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Conquer the Shared Drive of Chaos: How to Migrate to a New Contract Management System

Is your contract management system more like a “shared drive of chaos?” Everyone who needs it has access, and most things are in there somewhere (except for the ones that Susan from Sales saved to her desktop and never moved into the shared drive). But there’s no consistent organization and the scans are not searchable, so good luck finding what you need.

If that sounds a little too relatable, you’re not alone. In a recent ContractSafe Industry Report, 70% of in-house lawyers say tech inefficiencies keep them from doing their best work.

The Shared Drive of Chaos isn’t great. But moving everything to a new contract management system sounds dauntng. I know it will save me time when done, but how will I find the time to make the transition? So you plod on; doing things the old manual way, even though you know there’s a better option.

After years of helping organizations make this transition, we have developed an Order of Operations to make this process manageable. Following this de-stressed migration process, most of our customers are fully up and running in less than a month. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Step 1: Avoid the Big Bang Approach

When it comes to implementing a new tool or system, it’s tempting to make a big splash. But that can lead to problems. Instead, consider a "land and expand" approach that allows for a smoother transition and user adoption.

Start by identifying a team, department, or office that meets certain criteria. Look for a group that is tech-forward, friendly, and open to new ideas. It's crucial that they are willing to play and talk with you throughout the process.

Next, introduce the new tool to this set of users and encourage them to start using it for their documents and tasks. Take the time to guide them through the process, ensuring they are comfortable and understand how to make the most of the tool.

As the team starts using the new tool, collect their feedback and suggestions. This is a critical step as it allows you to address any concerns or issues that may arise and improve the tool based on their input.

Once the initial team is satisfied and has successfully implemented the tool, leverage their experience and satisfaction as evangelists to introduce the tool to the next team. Their positive feedback and firsthand experience will help build trust and enthusiasm among the next set of users, making the adoption process smoother and more successful.

By avoiding the big bang approach and taking a more gradual "land and expand" approach, you can ensure a more seamless transition to the new tool and increase the chances of its successful adoption across your organization.

Step 2: Stop the bleeding.

Procrastinating makes the migration backlog bigger and bigger every day. Don’t make the problem worse! The first thing to do is to start using your new contract management system for any new contracts.

Not only does this keep the migration list from getting longer, it gives you a great opportunity to set up your new solution in a way that makes sense for you, your team, and your contracts. What tags do you need? Who needs access to this contract? What date reminders do you need? Once you establish these rules for your first contracts, you can create easy-to-use templates and processes for every other contract.

At ContractSafe, your designated customer success manager is an advisor who can help you strategize the best way to set up your account so everything works for you. They can share best practices and success stories from other customers, answer any questions, and hop on a call to walk you through. You’ll be a pro in no time.

And one contract at a time is a really manageable “first bite.”

Step 3: Bulk upload existing contracts; a quick win for your whole team.

If your new solution uses OCR technology (like ContractSafe), simply bulk uploading all your old contracts will give you a full indexed and searchable database of all your contracts (even scanned documents) so you can search and find contracts and key info on the fly.

OCR (optical character recognition) “reads” every document and translates it into searchable text. This enables a “Google-like” search functionality so you can search for any word or phrase and find it in every document, appendix or addendum. This search capability makes it easy to continue working with and referencing your contracts, even before you’re fully organized. Plus, it’ll make future set-up a breeze.

At ContractSafe, you can bring every single document over and make it 100% searchable in less than a week.

Step 4: Start with the big fish.

Now that all your documents are fully searchable, it’s easy to identify and find your most important contracts. Quickly find the contracts for your biggest customers (or biggest vendors) and start there.

At ContractSafe our AI tool makes this process easy. It automatically pulls out for you all the most important information – contract name, parties, dates, renewal terms, etc. – and makes it super easy to validate and accept this information. It’s a snap to then add any date reminders and additional information you’d like to have available on the fly. 

Step 5: One bite at a time.

Once you have your biggest and most important contracts fully set up in your new solution, use the templates and processes you’ve established to gradually incorporate the rest of the contracts as you reference them or as you have time.

Don’t worry, they’ll all still be searchable in the interim.

Step 6: Breathe a sigh of relief because contract management is about to get a whole lot easier.

Migrating all your contracts is just one element of “onboarding” a contract management system. Getting the right people using the system will keep you from “hand holding” and get you on with your day.

Fortunately ContractSafe gets top marks on “ease of use” for both admins and other users (and we offer unlimited users with one set price). We offer several weekly user trainings, training videos, and a support library of helpful resources. Plus, your dedicated customer success manager is ready to help.

Ready to learn more about why ContractSafe is the easiest and most affordable contract management solution for your organization? Schedule a demo!

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