Managing Change in an organization is a transformational process. It helps organizations transition to a new level of operational quality and efficiency, driving growth and development. The focus of change management teams should be on what matters the most − ensuring that people are willing and able to change with change levers like technology and processes.

Having said that, learning how to manage organizational change is the key component of leadership. In Ultria’s recent webinar on, “Managing Change in an AI World: A Practitioner’s Discussion,” distinguished speakers, experts, and practitioners Paul Branch, COO, World Commerce & Contracting, Marjorie Jorgensen, Program Manager, CLM and Compliance at Cushman & Wakefield, and Arthur Raguette, EVP Ultria highlight some excellent areas of managing change in an AI-driven world.

The speakers provided an insight into –

  • Impact of AI in the Contract Management process
  • Practitioner’s Discussion on Tech and Change Management
  • Implications of the Technology and Change Management process in the contract lifecycle
  • AI’s impact on Technology Deployment and the options that exist

The webinar started with a poll that was a great way to connect with the attendees on the most important factors while adopting emerging technologies in their organization. A vast majority of them voted for combining all the three factors, people, process, and technology, as the most pressing points resonating with the speaker’s opinion about the importance of integrating people, processes, and technology while choosing an emerging technology.

Paul emphasized the huge impact of AI on the contract management process. He explained the journey of implementing AI-based technology into an enterprise and how the entire process could be managed to maximize efficiency.

  • Stakeholder Identification – Identifying key stakeholders and managing them through the complex change journey
  • Strategic Use-Cases- Identifying use cases and the requirements from a business perspective
  • Requirements Analysis- Weighing down the requirements and changes that need to be made in the current method of functioning
  • Process Gap Analysis and Requirements Gathering interleaved- Calculating the difference between the existing process and the “to-be” process and analyzing the gap in cost and efficiency.
  • “To-Be” Process, with roles, permissions, security, and alerts defined- Finalizing the “to-be” process and the changes that need to be incorporated to introduce it into the enterprise
  • Ensure Change Management process in place- Once the process has been introduced, follow up on it and continuously go back and forth to improve the efficiency.

The answer to integrating people, processes, and technology via a single method is relational contracting. Research conducted by WCC stated that greater integration between the contract and the relationships could generate a well-defined performance management framework. This will improve collaboration and increase the trust between organizations.

Marjorie, Program Manager, CLM, and Compliance at Cushman & Wakefield, elucidated the process of driving change with  CLM technology evaluation. She gave interesting insights on their journey to adopt AI-driven technology to streamline their Contract Management process. To bring in change, it is important to highlight the challenges with existing processes and technologies:

  • Difficult to identify transactional teams
  • Changes in use-cases improved the overall workflow.
  • Collaboration, communication, and transparency across teams and business partners increased.
  • The vision could be shared clearly among various internal teams.

AI’s Impact on Technology Deployment

Deploying AI-driven technology to manage contracts allows enterprises to capture the entire corpus of contract data in high resolution within a robust contract lifecycle management system. It levels up the strategic role of contract managers and has immense benefits –

  • Self-Learning – Accelerates analysis to get critical business insights using AI/ML to predict and mitigate risk.
  • Performant and scalable – Enterprise-wide user adoption that can process thousands of contracts and documents at a time
  • Intelligent – Trainable, embedded machine learning “learns” behavior from your actions and data sources – incrementally improving accurate results.
  • Extensible Architecture – extendable and configurable AI
  • Integrable – With internal and external add on systems for maximum value

Further, to give a more structured approach to managing change, the speakers discussed the framework of change – highlighting 3 pillars of change for Contract Management deployment.

Operations-

  1. Evolving Roles and responsibilities – Roles like someone who can provide feedback to the AI engine wasn’t thought of previously but can help the software become highly personalized and configured with respect to a particular company or geography.
  2. Reskilling and Upskilling – New roles and responsibilities require specialized training, which is extremely easy yet essential for incorporating AI-based CLM technology. People who have had administrative roles can be upskilled to manage this technology.
  3. Knowledge Management – Maintenance of a core repository of clauses and functions is required in many larger organizations.

Technology –

  1. Automation –  Noting what can and cannot be automated in the contract management process. If the process was previously broken, automating it will eventually break the process twice as fast.
  2. Artificial Intelligence – Supporting contract management systems in an entirely new way by automating functions that previously required human intervention and allowing contract managers to upscale their roles to more strategic functions.
  3. Contract Analytics – Looking beyond the traditional contract management process and understanding where and how risks can be taken during the contract lifecycle.

Delivery –

  1. Globalized – Centralized control of a global organization can be managed by different people depending on access control.
  2. Right sourcing – Expansion of teams like contract compliance and audit teams by bringing in people from sales operation, revenue capture, risk assessment teams, professional liabilities teams.
  3. Process Driven -By employing these people to collaborate with the contracting parties, the process will involve better collaboration and set a trust level between the collaborating.

Managing change is an AGILE process, i.e., making small changes in incremental ways to identify the processes that work for the enterprise and changing those that don’t. This way, every contract lifecycle becomes process-driven.

  • Create an Agile culture with processes that streamline and improve interactions
  • Educate teams on how Technology & Artificial Intelligence will change the role of people
  • Demonstrate the impact of new technology and process changes on internal teams and external providers
  • Continuous Measurement and monitoring change

Change management is essential for contract management, and it should be treated as a source of learning to improve the overall contract lifecycle.

To access the webinar recording, click here. 

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