Contract Management for Non-Specialists, a Bite-Sized Business Book, is aimed at business managers, project managers and sales people who are engaged with clients delivering services and products within a contractual framework. In around forty pages it distils twenty years of experience of developing, negotiating and managing contracts, and it provides an introducction to contracts and managing them for non-lawyers. It is not designed to replace legal advice from qualified practitioners but will enable you to find your way round a contract, understand legal terms or find out what they mean, and allow you to have confidence in managing a contract either with a supplier or on behalf of a supplier.
A contract is focused on payment for a promise - and this simple understanding will help you come to terms with the range of issues that you will have to contend with in contract management.
This book and the role of the contract manager isn’t about dispute resolution, but about dispute prevention or, at least, mitigation. Disputes will arise in any sale of products and services and knowing where they are likely to occur, and how to defuse them if you can't resolve them will be crucial.
By reading this book, and then having it at your side, you will be able to understand how to read a contract actively - that is looking for the triggers, flash points and issues, and then manage it over the lifetime of the contract. It clears away some of the mysteries and the mystification that surrounds contracts and is focused on the practical steps you have to take, as a non-lawyer, to be fair, focused and effective.
Like all Bite-Sized Books it is deliberately short and to the point, and because it is based on successful practical experience in business, it is there to help you understand not only what to do but why those actions are significant.
Underpinning the aim of the book is a strategy of communication with your opposite number - the contract manager for the other party - and with your own company. It is an invaluable guide for all non-specialists and even if you have great experience in the field, you will find it insightful and supportive.