Contract Guardian consultants champion best practices to help our clients have a successful migration and take the necessary steps towards contract management excellence. Below are some recommendations for contract management best practices for data migration.
Migrating to a new contract management system presents the perfect opportunity to cleanse your data prior to importing to Contract Guardian. It also is an excellent time to purge documents that are no longer relevant or match your corresponding retention policies. A good system will provide automatic business rules going forward for retention policies.
Revisit your existing workflow processes and contract templates. Most clients have a number of standard (template) agreements that they use when generating contracts on their paper. This is the ideal time to revisit those templates and update accordingly. The templates provide excellent standardization and the elimination of data errors. The same is true for any workflow processes.
If your existing system uses role based security, you should be able to replicate and enhance your current set of roles and permissions. Most systems will set up around a dozen roles. However, there should be no limit on the number of roles at each organizational level. This is all part of establishing your information governance.
Establishing information governance for your new data system starts by figuring out who will have final say, who manages the information and who is responsible for supporting data quality, access and usage throughout the organization. Your vendor should work very closely with you during this stage of defining the appropriate permissions for each role. Typical names of roles include: Administrator, Contract Manager, Contract Author, Contract Reader, etc. Most clients will define 10 to 15 roles at various levels such as the Account, Organization Level, and Departments.
In addition to establishing data standards, it’s also important to define the current and future business rules that will apply to your use of contract data. These rules should ensure compliance and compatibility with business and validation rules, not only for the current data migration but for all future requirements and regulations.
Risk and change management is fundamental to the process of managing our information, so it makes sense that it should be an essential component of the migration process as well. Make sure that all data will be easily accessible for potential audits. Managing change across the entire organization requires careful consideration for all of the people participating in the system.
It is not unusual to discover duplicate data and inconsistency in the older data that is being converted. Migration testing should be performed long before the migration is complete. Testing should be performed throughout the migration process to catch mistakes and issues while they’re still fixable. And once the migration is complete, your team of data experts should perform a more extensive set of tests to evaluate and approve the new system before people start using it across the entire organization.
Your contract management system requires attention to detail at each step of the process. These six best practices will help lay the foundation for successful data migration and an efficient contract management system moving forward.