Cakes and Contracts: The Importance of Planning

Outside of my day job at Malbek, I have a side hobby making cakes. As I was sorting through some of my cake pictures, I realized there’s a lot of similarities between making a fancy cake and implementing a CLM solution. In this three part series I want to talk about those similarities. For part one, let's start at the beginning with the importance of planning..

The Importance of Planning

A plan is critical for both your cake and your CLM implementation. When I made the cake below, I didn’t stake it down the middle to provide a central support. As a result, when I took the cake to my friend’s birthday party, it slid apart in the car. Not only was the cake ruined, but my car was also covered in pink icing.

cake 1
So for both cake making and a CLM implementation, a plan is critical. Not only for what you will do during the implementation phase, but afterwards too. I don’t want to realize I’m missing a crucial ingredient at 1 am, just like you don’t want to realize too late that you missed an important stakeholder or a key requirement in your implementation planning. If I don’t plan the structure of a cake correctly (or in this case, stake it in the middle), it will eventually fall over. If you don’t plan out a solid foundation for your implementation and the various phases, your rollout or user acceptance may suffer. The importance of good planning and thinking through all the phases really cannot be overstated!

teal and copper wedding
Early on in the project, you should start asking yourself some questions about your objectives. For a cake I ask who the cake is for, what the event is, and if the client has any special requests. For a CLM implementation, I might ask:

  • What are the objectives and end goals for this CLM implementation?
  • How many departments will be included in this project?
  • Are there any current processes that can be improved?
  •  How many agreement types are involved?
  • What approval workflows are needed?
  • What legacy data should be migrated?
  • What is the training strategy and user adoption plan?

Thinking critically and honestly about your organization and your current procedures will determine how you move forward with the implementation. Remember, just because it’s always been done that way does not mean you should keep doing it that way. Onboarding a CLM can be the perfect time to refine your current processes, but it does add more effort on your part. Don’t be afraid of change. Encourage change for the better and ways to embrace it.

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