Contract playbooks reduce repetitive questions to the legal department, ensure consistent contract review by all employees through clear instructions, lead to faster contract negotiations and secure internal know-how. But what exactly is a contract playbook?
It is a contract review and negotiation manual and is a summary of a company's contract policies. Contract playbooks exist in a wide variety of forms. Whether you're using a simple Word file with basic company policies or an AI-powered contract review application, the goals are the same.
Based on our experience creating and implementing contract playbooks in different organizations, we've summarized 9 tips for you.
If you want to read the detailed version on this topic, you can download it at the end of this post.
Tip 1: Define your target audience
Before you create your contract playbook, you should define your target audience. Who will use the contract playbook in the future? The needs of lawyers are not always the same as those of non-lawyers.
Read here how HAWE Hydraulik successfully implemented the Legartis solution for non-legal professionals.
Tip 2: Use your contract templates
Contract templates provide good guidance when creating your contract playbook. They contain, for example, already approved standard contract texts, which you can fill into your contract playbook and are thus directly available to the users during contract review and negotiation. There is no need for tedious copy & paste and valuable time can be saved.
Tip 3: Think big, but start small
The task of creating a company-wide contract playbook sounds challenging. But if you take it step by step, the process remains manageable. Start with one type of contract, preferably a highly standardized one such as non-disclosure agreements or data processing agreements. Gain experience and gradually add more contract types. This is also the way our customer Framatome Ltd. proceeds:
"We have created our contract playbook for non-disclosure agreements and are currently working on its implementation. After successful implementation in Germany, we will roll it out worldwide and start introducing further contract types. This approach will allow us to learn from our experience and incorporate the lessons learned into the next wave."
– Florian Cahn, General Counsel, Framatome Ltd.
Tip 4: Involve key stakeholders
Contract policies are driven by the needs of different departments. Bring in the different stakeholders, their expertise and experience.
Tip 5: More is not always better
Do not aim to create the perfect contract playbook, but one that will serve as a guide for users in most cases. This way, the respective persons/departments can be named who should be contacted for further information in special cases.
Tip 6: Prepare for the reality of negotiation
One of the goals of the contract playbook is to reduce repetitive questions to the legal department. To achieve this goal, contract guidelines should not be defined too rigidly. Provide contract playbook users with alternative wording per legal topic and clause.
Tip 7: Be careful when delegating
External experts such as lawyers and consultants can provide valuable input when creating your contract playbook, especially if they have experience implementing such a contract playbook in different companies. Keep in mind, however, that in most cases you should not delegate this task in its entirety. You are the person who has to solve daily challenges in contract review and negotiation, so you have a wealth of experience to contribute to the creation of the contract playbook.
Tip 8: Test your contract playbook
Perform a test run first for yourself and then with 2-3 colleagues. Test whether your instructions in the contract playbook are understandable, whether the contract playbook contains all the necessary information, or whether certain instructions are missing. Adjust your draft afterwards and iterate!
Tip 9: Schedule regular meetings
Your contract playbook forms the basis for contract review and negotiation for you and your colleagues. In order for your contract playbook to be widely accepted, two elements are key: Designate a person who is responsible for keeping the contract playbook up to date and create a mechanism for continuous feedback (e.g. Q&A meetings).
At Legartis, we see on a daily basis contract playbooks improve tedious internal processes in a wide variety of organizations. To create a good contract playbook for your organization, you'll need to invest a reasonable time. But if you tackle the project step by step and implement our tips, you will soon be able to benefit from standardized and centralized guidelines, increase the quality of your work in the long term and reduce costs.
Benefit from our wealth of experience and read the full blog post with helpful tips on creating and implementing a contract playbook. Read the full version and get our Contract Playbook Guide here.
Are you interested in an AI-based contract playbook and its benefits? We are happy to introduce you to our Legartis software solution in a free demo. Get to know the Legartis LegalTech solution in a free demo.