A strategy for contract and commercial management

Published: 12 Dec 2019 Average Rating: unrated Print

Author: Tim Cummins

Do you have a book that outlines the strategy for contract and commercial management? While there are multiple publications addressing the operational aspects of contracting and negotiation, It is interesting to observe that there is no existing book providing a holistic view of commercial and contracting strategy. Is that because it's not needed, or it's too complicated, or perhaps it reflects the fact that commercial and contracting activities are too fragmented, that there is typically no natural 'owner' equipped to compose or use such a work?

The growing complexity of trading relationships has resulted in a new and more urgent need for organizations to develop a planned and integrated commercial and contract management capability. This has steadily become more evident in the volume and nature of questions being received by IACCM (many of them from consultants who are seeking answers for their cleints). While IACCM research and benchmarks have provided many of the answers to these questions, there has been no single volume or guide that organizations can use to plan, test or implement CCM capability.

A new guide

This last week, seven dedicated practitioners (supported by two designers) have collectively spent more than 300 hours conducting a 'book sprint', composing the world's first Strategic Guide to Contract & Commercial Management. We discovered that even experts in this field have significantly different views of terminology, of role and process, of contribution and value. The finished work therefore itself tackles one of the essential foundational principles identified within the book – the critical role that contract and commercial management must play in identifying stakeholders and then aligning or reconciling their perspectives and interests through establishing common interests and understanding.

As first in the field, the Guide represents a major advance in defining the important discipline of contract and commercial management as a core organizational capability. It provides executives and commercial leaders with the rationale and methods with which to assess, design and build a 'fit for purpose' process, supported by an appropriate set of people, technology and skills. To produce this content in the course of a week feels like a major achievement and we look forward to releasing it to the IACCM membership as they maintian their drive for excellence.


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