Author: Tim Cummins
Yes, I really do get excited by contract analytics! After more than 35 years working in a field where almost everything was based on opinion and personal judgement, I find the potential of working with facts truly amazing. Just take this chart as an example (click to view).
The chart reflects system-based analysis of non-disclosure agreements from multiple companies. The columns to the right show commonality (where higher values reflect that a clause appears regularly) and consistency (where higher values indicate that the clause has similar principles). The clauses with a red circle are the most negotiated (common and variable), the clauses with a green circle are standard (common and consistent), and the clauses with a yellow circle are optional (less common in the set).
This type of analysis offers organizations the chance to benchmark, For example, building from this summary, it is of possible to extract ‘norms’ – in other words, what does a typical clause look like. Equally, an organization can see whether their experience of ‘most negotiated’ coincides with the experience of others.
NDAs are a fairly simple example of this form of analysis. With more complex agreements, the data becomes even more interesting and can assist organizations in understanding competitiveness, ease of doing business and – potentially – any link there may be between the contract terms and the success of the outcome.
For years, lawyers and contract managers have had to muse over their advice and decisions, having little substantive or objective data to draw from. The wealth of information that will now become available offers the chance to exert far greater influence and to deliver far more value to the business.
IACCM is working with a growing number of members to support this type of data extraction and provision and, in some cases, with groups of companies which provide contract samples, which are then anonymized before in-depth analysis.
“Unlocking Value through Collaboration” is of course the theme for the 5th Annual PASA Premier ConfeX on 11th & 12th October 2017 at Crown Promenade Melbourne. The programme has just been released and is pack with case studies and practical advice on how to work more collaboratively. Check out the programme here.
Read more from Tim Cummins on the Committment Matters website.
Tim Cummins is CEO of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM), a non-profit organization that he founded in 1999. Read more here