Contract Handbook - the road map for a safer journey

Bridging the gap between procurement and contract management

Too often the expertise of a procurement team is lost after contracts are awarded.  Ensuring that important knowledge and expertise are transferred from procurement to the subsequent phases of the contract lifecycle is critical to successful and sustainable delivery.  Creating a Contract Handbook will help;

  • At procurement, parties support input to ensure they get a good deal, being able to create a Contract Handbook at this stage will irrefutably help all parties gain a better understanding of the contract.  Draft the Handbook at the same time as the contract to save time and money in the future.
  • Understanding with clear tabular formats of obligations, scopes and goals for parties to show documents, transactions and dates.
  • Construct an implementation plan for the contract, a ‘Road Map’.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and reduce the risk of an individual having the specialist knowledge.

Case Study;

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) utilises a Contract Management Handbook on a daily basis as a guide by the Contract Management teams (about 130 staff) on the Transforming Rehabilitation programme consisting of 21 separate contracts.  The handbook was written as a practical guide to the key contract management processes and provides a summary of the main contract terms.  One year after the launch of the contracts, the handbook is recognised as a key enabler in the establishment of robust and consistent contract management across the contracts.  The Contract Handbook has helped to create such benefits as;

  • Standardised understanding of key processes.
  • Easy management of obligation compliance.
  • One centralised publication of the contract in easy read handbook form.
  • Ability to have consistency during the contract lifecycle.


Focus on the entire contract lifecycle – We know it’s in the service delivery phase where most money is spent and the risks are the greatest.  Organisations need to extend the scrutiny and focus on procurement over the whole of the contract lifecycle in order to deliver value for money.  Effective contract management is underpinned by robust contract administration.

Acronym: SEE (but not in the told you so way!)

    • Simplify the contract content.
    • Ensure a consistent and professional approach to contract management.
    • Enable knowledge and skills transfer when providing support to new members of the contract.

The only question now is whether to go with paper or the electronic format?

  • Paper – Not reliant on technology / some find it easier to review / read and mark / not secure / sharable (if you hand it over – which enables facetime networking) / seen as a waste of paper.
  • Electronic – Computer crashes so does your world / some prefer to draft this way then use smart functions to review or find particulars / secure / navigate between a huge amount of documents / documents are more efficient / more likely to be created by several individuals / documents change faster, more frequently and easier than paper documents.

In a Nutshell;

A user friendly booklet ‘Road Map’ that anyone can pick up and use like a catalogue, no need for the infamous highlighter, colored post-its or the memory of an elephant.  The world of simplifying complex contracts is here by means of the Contract Handbook Road Map.

Do you have questions about how to create a Contract Handbook? Share your thoughts below or schedule a meeting to discuss your situation in confidence.


Josh Irwin | Contract management specialist
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