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/
• Omaha Public Power District
I think blockchain will have a major impact in the future of and will transform the legal industry. And I try to stay informed ('try' is the magic word) -- check out this link as well: www.legaler.com/
Blockchain approaches are really bleeding edge at this point, and only for the very best informed. We recently did a workshop at MIT on AI, Blockchains and the Future of Law. Happy to make introductions if you are seriously considering this. But in the meantime- suggest you might look at the work we are doing with the IACCM on contract standards that are compatible with a blockchain approach - or not. github.com/IACCM and a "Wise Contracts" paper with Helena Haapio - papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm.
Also - the AccordProject.org is very active in this field and in the IACCM.
Hi Andrew, aeternity is a blockchain implementation with some limited contracting features. Basically the ecosystems support smart contracts on their blockchain but with many limitations in terms of compliance. Our approach is a bit different, we offer an end to end contract management system in the blockchain supporting eprocurement and supply chains. Have a look here www.trakti.com and let me know if you want to know more. PS we are production ready ;-)
IACCM provides responses to this type of requirements. Please refer to our AUTOMATION tool and find the following information in our IACCM library
IACCM-Capgemini Automation Report: www.iaccm.com/resources/ You can also watch this video: Contract Automation: What System Should You Buy www.iaccm.com/resources/; among other reports. And finally, explore software.iaccm.com
Thanks I already looked at that, but it didnt provide me the answers.
ps. we already have Onit and Apptus (perhaps that tool could help, but really have a very large amount of contract templates) and no time and money for new tools. I am not looking for software tools, but more for best practices.
Hello, again. The IACCM's Automation Report and the on-line selection tool, developed by IACCM in association with Capgemini, involve a review of products from every corner of the world. Then the aim of the report and of the associated website is to provide high-quality, objective guidance that simplifies SELECTION procedures for everyone
I understand your research criteria. You have said 'I am not looking for software tools, but more for best practices' and you´re right.
Feel free to explore more in our library (and also to connect and register to our IACCM networks to get in direct touch with players in this field) and you´ll find multiple examples of best practices regarding automation tools:
Hi - this issue of keeping a basic form that has local variations is difficult. If you want to be on the cutting (bleeding) edge, you could try the approach that CommonAccord.org is working through with the IACCM. It organizes materials into forms and clauses, and assembles them into unlimited variations. There is a learning curve and only very simple tools, but it can handle the task and could make you part of an IACCM collaboration on maintaining templates. I'm now on the iACCM Council and hoping to accelerate this initiative. Jim -
Thanks for the feedback. For the avoidance of doubt I am not looking for automation tools or how to manage different versions of one template in various languages (etc). I am wondering about a whole set of contract templates and standard terms, how do you make sure that the governance and maintenance of the documents is maintained? How does it work in practice? It is nice to have a tool to help you, but who owns the tool and keeps it up-to-date? Do you do that by uploading it in a tool and allowing only the use of the tool for the creation of agreements? How about feedback on the clauses, how does it work, how do people provide feedback on the clauses and the acceptance by the customers/counterparts? Changing law requirements? Do you have a yearly review and new release or more often? How do you receive the feedback, how do you track the feedback? What was the way before automation? How would you do that? (nb. I need something now and Apptus is not ready yet and buying a new tool would take a long procurement process :-) ).
These are superb questions. I'd like to expand on them. May I borrow them? A lot of this is process, and I'd love to hear from people who have experience with these processes. Here are some thoughts and examples of how this could become an IACCM collaboration - www.commonaccord.org/index.php
May I borrow these?
1. Who owns the tool and keeps it up-to-date?
2. Do you do that by uploading it in a tool and allowing only the use of the tool for the creation of agreements?
3. How about feedback on the clauses, how does it work, how do people provide feedback on the clauses and the acceptance by the customers/counterparts?
4. Changing law requirements?
5. Do you have a yearly review and new release or more often?
6. How do you receive the feedback, how do you track the feedback?
7. What was the way before automation? How would you do that?
Of course James!
Thanks! I've posted your list of questions as an "Issue" on the Model Contracting Policy repository on GitHub. A half-measure at best, but a start. I'll start giving or referencing some thoughts about it in the near future.
• Omaha Public Power District
Hi. Your question may be broken down into many, differing categories: from template-generation, update and maintenance; internal legal/business review and approval process; to maintaining a library of precedents and exceptions to standard terms and conditions; to audit-ready contracts, etc.
I will instead focus on the generation of templates, of standard terms and conditions: primarily, your direction will be significantly influenced by your access to the latest and greatest software, application and document management system - or what is available to you, your budget constraints, the quality of your users, etc. More importantly, a very basic but effective process is your access to MS Word. Once you have a list of accepted standard terms and conditions (from Master Services Agreement, Master Procurement Agreement (Goods + Services), short terms and conditions (for purchase orders), NDAs, SOWs, etc., you should be able to now save these templates into a folder (managed/controlled by your IT department) and you should save each as a template (your IT folks should walk you to the process of saving/maintaining them each as a template). You may then grant your approved users a 'read only' access; this way, each time they go to the library folder to use a template, it should open in a new word document which they could then save, revise etc. as a new document specific for each user. As the administrator, you may at any time update (revise or delete) your templates - you may use a naming convention for each template to track the revision dates. You should also, at this time, be able to develop your own standard procedures for maintaining and managing your templates, for your approved users to know and perhaps adhere to. I can go on and on - but I think that this should get your started. If this is already a process you have in place, then please ignore these suggestions.
Lastly, below is part of the Best Practices I have developed/adhered to along the way in my career. Admittedly, I have taken heed of many valuable suggestions, tips, and resources made available to me. I modified [below] to remove any distinguishing lexicon and features; this is intended to supplement your document management and standard template-generation:
BEST PRACTICE: Highlight 'talking points' when rolling out Supply Chain templates
Supply Chain templates are easy to copy and work with, and encourages standardization where needed. In addition, these templates are consistently revised to stay current and to comply with all regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, rolling out Supply Chain templates present challenges to certain suppliers. They have this instinctive reaction to resist adopting our templates; they would instead counter with their own set of terms and conditions.
One of our objectives in our contracting process is to develop, if not preserve, buyer-supplier relationship. And developing best practices around Supply Chain contracting process in no way intends to undermine business relationship. Below are suggested 'talking points' when circulating our templates, whether to internal customers or industry supplier. These talking points highlight the appeal, the advantages to using our templates; it is a good segue from the perceived 'use it or lose it' option.
1) Favorable turn-around time - instead of reinventing the procurement document-creation wheel each time, our templates are easily tailored, product-specific templates that will save time on the contract (re)negotiation cycle.
2) Preferred supplier relationship - blanket agreements offer many areas for flexibility such as longer terms or auto-renewal options; or they away the need for both parties to go back to the drawing board and renegotiate on future, similar purchases. And they potentially could preserve reciprocity and good business relationship.
3) Increased productivity - when time spent on contract negotiation is reduced, focus is shifted to meeting project timelines and deliverables. Delivery schedules then translate into desired productivity for both parties.
While others may agree or disagree with some of these items, but the appeal of your predicament is that YOU get to decide on how best to proceed ...