Contract management is the practice of making sure the parameters of a contract are followed in accordance with the guidelines outlined within the contract itself. Because of this, continual management of the contract life cycle needs to be adhered to in order to ensure the contract is fulfilled in the proper context. The type of contract being managed, from employment contracts to construction contracts, all can be properly managed by following the same methodology.
Read through the contract in its entirety. Highlight key data points including time frames and due dates. Mark those critical dates in a calendar or other scheduling application to ensure that targeted completion times are understood and monitored. Highlight key areas of the contract that list the job duties and overall contract responsibilities of key personnel named in the contract. For example, a new building construction contract would name a foreman as a point of contact and responsible party for ensuring all subcontracting work is completed on time.
Schedule update meeting and appointments well in advance of each and every due date outlined within the parameters of the contract. Make sure to have face to face or phone meetings with responsible persons to update you on the overall progress of the contract. Use the interim meetings as a way to gauge the overall progress of the contract and to address issues and concerns as they arise.
Keep very detailed notes regarding who was spoken to, when and where for all parties involved in carrying out the contract. Check in with said parties on a regular and routine basis. Send emails or phone once per week to ensure things are operating according to the schedule outlined within the context of the final contract.
Have all managers and subcontractors involved in the contract send you detailed update lists on a weekly basis. Have the updates sent via email, fax or traditional mail to maintain a paper trail of all contract progress. Keep all correspondence in a safe and easily accessible location.
Maintain an accurate and continually updated list of materials used, materials required, shipping and receiving schedules, contract work schedules, labor hours incurred for contract completion and all other data impacting the contract's budget. Review, assess and evaluate the contract budget every four to six weeks to look for ways to trim costs and increase productivity.
Hold additional meetings to discuss the contract when issues arise or problems are brought to your attention. Do not wait for concerns to become major issues, attempt to stave off larger problems by finding solutions early on in the process.
Keep all contract information in a centrally located file.
Do not bypass contract parameters or breach a contract in any manner.