Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are jumping on board with a very popular trend in process improvement; automated contract management. To be fair, though, contract automation is not so much a transitory “trend” as it is an essential, sustainable ingredient in NGO and nonprofit management.
Streamlining and automating contract lifecycle management and compliance with a cross-operational electronic document management system not only eliminates the worries of back-office operations, but also drives more efficient execution of mission goals.
So you want to become a successful and tech-savvy contract manager? That’s a respectable goal, and it’s also not as complex as you may think. Here are four down-to-earth tips to elevating your contract administration efficiency:
1. Flex to operation fluctuations.
In order to succeed, an organization cannot afford to stay stagnant for long. Your processes must therefore adapt and evolve in order for you to grow.
- Review and revise your contract management process every year, making sure it’s keeping up with changes in your organization.
- Regular reviews also help you gather feedback and integrate suggestions for business process improvement from participants.
2. Put limits on permissions.
It may seem like a good idea to open up document editing to anyone during contract reviews, but this is not always the case.
- Put caps on who has control over editing a contract.
- Most people are not trained to understand contract language, and therefore may not grasp the importance of some of those “silly-sounding clauses” that carry more weight than their legalese may let on.
3. Don’t keep the contract template on lockdown.
Set up templates to match the types of contracts that your organization typically deals with.
- Keeping these controlled templates accessible helps get each contract rolling in the right direction from the beginning.
- If you have certain clauses that must be incorporated into the contract, make sure they’re included in the (easy-to-access) contract template files.
4. Get everyone on board.
It’s human nature to forget best practices and tamper with methodologies – every organization, whether NGO/NPO or for-profit, deals with inconsistent processes and methodologies. Let’s be clear here: this “operations amnesia” is usually not intentional.
Your people just want their agreements in place, so they find ways to make it happen – ways that often go against systems that were put in place for a certain, strategic reason.
- Without training, people may remove critical information, add unnecessary information, and generally bypass approved systems.
- Provide consistent and regular training on contract and document management software to your people. Enlighten them on the processes, show where the templates are and clarify what should and should not be edited in the contract template when creating a new agreement.
Want more tips on optimizing your non-governmental or nonprofit operations with automated contract management solutions? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to pass along some new tips and tricks to streamline your processes!