my suggestion would be to have editable "visual templates" (e.g. in PowerPoint) in use already during negotiation. Depending on the topic, they could be owned by business or legal negotiators. You can use these in presentations and outside of contract documents to facilitate reaching the meeting of the minds about key topics for your relationship/transaction, and modify them collaboratively with the client. At the end, you just add the static version of the diagram (exported e.g. as jpg or png) to the contract, like a snapshop documenting what was agreed together.
In order to minimize effort, create negotiable visualizations only for topics that are crucial and would actually benefit from increased clarity and shared understanding.
If you want an example of such a use case, you may want to have a look at this article that appeared on JSCAN (it is part of your IACCM Membership): journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2055563616669739
Let me know if this helps, and feel free to reach out again!
• Passera Design
just wondering if you would be willing and able to submit your example on the IACCM Contract Design Pattern Library (even in a partial/edited/anonymized form if you so wish). We have a section on timelines, and your example would be in good company: contract-design.iaccm.com/timeline
Submissions can be made here: contract-design.iaccm.com/contribute
I am available for any question regarding the submission and publishing process. :)
• Novo Nordisk
Thanks Stefania, very practical suggestion! I found the article and look forward to reading it.
I like this idea. 15 years ago(!) a colleague tried to introduce 'plain English' contracts to a UK Aerospace manufacturer. It had some success, but ultimately didn't take hold. I am guilty of saying "execute" instead of "sign" and "pursuant to" instead of, er, well nothing really.
Highly appreciated initiative. Increasing the user friendliness of contracts are, in my view, not prioritized. But you are up against a tradition and practice that is hard to change, even through graphic illustrations are proven to have multiple benefits.
Camilla Andersen gave a presentation on Comic Contracts in the last local DK IACCM meeting facilitated by Ramboll. Where you place yourself in the scale of using graphics (visulisations supporting the text or a full blown comic contract) may depend on the case, audience and "environment" you are operating in..
Camilla also provided this link: www.comicbookcontracts.com/
You should contact Rob Waller, he did some great work for us in this vein as well as simplifying complex contract legal language for use in Term Contracts or MSA's.
• Health Quest
Thank you, Gary, will do! I did check out the link you provided and definitely liked what I saw. It is exciting to know that there are folks out there who believe in revamping and freshening up the way we do business on paper.
Kum - IACCM has featured a number of Ask The Expert webinars and presentations on visualization and contract simplification.
Many of these items can be found in the IACCM Library. One development which has received a fair amount of coverage has been the "Comic Book Contract", in which Robert De Rooy from South Africa created a graphic-rich employment contract to ensure that semi-literate agricultural workers are employed with a clear understanding of their contractual and performance objectives.
One of IACCM's members, Helena Haapio, has been very active in this area - you are encouraged to reach out to Robert and Helena, as well as anyone in IACCM's Community of Interest on Contract Drafting - Simplification and Visualization. Here is more detail about this Community of Interest:
The purpose of this community of interest 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 community involved in the construction and drafting of contracts to adopt new techniques and promote the creation of clear and easy to use contracts.
- Inspire people to think differently about the purpose of a contract
- Continue to explore alternative simplification and visualization techniques
- Promote the use of simplified and visual contracts
- Encourage new members to the Community
Thanks Jim, I will folllow up with Helena and Jim
• Saudi Electricity Company
The following topic in IACCM library was very advantageous for me and my team :
Contract visualization - boost your brand and bridge the language barrier
DeltaView did change ownership. I believe it is now called "Workshare Compare". There are other similar tools, including "CompareRite/DiffDoc". I have not used this, so I do not know the quality.
I use MS Office extensively, however, I do not agree that it does the same as DeltaView. I have had several instances where (normally because of formatting changes) MS Word will delete entire sections of a document and then show (as a change) the same exact wording.
Also, at times I have individuals (both internal and external) that will move language from one section to another for one perceived reason or another. I found when DeltaView was used, it did show the where the language was moved from and to more accurately than Word might do.
• KPMG AU
Hi Pam, I'm not familiar with Delta View or Workshare Compare which is identified by Mark below, however, I am interested in what you find out. I'm particularly interested in a package that enables you to track clause changes through the negotiation process.
• Omaha Public Power District
I have used both DeltaView (about 20+ years ago) and CompareWrite (up until recently.) Each can be customized according to the company's need and may be successfully integrated in a word processing software and document management system. However, if your logistics needs are fairly basic and simple (that is, your documents are not as complex or lengthy), I would recommend the comparison option by MS Word. I trust this is of some help. ~ Rose
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