships remain solid and profitable.

All your stakeholders can use it to track contracts, mitigate risks, discover opportunities, and ensure vendors fulfil agreements and provide value.

Oversee the process.

Including other departments in contract management doesn’t mean everyone will do an impeccable job. They may have the expertise, but some may not understand all legal terms and compliance requirements.

Problems could arise even after your legal team explains everyone’s roles, duties, contribution importance, and collaboration value.

That’s why maintaining oversight is critical.

Contract management solutions let you stay on top of contracts, tasks, renewals, and deadlines. Besides setting role-based user permissions and allowing all parties to monitor their agreements, you can automate the process to save time and energy.

For instance, Contract Eagle provides a user-friendly dashboard that lets you track upcoming deadlines, tasks, and renewals to reduce risk and increase efficiency and performance.


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Source: SourceForge

However, its automation features make the contract management lifecycle fast and frictionless. These are some of them:

  • Version control – This contract repository saves all previous document versions and amendments, helping everyone access the latest information and avoid using wrong agreements with incomplete sections.
  • Audit history – Contract Eagle saves a detailed audit trail to ensure users have up-to-date information and can view all document changes throughout every contract’s lifecycle. Logging all activities is critical for compliance, accuracy, and avoiding legal issues.
  • AI-assisted review – Contract Eagle utilises state-of-the-art AI technology to automate and accelerate contract reviews. AI can detect and flag areas of concern to help you ensure compliance and avoid costly legal mistakes.
  • Real-time updates – Staying in the loop is vital for efficient and accurate contract management. All sophisticated tools have this feature, helping legal teams track progress and performance and send timely reports to all stakeholders.
  • Automated alerts – You can set notifications for approvals, deadlines, renewals, and unclaimed, due, and overdue tasks. You’ll never miss an opportunity.


Contract management doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming. Including non-legal departments into the process to make it collaborative can help overcome challenges, minimise risks, and save precious time.

Collaboration is the key to maximising every contract’s value and strengthening internal and external relationships. It helps your legal team achieve its full potential and turns your organisation into a well-oiled machine with unmatched performance.

We’d love to show you how Contract Eagle can help transform your contract management process. Start your free trial today or book a demo to see it in action!


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