Deployed correctly, contracts playbooks can be powerful tools that save time and minimize risk. If our sold-out session at the Association of Corporate Counsel annual conference, A Play-by-Play Guide to Creating a Contracts Playbook, is anyindication, they are also not completely understood. During the panel, we fleshed out some of the most important issues in-house counsel should consider before creating and implementing playbooks. Here are a few practical tips:

1.       Cater your playbook to its audience to ensure your playbook is used consistently and correctly. You may need to create different playbooks for different parts or business units of your company

2.       Start with high-volume, low-complexity agreements to get the biggest immediate impact for investment, but don’t end there. High volume, high-complexity agreements need playbooks too.

3.       Identify your company’s hot button issues. Increase the efficiency of reviews by classifying red/yellow/green provisions (must haves/can haves/nice to haves) to highlight those areas that present the greatest business risk.

4.       Your playbook is only as good as the training of the people who are using it. Provide risk training – and playbook training – to complement the roll-out of your playbook.

5.       Change is good. Keep your playbook current and take advantage of increasing institutional knowledge by making your playbook a constantly-evolving document, and set a process for recalibration. Decide your strategy for ease of use and maintenance.

We went over these tips and many more in our session. If you’re considering implementing playbooks in your own company and are interested in learning more, I recommend the audio webcast of the panel at West LegalEdcenter. 

Karla Bookman is vice president, Corporate & Compliance Solutions, Pangea3