Workflow and approval routing is an often-overlooked core requirement for Contract Lifecycle Management. Proper configuration can mean the difference between improving turnaround time and burying bottlenecks inside a black box. The trick to minimizing turnaround time is optimizing workflow usage.
A few tips/tricks:
- Limit the number of workflow participants: Avoid including an unnecessarily large number of reviewers/approvers in the workflows.
- Provide for parallel reviews: Provide for parallel review processes (e.g. Health and Safety, Environmental Impact, Regulatory Affairs, etc.) that may take extra cycles and are often external to the core contract process.
- Redline based routing: If the possible, route to specific users based on specific clause use or clause redlining. This minimizes the amount of work that needs to be done by any single party and can optimize knowledge resources.
- Track your progress: The workflow within the CLM will let you know how long each stage takes, reward performers, and remind (strongly!) underperformers.
- Identify and avoid bottlenecks: Someone forgets to delegate their activities while vacationing in Aspen – override it. Train and re-train users on the use of Out of Office / Delegation.
With just a little bit of planning and some positive reinforcement, using your contract review-approval workflows will drive (and measure and provide great visibility on) significant process improvement.