Corporate legal departments are always looking for opportunities to reduce legal spending and are bringing more responsibilities in-house as a result. While this can often help control spending and minimizes a legal team’s reliance on outside services, it also creates more internal processes and tasks that need to be managed efficiently so members of the legal department can continue to focus on higher value initiatives.
To help streamline these tasks and responsibilities, teams are turning to software solutions that are designed to ease the burden of managing various legal department activities, including contract management and matter management.
This blog takes a closer look at contract management and matter management and how software solutions help legal departments accomplish these tasks more effectively.
What is Contract Management?
Contract management is the process of ensuring that all of the contract terms and conditions outlined in an agreement are adhered to and that all contractual obligations are met to the satisfaction of the involved parties. The contract management process begins once an agreement has been executed and taken effect, and includes:
Monitoring and tracking dates, deadlines, and other key details
Communicating with stakeholders to ensure contract obligations and deliverables are being executed as expected
Reporting on contracts to determine how each agreement is performing and the impact to the business
Ensuring the needed actions are taken regarding contract renewal or termination
Closing out each contract with a post-mortem analysis to improve future agreements
What is Matter Management?
While contract management is centered around the process of tracking corporate agreements throughout the document lifecycle, matter management is the discipline of managing all information related to corporate legal matters, which includes things like disputes, litigation, and other claims. Matter management covers both internal and external legal matters, and involves:
Gathering all information relevant to the specific matter
Assigning tasks to various team members and outside agencies
Tracking the status of tasks
Reporting on legal work to understand the impact matters have on in-house spending and resources
How do software solutions help?
Both of these processes involve a lot of moving parts and require a great deal of time and attention to detail to accomplish. Unless you invest in the tools and systems needed to add efficiency to these important legal department functions, contract management and matter management can both become overwhelming processes to execute.
Here is how dedicated contract management software and matter management software can help you streamline tasks and better organize key details and project information.
Contract Management Software
Contract management software solutions allow legal departments to navigate the contract management process much more quickly and easily. At the core of most solutions is a secure repository that provides a central location to store and organize all of your agreements, so you can eliminate wasted time spent searching through shared drives, email inboxes, and filing cabinets to find a specific contract.
Once documents are added to your contract management system, various features give you the ability to automate many tasks in the contract lifecycle, including keeping up with key dates, locating specific terms and clauses, and reporting on contract performance.
In addition to helping you complete tedious contract management tasks in less time, contract management software also helps you achieve greater visibility into your agreements with advanced search tools and custom reporting capabilities. Legal departments can also mitigate contract risk by taking advantage of upcoming milestone alerts and notifications, reducing the chances that important deadlines slip through the cracks.
Matter Management Software
Matter management solutions allow for more efficient collaboration, organization, and reporting on the work and associated costs within a legal department. These solutions give in-house teams a way to control all facets of your legal matters, ranging from initial intake all the way through to invoice tracking once the matter has been resolved.
With a matter management software system in place, corporate legal teams can centralize where all relevant information is stored, including legal research and supporting documents needed to track and resolve each matter. Matter management software also provides a way to delegate assignments and tasks, communicate and collaborate with outside counsel, and compare and analyze data housed in your system.
The benefits of using Contract Management and Matter Management software together
By adopting contract management and matter management software, in-house legal teams can operate more efficiently, improve transparency into key department responsibilities, and more easily analyze and report on performance, trends, and spending. Each software specializes in a different area of a legal team’s duties, and when used together, you can eliminate the manual processes that would typically slow down your legal team and get in the way of other business activities.
To read more about how technology is impacting the growing legal operations field, download Legal Department Operations: A Guide for General Counsel.