Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) technology has revolutionised the way organisations manage their contracts, making the process more efficient, transparent, and compliant. However, implementing CLM software can be a complex and challenging process that requires careful planning, execution, and monitoring. That's why choosing the right project management technique is critical to the success of your CLM implementation.
In this article, I'll discuss the differences between two popular project management frameworks, agile and waterfall, and how they apply to the implementation of CLM platforms.
The waterfall approach is a traditional project management methodology that follows a linear sequence of phases, including: requirements gathering, design, development, testing and deployment. Each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin, and changes in one phase can have a cascading effect on subsequent phases. This is the most appropriate way to proceed for well-defined projects with a clear scope and set of requirements, where the end goal is known and fixed.
In the context of implementing CLM technology, the waterfall approach involves defining the project's requirements up front, documenting them in detail and getting them signed off by all stakeholders before development begins. The development team then builds a solution based on these requirements, and the solution is tested before going live. This is a predictable and structured method. This can be an advantage for organisations with strict compliance or regulatory requirements.
However, the waterfall does have its own limitations. It is inflexible and does not take into account changes or new requirements once the project is under way. It can also be difficult to adapt to changes in business needs or user feedback, which can lead to delays or even project failure. Finally, the waterfall approach assumes that all requirements are known in advance. This is not always the case, especially with complex and evolving technologies such as CLM.
Agile is a project management methodology that focuses on the delivery of value in an incremental and continuous manner. It allows the team to adapt to changing requirements and priorities through frequent collaboration and feedback from stakeholders. Each iteration delivers a working, tested and validated solution.
The agile approach involves defining the high-level goals and objectives of the project up front and then breaking the project into smaller iterations, or sprints, as part of the implementation of CLM technology. The development team then builds a solution based on the high-level objectives. The solution is tested and validated by stakeholders before moving on to the next iteration. This process is flexible and adaptable. It allows the team to respond to changing requirements or new user feedback.
Agile also has its limitations. It requires a high level of collaboration and communication between the development team and stakeholders. This can be challenging in some organisations. What is also important is adapting the contract management process to fit the agile framework may require redefining roles, responsibilities, and workflows. This can be a challenging task, as it necessitates a clear understanding of agile principles and their application to contract management.
Choosing the right path
The specific needs and objectives of your business will determine the right solution for your CLM technology implementation. A waterfall may be more appropriate for organisations with strict compliance requirements or well-defined requirements, while an agile method may be more appropriate for complex projects that require flexibility and adaptability.
If you know what you want the end product to be, our team can support you with a blueprint approach and provide you with a clear pre-defined configuration, but if you prefer your CLM solution to grow and specify requirements over time (and take end-user requirements into account in an iterative fashion), we suggest you consider an agile approach.
Blueprinting facilitates, effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders ensures that everyone is aligned with the project's goals, requirements and anticipated outcomes. This alignment helps minimise misunderstandings, mitigate risks, and prevent scope creep. Blueprint serves as a foundation for change management, enabling your organisation to adapt to evolving business needs and scale seamlessly.
In summary, the success of a project can be significantly influenced by the choice between agile and waterfall contract lifecycle management techniques. It's important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology and assess which one best suits your company's goals and requirements.
Deloitte has a team of experts with extensive experience in implementing both Agile and Waterfall contract lifecycle management techniques. To ensure we deliver a solution that meets your specific needs as our service approach is tailored to meet the unique requirements of each of our clients.
We are here to guide you through the process and help you make the right decision for your organisation, whether you choose the structured and predictable nature of waterfall or the flexible and iterative way of agile. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you with your contract lifecycle management technology needs.
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