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A shout out to Alex Hamilton’s article: The System Strikes Back

About Charles Drayson

Charles is a UK lawyer who has used document automation for 20 years. He has worked for large law firms, corporate legal teams, and has automated legal and non-legal documents. He writes for Legito to share his passion for using automation to get work done. “I get a kick out of creating good content and seeing it used repeatedly and reliably by colleagues without fuss and bother”.

A shout out to Alex Hamilton’s article: The System Strikes Back

About Charles Drayson

Charles is a UK lawyer who has used document automation for 20 years. He has worked for large law firms, corporate legal teams, and has automated legal and non-legal documents. He writes for Legito to share his passion for using automation to get work done. “I get a kick out of creating good content and seeing it used repeatedly and reliably by colleagues without fuss and bother”.

Charles Drayson

Mar 9 · 1 min read

Charles Drayson

Mar 9 · 1 min read

Here I am, writing content for document automation and CLM solution vendor, calling attention to Alex Hamilton’s article that asserts that contract lifecycle management is “a step backwards.” I cannot paraphrase Alex’s thoughts because reducing his text risks spoiling his thoughtful message. Alex cites Radiant Law’s concept of RADICAL contracting:

“Contracting should be built on Reasonable terms, smart Automation, be Data-driven, Incrementally improved, Collaborative, and Accelerated with a focus on creating Long-term relationships. The key is reasonable.”

He is not opposed to tech solutions – I think he’s opposed to using tech solutions as a blunt instrument to automate a flawed philosophy that seems to power some projects.

Here I am, writing content for document automation and CLM solution vendor, calling attention to Alex Hamilton’s article that asserts that contract lifecycle management is “a step backwards.” I cannot paraphrase Alex’s thoughts because reducing his text risks spoiling his thoughtful message. Alex cites Radiant Law’s concept of RADICAL contracting:

“Contracting should be built on Reasonable terms, smart Automation, be Data-driven, Incrementally improved, Collaborative, and Accelerated with a focus on creating Long-term relationships. The key is reasonable.”

He is not opposed to tech solutions – I think he’s opposed to using tech solutions as a blunt instrument to automate a flawed philosophy that seems to power some projects.

As a vendor of a tool that includes the technologies mentioned by Alex, we agree. Big projects, rushed projects, and projects imposed from management – they don’t help our cause, and they won’t help yours. They don’t help us because most organizations experiment with pilot projects before they buy our solution – we want small projects to deliver demonstrable benefits. Alex quotes another author who says:

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works….a complex system designed from scratch never works and can not be made to work. You have to start over beginning with a simpler system.”

It’s no good shying away from complexity – it exists – but you don’t have to confront it like a charging bull.

As a vendor of a tool that includes the technologies mentioned by Alex, we agree. Big projects, rushed projects, and projects imposed from management – they don’t help our cause, and they won’t help yours. They don’t help us because most organizations experiment with pilot projects before they buy our solution – we want small projects to deliver demonstrable benefits. Alex quotes another author who says:

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works….a complex system designed from scratch never works and can not be made to work. You have to start over beginning with a simpler system.”

It’s no good shying away from complexity – it exists – but you don’t have to confront it like a charging bull.

Today, I discussed with Legito colleagues whether the label ‘contract lifecycle management’ is useful. Most of our users are not lawyers generating contracts, but all our users handle documents as part of a wider business process. That doesn’t mean they have problems at every stage of their process. Some organizations get benefits from creating documents faster (sales people chasing quotas). Some organizations are more interested in creating documents that deal with tricky compliance needs (like loan documents). Some organizations need reporting and analytics extracted from a volume of documents (HR teams running absence management). Focus on the chunky problem, without getting distracted by nice-to-have features.

But, after that, we find successful projects create a desire to do more. Sometimes that means deploying tools to cover a wider range of documents (HR team shares success with procurement team). Sometimes it means evolving a solution to cover more stages in the same business process (customer success team moves from customer onboarding to ongoing account management).

 

Our job is to make sure there is room to do more without needing to buy yet another system.

We will keep adding more features (so you have the right tools when you need them), but we are not trying to build a monolithic system to support the fiction of rigid control. Like Alex says, aim to be reasonable and relevant.

Today, I discussed with Legito colleagues whether the label ‘contract lifecycle management’ is useful. Most of our users are not lawyers generating contracts, but all our users handle documents as part of a wider business process. That doesn’t mean they have problems at every stage of their process. Some organizations get benefits from creating documents faster (sales people chasing quotas). Some organizations are more interested in creating documents that deal with tricky compliance needs (like loan documents). Some organizations need reporting and analytics extracted from a volume of documents (HR teams running absence management). Focus on the chunky problem, without getting distracted by nice-to-have features.

But, after that, we find successful projects create a desire to do more. Sometimes that means deploying tools to cover a wider range of documents (HR team shares success with procurement team). Sometimes it means evolving a solution to cover more stages in the same business process (customer success team moves from customer onboarding to ongoing account management).

 

Our job is to make sure there is room to do more without needing to buy yet another system.

We will keep adding more features (so you have the right tools when you need them), but we are not trying to build a monolithic system to support the fiction of rigid control. Like Alex says, aim to be reasonable and relevant.

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