Contract Heroes

The Contract Management Quadrant - Kris Kwiatek

Episode Summary

In this installment of Contract Heroes, we had the opportunity to chat with none other than Krzysztof Kwiatek, the associate director at Deloitte Legal. Kris works in legal management consulting with a focus on CLM tools. We focused our conversation around: - What makes a successful implementation? - The correlation between high user adoption rates and happy customers - How to go about choosing from the wide variety of CLM solutions currently available on the market.

Episode Notes

The Contract Management Quadrant

In this installment of Contract Heroes, we had the opportunity to chat with none other than Krzysztof Kwiatek, the associate director at Deloitte Legal located in Kraków, Poland. Kris works in legal management consulting and runs the technology center of excellence, mostly focusing his time on CLM tool implementations. His induction into the world of CLM occurred in 2014 when he began working to manage the tech aspect of the new contract management team at Capgemini. Kris has 20 years of experience in widely understood IT and has spent the last 8 years involved specifically in contract lifecycle management. 

With Kris’s experience in implementing CLM software in mind, we focused our conversation around gaining his advice about successful implementations with high user adoption rates while also learning a bit more about how to go about choosing from the wide variety of CLM solutions currently available on the market.

Deploying a Pilot

To kick off the discussion, we first asked Kris to tell us about his view of contracts and why CLM is important to every organization. He explained that since contracts and services are everywhere, permeating nearly every inch of an organization, and they need to be signed more and more often, the process surrounding them must be efficient. Contracts are touched by everyone in the company, but they are not owned by one specific department. Even though practically every other process within a company may already be automated, from ERPs to HR, the contracting process, not home to anyone department, was often overlooked. However, there are two main reasons that automation is so beneficial for contracting processes: signing contracts faster and quickly extracting information that you need at the moment you need it. Even if you are only able to implement a contract repository at the start, you are still going to start seeing the benefits of faster searches, tracking approvals, and learning how to make your contract process more efficient.

Kris then took us through the implementation process, beginning with a pilot or minimum viable product (MVP). The goal of an MVP is to narrow the scope of the system, usually to just one template or one department, in order to gauge how well it will fit a company’s needs. In fact, these needs are what must be detailed before the pilot can even commence. The organization and the implementation team must first come to an agreement internally about the success criteria for the tool and what it will be expected to fix. Without these criteria in place, it will be impossible to measure the software’s actual success throughout the pilot and determine whether or not it will be properly deployed.

Kris explained that deploying the pilot quickly is a must and that it needs to be deployed to real users who can provide real feedback. Outside of a contract repository, the MVP will typically include two integrations (single sign-on and E-signatures), one or two templates (NDA and another which must be used for the duration of the pilot), and a limited group of about 100 users who have been properly trained to work with the system. Once the pilot concludes, you are then faced with two options: go deeper into the functionality by extending everything in the same department and testing again, or launching the MVP throughout the whole organization. The latter is the usual choice as long as the pilot was deemed successful.

The CLM Quadrant

As we then asked Kris about his experience recommending certain vendors, he constructed a very handy visual when it comes to the different purposes that a CLM tool may be designed to fulfill, which we later deemed the CLM Quadrant. Essentially, CLM solutions are created with one or more of these vantage points on the contract process in mind: buy-side, sell-side, pre-signature, and post-signature. Depending on the needs of your organization, especially placing focus on the must-haves instead of the nice-to-haves, you may look for a solution that adheres to one quadrant more than another. As the tools grow and develop, and your contract processes do as well, you may also find that a tool expands with you down the road, accommodating more aspects of the quadrants than it previously did.

Deloitte is tool agnostic, meaning that they do not have their own solution and can provide the client with the best option for them without any bias. Despite being tool agnostic, however, they do remain tool opinionated, with years of experience providing them with enough information to develop preferences between vendors. That being said, Kris does try to have at least two or three solutions available for each shelf of the market, from the biggest organizations to the middle players to the smallest companies too. 

User Adoption

With tools, surveys, and questionnaires in hand, Kris and his team have managed to scale down the implementation process to anywhere from three to six weeks, depending on the size of the company. However, even the quickest and most seamless implementations do not always guarantee user adoption of the software. This is where building up hype for the implementation becomes necessary. The closer you get to going live, the more buzz you should be creating around the CLM tool. But, the buzz that you generate cannot come from preaching about small technicalities within the tool because not many people will engage with that. Instead, try sending short videos or animated movies about how great life will be once the CLM solution has been implemented. Almost akin to movie trailers, you need to be making people excited for the final product.

The human aspect of implementation plays a huge role in generating buzz and facilitating user adoption. Your test group for the pilot will become the ambassadors to the software, as they are the experts who know exactly how to work it and how much it will increase the quality of life for employees. It falls to them to spread rumors about how great the CLM tool is among their colleagues. The implementation team will be responsible for making sure all questions about the system are addressed in a timely fashion. After the system goes live, it is important to host daily training sessions with an open invitation that allows anyone to join the call and ask questions about how to use the tool. Following up on questions quickly and providing hands-on solutions is the best way to ensure that no one feels left behind or frustrated while working with the new system.

For more exclusive chats with expert guests in the contract lifecycle management sphere along with valuable legal-tech advice, check out past installments of Contract Heroes, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! If you have any questions for our guest, Kris Kwiatek, he is available to message on LinkedIn.