Contract Design - Simplification and Visualization

IACCM Council Representatives
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Contract Drafting Simplification and Visualization

The purpose of this Network is to provide its members with insights into new trends and innovations related to the way that contracts are constructed and drafted and particularly in the area of simplification and visualization of contractual documentation.  

The objectives will be met by sharing ideas, discussing challenges, exploring new directions and, where appropriate, initiating research or inviting experts to present on key topics related to these topics.

Meetings will be virtual (by phone or webinar) unless in specific cases there is an agreed wish to have physical meetings or workshops to develop specific initiatives.


To inspire a growing Network involved in the construction and drafting of contracts to adopt new techniques and promote the creation of clear and easy to use contracts.



Network Updates

Training and Books on Contract Drafting

Hello, Please i need assistance with recommended books on Contract drafting, also would appreciate information on training/training organisations accredited by IACCM. Regards, Fubara


Not Using Clauses that do Not Apply

Hi Guys, I just got back a contract which was redlined by a supplier/contractor. There are a number of standard clauses which we use in our contract and some would not apply for this service with the supplier. For example, "it shall be responsible for the adequacy, stability and safety of all operations on the Company's premises and of all methods of installation and commissioning of the Goods and performance of the Services;" With this service the contractor does not have to install and commission but only supply and we would be doing the installation and commissioning. Question: Instead of us removing the clause entirely can I just leave it in and place (N/A or Not Used) at the beginning of the clause which do not apply?


Ask the Expert: The Power of Visual Thinking

How do you get others to 'see' what you're saying? And how can you be better at seeing things from another's perspective? One powerful, and effective, way of doing so is through the use of visual thinking. In this engaging, entertaining, and fast-paced interactive webinar, you will learn a variety of innovative methods to enhance your overall effectiveness through leveraging the power of visual imagery, mental models, metaphor, and visual storytelling.


Virtual Member Meeting - India

Claire Hachem - Senior Director Middle East & India was joined by Sunu Engineer, Icertis who presented on The importance of Automation and contracts simplified. This was followed by a presentation on Negotiation in the virtual world which was presented by- Rohit Aggarwal, Global Head of Contract Management - Sterlite Technologies Limited


Moving Forward - key resources to survive and thrive - IACCM Member update June 2020

To help IACCM members move forward, this webinar explores resources and information recently released. Topics include: Need to know 1. VIBE Summit 2. Staying on TASK in the New Normal 3. Coaching for the New Normal 4. IACCM Council Elections - Vote Now 5. COVID-19 Support. Member-only offer ends 30 June 6. Managing Contracts Virtually - offer ends 26 June Research 7. Most Negotiated Terms 2020 Resources 8. Contracting Excellence Ideas and Issues 9. Adaptive Automation and Talent: Is There a Link? Events 10. TASK Webinars 11. Virtual Member Meetings 12. Ask the Expert and other Webinars 13. Body Language in Live and Online Negotiations BONUS 14. Think Global - Act Local


Voting for the IACCM Council is now OPEN!

Take this opportunity to influence the future of IACCM and play your part in the mission to achieve world-class standards in contracting and relationship management processes and skills. The IACCM Global Council will be formed of approximately 150 IACCM Members each representing either a specific country, region or IACCM community network. Vote NOW for your preferred candidates and influence the ambassadors in this body of professionals.


Think Global. Act Local. Nominate for the IACCM Council

You are invited to nominate to be an elected IACCM Council representative within a particular geography, industry and/or practice area. (Those who participated in the Advisory Board elections have automatically had their tenure extended and do not need to renominate unless they want to represent members in a different community network.).


Contract Visulization

Does anyone have any examples of using graphics to supplement or replace wording of contract terms.


Legal department approach to risk

I have been having a running battle with the legal department in the company where I work for over nine months, on the need to have a simplified contract document of no more than 10 pages, than the current 72 pages contract document. The general terms of contract are usually the same for all contracts; only the scope of work, vendor details changes. My proposal is that the general terms should be warehoused somewhere, electronically, for the vendors to read and incorporate it by reference in the no more than 10 pages contract we will sign with them. I have observed their opposition is based on the way they see risk: prevent all possible risks. This approach creates more "risks" in the form of not executing the contract document in time, leading to delay in the start and completion of project works. This runs counter to the business environment where speed is required. Risk should be seen as inevitable. Then seek ways to manage it.


Visualisation of the KPI section of a Contract

During our current contract one of the main issues that we encounter is confusion over the interpretation of KPI reporting and the consequences of any failings. We are currently negotiating the follow on contract so has anyone used the visual enhancements to their KPI sections ? Have you found that it has helped with understanding ? Also is it acceptable to only have the graphics in certain sections of the contract or does it have to be a blanket approach to all schedules ?


Visual contracts to support collaborative contracting

During the IACCM Australasia Conference in Sydney Australia back in 2016, I was introduced to a new mindset in commercial contracts, namely, 'collaborative contracting'. And ever since then, I have been an advocate for moving away from using overly complicated and technical contract documents that are full of confusing 'legalese' that could only be interpreted and understood by another lawyer. During the Conference, we were introduced to a new innovative 'comic contract' developed by attorney Robert de Rooy in South Africa. His new comic employment contract was produced in 2016 and was implemented for use with fruit pickers on farms in the Western Cape province. The resulting improvement to employer/employee relationships and to employee productivity was astounding. Although, at first consideration this approach is a a hard pill to swallow for the legally trained mind, there are immediately obvious benefits to the pictorial approach. Workers who may have learning difficulties or poor English skills, those people who learn better through visual communication, as well as young workers, could benefit from this novel approach. And other workplace documents that are distributed to an entire workforce, such as workplace policies, if written in such a visual format, could keep levels of engagement higher by capturing the interest of the reader long enough so they might actually read them in their entirety. The benefits of using simpler, more direct drafting are obviously beneficial. The use of quasi-Latin terms or words like 'wherefore', 'henceforth' and 'herewith' can be avoided, unless you are directly dealing with a judge or want to deliberately intimidate or scare the other party. Don't get me wrong, there are certain complex contracts which require a certain amount of 'legalese' and should be drafted by a competent lawyer. But contracts like employment contracts and simple service contracts should not be intimidating and should be in a format which both parties can easily understand without conferring with a lawyer. In August 2018, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon started using visual employment contracts, eliminating more than 4 000 words from their standard employment contract template to create a succinct and meaningful visual contract that uses illustrations to complement the text. The contracts were developed in partnership with Law Professor Camilla Andersen from the University of Western Australia. https://www.aurecongroup.com/about/latest-news/2018/august/aurecon-rsa-visual-employment-contract A contract is formed when parties agree on terms they intend to be legally binding. Agreement is the basis of any contract. Parties must have the capacity to contract, which means that they must have a clear understanding of the contents of the contract. The object of the contract must be legal and possible, it must be in writing, signed by the parties and must be observed. Lastly, for the contract to be binding, a court must be able to interpret it. Comic contracts can meet all these requirements. And as proponent of collaborative contracting, I feel this new form of contracting could result in a focus on building relationships between the parties. The examples of Robert de Rooy in South Africa, and of Aurecon in Australia, have motivated me to start working on a new visual construction contract which will combine comics, avatars and text balloons with simplified contract clause narrative. Anyone working in the international construction sector would certainly agree that there is a need to move away from unbalanced, hard to understand contracts which foster adversarial relationships between the parties. If anyone would like to contribute towards my endeavors, you are most welcome to send me individual commic scenes or avatars with the associated contract clause heading captioned underneath. Your name will be included in the forward of the contract proforma as a contributor. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/visual-contracts-support-collaborative-contracting-jeff-b/


IACCM's new Contracting Standards webpages available online

https://www.contractstandards.com/iaccm-contractstandards IACCM accomplished producing the Contracting Standards webpage. A pioneering and innovative development by IACCM. Great awareness of approaches outside our immediate company, industry and geography. Important value for trading relationships across boundaries. Well done Tim and your team. Regards,,,, Naser AlSulami Saudi Electricity Company Saudi Arabia


examples and visualisation

This is such a refreshing look at contracting. Too many times I see ambiguous clauses because of how wording is interpreted and almost always a worked example helps clarify the issue via a CCN. If we put more examples and diagrams in the contracts we can be far clearer on intent rather than assuming those who read the contract post signature will read it in the same way.



Hi everybody, for those interested, I came through this article written by Dr. Wei Li https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overview-natural-language-processing-wei-li ; it's a quite technical essay...


IACCM Contract Design Pattern Library has launched

Dear contract design innovators, in case you missed it, I just wanted to share the link to the IACCM Contract Design Pattern Library with you: https://contract-design.iaccm.com/ The Library is a new IACCM resource to inspire you and support you. It is a collection of guidelines, methods and real-life examples to help you create clearer and user-friendlier contracts. Design patterns are model solutions to recurrent problems, not ready-made templates. You need to pick and mix them depending on your contextual needs and the communication problems you want to address - and implement them yourself to fit your situation. The first release of the Library includes 12 patterns, plus some general introductory and guidance materials. It is an ongoing project and we will release more patterns and resources in the future, based on user needs and feedback. In addition to the support materials in the Library, you can learn more about the Library and how to use it by checking out the recording of the launch webinar: https://www.iaccm.com/resources/?id=10555&src=ContractDesignIntro2019 Feel free to reach out for questions/support/feedback! Stefania

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