CLM implementation: 5 tips from Agiloft change champions

Agiloft users share their tips and tricks on change management and CLM implementation.

New software – it is both a significant financial and time commitment. There is nothing worse than after investing all that time and money, the number of people using your new software is a big fat zero (or close to it).  

Your job isn’t over once your software is rolled out. So, what should you do throughout the evaluation, payment, and CLM implementation process to ensure your new technology is working exactly the way you intended it when you sat through your dream demo? 

Today, we’re going to review a list of change management tips created by Agiloft users at a quarterly meeting of the minds so you can learn from the source how to best implement Agiloft’s Data-first Agreement Platform.  

Tip 1: The more the merrier 

True or False: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) was built only for the contracting team.  

False! CLM is best used across several departments within your organization, which means a member of each respective team should be involved in the evaluation and implementation of your CLM software.  

This point was emphasized throughout Agiloft’s customer discussion – organizations with tips or lessons on what they’d do differently if they had a second chance, here are a few highlights:  

  • Creating the champions: Build a team of change champions who represent the teams that will be affected – sales, finance, procurement, and HR if you’re looking to expand to every contract your organization manages.  
  • Ensuring function realignment: Now that this team of champions is built, let’s put on paper what the actual steps are. Visualize what exactly happens today and what exactly your ideal scenario might be. This not only assists in building your dream workflow, but also provides you with a visual representation of how each department will benefit.  
  • Convincing the skeptics: A must-have member of your team of champions is a member who is either skeptical themselves or represents someone else who is skeptical. This not only helps increase buy-in across the organization when adoption time comes, but it also allows you to work with someone who would ask questions and explore potential pitfalls that could be looked over in initial excitement. Befriending your detractors also allows you to find out who your solution might NOT work for, and ensures that your new process is only helping, not hindering operations.  

“Adoption is something you do with, not to, people.”

tyler mckinley, director, strategy, agiloft

Tip 2: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them 

Overcommunication is key – leave no room for error. Open, frequent, and clear communication can be the foundation for successful change management. Now that you’ve created your team of champions, each member can be empowered to keep their teams in the loop and provide overarching communication to the organization. It’s important that no one is surprised what their level of commitment will be, how this process change was created, or how it will help them in their day-to-day lives. People like to feel involved, and if this is a project that they feel a part of, your adoption process should be much easier.  

Imagine giving your team a countdown, with notes on exactly how, what, and why things will be changing – maybe with some usage tips along the way! Teams won’t be able to wait to start using their new CLM workflow.  

Tip 3: Take bite-sized pieces, and be willing to change the flavor 

What happens if you’re not able to build a team of champions from day one? Agiloft users that were unable to create this user group from the get-go suggested an alternative approach to CLM implementation and change management – or one that could be combined with the champion team.  

Take it one step at a time. There are different foundational elements included in a CLM system, and current Agiloft users have seen success taking a step-by-step approach to implementation and usage. One user mentioned standing their Agiloft instance up as a contract repository first and taking time to clean the data, driving initial adoption by pushing users to leverage Agiloft to search and find valuable contract information. Once they were confident in the initial build, and once they built trust across the organization, they expanded to workflow automation and allowed Agiloft take its rightful place as the train tracks for their entire contracting journey.  

Part two of this tip? Iterate often and be agile – it’s in our name! Work closely with your champions to pivot, when necessary. What looked good on paper might not be what’s best in practice – the technology itself was built to be stretched to your heart’s content, so take advantage!  

Tip 4: Everyone has their own style  

Now you’re live, you want as many people taking advantage of your new CLM, and all the data within it, ASAP. But what else can you do to increase adoption and really ensure this change is successful?  

Think about the different learning styles – while for some a short, step-by-step written guide might suffice, for others you might be more successful with short videos on not only what to do, but why it’s important to do so and how it will ultimately improve their working lives (which, thanks to your champions team, you already know). These supporting materials will come in handy for ongoing training and onboarding of new employees and act as a refresh for those that might not work in the system daily.  

Tip 5: Have their back, and make sure someone has yours 

One of the last pieces of discussion of this group of Agiloft users was that of ongoing management – what if, even after following these steps, you’re still facing adoption issues? 

One user expressed the success and appreciation of an internal office hours that she hosts, a set time once a month where anyone who has questions on Agiloft or how it works can ask questions in an open forum. These could turn into a 1:1 training session or could ultimately improve workflows with feedback from those beyond your initial championship team. If you want your team to use it – help them do so.  

Now that you have their back? Ensure someone has yours. The last piece of advice given at this roundtable was that of having the proper executive backing – if it comes down to it, call in the big guns and ensure that this new process workflow that you created is being used universally across your organization, making the most of your CLM instance.  

Change management – it’s a more structured approach to managing the people involved throughout your operation and their response to the change you’re making, so the moral of our story? Remember the people! Create those champions, convert the detractors, and stand by them every step of the way – and just wait to see the downstream effects of your CLM in action.

Interested in making the most out of Agiloft? Join our Community to learn more tips from the people who use it everyday!

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