IACCM Contract Management Forum

« view all forum posts
2017-07-19 11:25:09

Contract Management when the Business says "no thanks".

I work for a large company, and manage the operation of a contract across a group of large projects. We are under a regulated customer, and day to day activities are around change, sign off, EVM and the like. I've been in this role for 3 months, and am struggling to get any information and involvement from the business area I manage. Historically, Commercial interfaces have been hands-off. At director level I have been told that I don't "need to know" the day-to-day running of the business. I've found inaccuracies in their contract documentation, and processes are not being followed, but for every step forward I take, the doors are closed in my face.
I've had 121 meetings with the involved parties, attended group meetings without being invited, held training sesssions and bought free coffees until I'm just so tired of trying. Does anyone have any advice? TIA
 •   2017-07-19 13:33:57
I'm in a similar situation. Last year, I was given a new position that had never been handled before. All of the spend had been previously managed by different departments and associates within those departments. It's hard to talk people into giving over power that they've always had. I decided to approach it one bite at a time.

Find someone willing to let me help but don't push. Tell them you're free help and you just want to help make their lives easier. Once you can get a couple wins under your belt, more and more people will be willing to let you help them.

Hope this helps.
 •  World Commerce & Contracting  •   2017-07-19 20:28:33
It´s a good point the one you have raised, and I am happy to read from our colleague who is in a similar situation as the one you have described.

He has recommended to find someone willing to help, without pushing and being available to make their jobs easier.

And I personally believe this is one of the responses to your point: we need to generate the certainty that Contract Management really matters and, according to IACCM findings and experience, create in Top Management the said awareness. Many IACCM corporate members have already succesfully proceeded like this!

I can bring some articles posted in our IACCM library which might me helpful, such as Kate Rodriguez' 'Top CEO Describe their perfect employee' (www.iaccm.com/resources/ or the article from Wharton School of Management in response to the question 'What makes team work effectively?' (www.iaccm.com/resources/ and/or this post in our IACCM library related to 'How the top innovators keep winning' (www.iaccm.com/resources/.

However, I believe that the way to convince Top Management and other stakeholders of the contracing process so that 'business does no longer say NO' as you described, is by following the key messages resulting from Tim Cummins and Sally Hughes´remarks in our IACCM Americas conference 2016 (now that our 2017 conference in Toronto is around the corner):

Tim and Sally confirmed the speed with which contract and commercial management are transforming as business disciplines and in the value they are providing. Refer to this entry where you will find some ideas, examples and case studies regarding the critical importance of contracts in the business, taken by Tim and Sally after the conference: www.iaccm.com/resources/;

Hope this helps and feel free to connect with me! Best regards,
Pablo Cilotta
 •  KBR  •   2017-07-23 00:43:49
Hi there
I feel your pain. i am the first Commercial Manager at my company having come from a major prime. The difference for me is that i had support from my CEO to develop a Culture of Commerciality. Therein i Think lies the "secret sauce" - to develop a champion at the C suite level. You are on the right track by getting involved and just being helpful. When they work out that you can save them work then even engineers will come around!

Also good to remember you are there for a marathon not a sprint. It can be frustrating with some old die hards but stay at it.

just so you know i am the Community Lead for the Small Business and Start Up Group where other members face similar issues. Even thought you are from a large company you would be welcome join and see if others can assist.

Finally i am speaking at the IACCM Australian conference in a week on Developing a Culture of Commerciality. if you can't attend you can get the paper from the website.

Otherwise if you just want to chew the fat please feel free to contact me .

Good Luck and you will get there.
Rob Bradshaw
 •   2017-08-05 17:04:42
Reads like the job description in my last three jobs. One of my bosses told me a few years ago that Contract Management has a PR problem. We get a lot of nods along they way but ultimately, revenue focus trumps everything else. And don't get me started on what the Sales reps throw over the fence for others to deal with. Sometimes, one needs to move on, which could mean: seek other opportunities.
Replies: 4
Filter by category
Operations & Capabilities
Organization & People
Strategy & Management Tools