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Considering a new CLM? How to Manage Expectations, Costs, and Timelines Effectively

Imagine you're excited to get a new contract lifecycle management (CLM) system up and running, anticipating all the efficiencies it'll bring. But as you get into the process, you quickly realize it's not so simple. The initial excitement of modernizing contract management by implementing technology often gives way to the reality of unexpected costs and delays. From the upfront investment in the software itself to less obvious expenses like data cleansing and migration, training your team, and ensuring adoption—these “costs” can add up fast. Understanding everything involved in an implementation early on is key to managing expectations and ensuring a successful project.

CLM Readiness: Don't Buy a CLM Until You're Really Ready

Before investing in a CLM system, you need to evaluate your organization’s readiness. This involves understanding and likely improving your current contracting processes independent of any software. Many companies are not prepared for a CLM because they lack a solid foundation or an understanding of their contract-related processes. Our partner, InnoLaw, offers tools like their Launchpad to help you assess your CLM readiness and ensure you have a clear picture of what needs to be addressed before moving forward with a software investment.

CLM Selection: Simpler is Often Better

When your organization is ready for a CLM, it's important not to overbuy. A simpler, more straightforward system that fits your immediate needs is often better than a complex, feature-heavy solution that can be overwhelming and unnecessary. Keeping it simple will speed up implementation time and organizational adoption.

CLM Implementation: Expert Advice is Key

Setting up and configuring a CLM to meet your organization’s needs requires a certain level of expertise. This includes defining your desired data fields and then migrating your existing contracts and data into the new system efficiently and accurately. You can choose to do this detailed work on your own, or you can leverage a partner like LegalSifter. With LegalSifter Organize, our team of lawyers and paralegals will extract relevant data from your contracts, upload the data and contracts to your contract repository, and ensure you have the key information you need, such as renewal or termination dates, to make strategic business decisions.

Training: Budget for Time and Resources

In order for a CLM implementation to be successful, employee training is required. You need to budget time and resources to train your staff adequately. Developing training programs that are concise and directly relevant can help get your team up to speed quickly, minimizing downtime and maximizing the return on the time invested in training.

Change Management: Driving Organizational Change

Even the best software and onboarding process will only be effective if your team fully understands the value of the new system and adopts it. You need a champion to drive change within your organization. This role involves ensuring that all team members understand the benefits of the new system and are motivated to integrate it into their daily workflows.

CLM Operation: Ongoing Support, Maintenance, and Administration

After the initial implementation, your CLM system will require people to administer and maintain it. LegalSifter Organize services can help you manage your CLM operations. We support you with CLM administration tasks, including uploading and maintaining new contracts, managing users and access permissions, creating organizational folders, setting up reports and dashboards, configuring alerts for renewals and expirations, and setting up workflows, including approvals and e-signatures. Having a dedicated contract operations partner like LegalSifter allows your employees to focus on higher-value tasks, driving your business forward.

Partner for Success

Implementing a new CLM system requires careful planning to manage costs and avoid delays. Evaluate your organization’s readiness, choose a straightforward system, and get expert advice to ensure a smooth setup. Budget time and resources for training and focus on driving organizational change to ensure full adoption. Remember, once you’re up and running, ongoing support and maintenance are crucial.

For a successful and efficient CLM implementation, contact us. Our expertise and services will help you navigate the complexities of CLM setup, training, and ongoing maintenance, so you focus on your core business activities.


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