Most general counsel and procurement officers would probably agree that collaboration in contract negotiations is a challenge even when all parties are in the same room. So what happens in our virtual world where the new normal is that people are spread across multiple locations and time zones? What does virtual collaboration look like?
We believe it shouldn’t matter where all the stakeholders are located as long as technology is being used to keep everyone in communication and on task. Therefore, if they’re using software that is specifically designed for collaboration, collaboration happens.
However, not all “collaboration” tools are created equal. For example, the review function in MS Word is touted as a collaboration tool. But it’s not true collaboration—as it’s far too easy to miss “redlined” comments, lose track of the sequencing of changes in the document or even not know which document version was the most recent. What’s more, someone can turn off “track changes” in the middle of a contract negotiation without any notification or recourse to other parties. Essentially, a good, consumer-based desktop word processor has been forced into action (for decades) because nothing was available.
Well, that is changing—as of late, true collaboration tools (such as ContractRoom) have been emerging, and they tend to have a few things in common.
- They offer transparency and visibility in content revisions. You can see who is making changes, when they do it, and whether those changes are approved and/or accepted. There is no chance of accidently deleting or misplacing anything, or of forgetting which version of a document is the most current. This facilitates an environment of trust during negotiations—an essential element of successful collaborations.
- They create away to streamline processes, making task setting and tracking more efficient. The tools may do this by creating real time task lists that alert people when they need to take an action or by standardizing any repeatable business functions. When people feel like their time is being valued and used appropriately, collaborations are seamless.
- They organize and manage the data. You don’t need to look through old files to find what you need—it’s all there in the platform. Staying organized means you can stay responsive to stakeholder requests (pre- and post-execution for contracts). That not only facilitates trust, it is efficient.
Virtual collaboration—or any collaboration really—can be simple. It’s yet another area where technology can benefit your organization, and simplify your life.
ContractRoom is as easy as collaborating in Facebook... and that's why we call it #HappyContracting.
As the saying goes, "seeing is believing"! Find out more about ContractRoom by visiting www.contractroom.com.