Contract managers and procurement professionals will discover much of interest in the New South Wales, Australia, Auditor-General's report on its recent performance audit, “Making the most of government purchasing power – telecommunications."
When contracting errors become public, contract professionals have an opportunity to learn how to avoid similar mistakes. A recent example: As reported in the Washington Post*, a United States Defense Department inspector general’s report found that a "major defense contractor 'did not properly charge labor rates' for a counter-narcoterrorism contract, and that the Army agency in charge of the contract did not ensure that the people performing the work had the necessary qualifications." Over $100 million in questionable costs were charged to the government, according to the report.
Unlike the famous adage in the Declaration of Independence – "…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" – all contracts are not created equal. Given that they are not equal, they do not have the same "rights," nor can they or should they be treated the same way – especially when considering a contract management software initiative.
We have had the opportunity to work with contract professionals in all parts of the world. While cultures and personal styles vary considerably, contract professionals show a common desire to introduce value into their respective organizations as they manage the complexities of contracts. And while they succeed in introducing value every day, that value frequently goes unrecognized. As a result, our beloved contract professionals often become corporate martyrs rather than corporate heroes.
A typical decision point when implementing any new document management system revolves around what to do with the documents and content from the previous system. In a perfect world, all of the old content comes along for the ride and works perfectly in the new system with little to no effort. However, let’s talk about the reality of migrations and leave “perfect" out of this discussion. The purpose of this post is to frame out the points that should be considered when deciding if you should migrate anything and what migration strategies you might use.
Corridor Company participated in Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference 2014 (SPC14), March 2-6, 2014, at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. How was the conference? What were the stand-out sessions and key takeaways? Here are some thoughts from the perspective of Team Corridor…
As I made my way to the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014, I began my dive into Richard E. Susskind’s latest book Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future. The book is a must-read for anyone in a legal department or law firm. However, the subtext, IMHO, has relevance well beyond those who practice law. I would argue that the spirit of the book is all about adding value in new ways. Mr. Susskind’s basic premise is that lawyers must relinquish their dated practices of billing by the hour and instead look for collaborative and economic ways to help both firm and client.
Why do I bring Professor Susskind into the fray? Well, throughout the book, he references disruptive technologies for attorneys and the first on the list is document automation, the ability to automatically generate documents (typically contracts) based on a person’s completing a simple form.
Many of us know PowerShell is capable of amazing things when working with SharePoint. We should keep this in mind when we get ourselves in trouble and don’t know where to turn. Consider the following example in SharePoint 2010:
For many people, learning a new technology while also refining business processes is a daunting challenge. There's good news to report, and the news is that SharePoint can help! Utilizing a SharePoint project collaboration site to help manage the project enables team members with a range of SharePoint experience (from none to advanced) to learn the platform's capabilities before they start to use it as a core part of their business operations. Implemented wisely, this approach can flatten the learning curve while enabling team members to communicate SharePoint's capabilities and benefits to the rest of the organization.
Friends? The answer is an emphatic yes! With software in general, if you don’t like the way it looks you’ve just got to deal with it, branding notwithstanding. Not with SharePoint: if you don’t like it you can mold it into whatever you want it to look like with some simple CSS. Anything: with CSS you can change the way links look, the way they behave, you can change a specific link, add effects, modify colors, images, sizes, borders, shading, shadows, spacing, margins, padding, anything! SharePoint includes an OOTB method to achieve this as well, with the Content Editor Web Part. Add it to any page, edit it and insert any CSS. SharePoint will even "fix" your broken CSS.