Balancing Collaboration and Delegation in Contract Management
There seems to be a dichotomy in management circles these days when it comes to allocating resources and responsibilities. On the one hand, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of communication and collaboration. But, on the other hand, there is almost equal emphasis on efficient delegation, even outsourcing in some cases for the sake of productivity. For some managers, it is difficult to reconcile these apparently opposing approaches. However, there is no reason that one approach must occur to the exclusion of the other. Here are several reasons that both collaboration and delegation are crucial components to any successful contract management process.
Collaboration Ensures Consistency
It would not be possible for different people on the contract management team to handle similar matters without some sort of collaboration. Obviously, the portfolio may be divided among the team members by number of contracts, type of contracts, or some other systematic method. However, failing to check in periodically with each other and the rest of the team, or at least have some kind of overarching approach to managing contract performance, would breed inconsistency. These sort of inconsistencies will inevitably be detrimental to the entire contract portfolio. For contract management to succeed, there has to be a consistent approach, and striking the appropriate balance is only possible with collaboration.
Delegation Creates Accountability
Clearly, collaboration is crucial for the overall contract management process. But, this does not mean that team members should have overlapping or redundant responsibilities. Rather, the management process should be planned and divided in a way that makes sense for the company and for the particular contract portfolio. Team members must have clearly delineated roles and responsibilities to ensure that everyone is accountable in some way. Appropriately dividing the workload allows everyone to utilize their particular skills, and creates accountability for the completion of certain actions.
Collaboration Provides Clarity
As mentioned, collaboration is key for ensuring consistency. However, for well-oiled management processes, the selected method may become second nature and thus consistency eventually becomes less of an issue. When this happens, the problem with allowing collaboration to fall by the wayside is that everyone on the team may not be aware of issues that arise or changes that are made. Thus, collaboration is important no matter how well the team is functioning independently to ensure that everyone knows what is happening and how things are handled. This is usually feasible with periodic meetings, even on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Delegation Enhances Productivity
There is no question that people have used the divide and conquer method to getting work done for quite some time. And, with the rise of technology, there is less and less need to have someone else supervise or review work that is completed by others. This is yet another reason that delegation is critical to an efficient contract management system, as it enhances the productivity of the team as a whole.
Overall, the best contract management system is one that manages to combine collaboration and delegation, without an excessive tilt toward one method or the other.