The fresh year presents an opportunity to calibrate and ensure that your contract management systems and priorities are in place for 2015.

It is often too easy to sign and forget about your contracts, meaning that you (or the other contracting party) may fail to perform some of your commitments.

Some questions to ask as part of a regular contract management review include:

1.    Approvals & Authorisations:

  • Do you have written approval processes and authorisations in place? 
  • Do these need updating for any changed roles or personnel?

2.    Database/Records:

  • Do you have a repository of pertinent details & summary of all contracts you have entered into?
  • Are your records up to date?

3.    Milestones/Dates:

  • What performance or other milestones do you need to achieve this year?
  • What milestones do others need to achieve by you?
  • Are these on track to be achieved or do they need to be renegotiated?

4.    Financial Obligations:

  • Have you budgeted for your committed contract payments and anticipated receipts from third parties?

5.    Expiration/Termination/Renewal:

  • Are any contracts due to expire this year?
  • Do you need to negotiate an extension or issue an option renewal notice by a specific date?
  • Do you or the other party have any obligations prior to or upon termination (such as return of confidential information)?

6.    New Contract Priorities:

  • What major new contracts do you aim to achieve this year?
  • Have you committed the resources and planned the negotiation process for such contracts?
  • What further information (diligence) might you need about the contract subject matter or the other party to progress further?
  • Will you have the resources to achieve your obligations under such contacts?

Thinking about these things at the beginning of the year can assist you to develop a clear ‘plan of attack’ and list of strategic activities for the year ahead.