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Jira is a versatile system, which can be moulded into a comprehensive contract management tool. Some important principles of effective contract management are,

  • Plan,
  • Process,
  • Execute, and
  • Measure

We will discuss each principle and how it can be applied to your contract using Jira and Pact - Contract Mangement for Jira.

Plan

A contract has to be well organised and simple. It must aim to eliminate any risk factors associated with it.

The simplest entity in Jira which meets our need as a placeholder for a contract is an issue. Jira issues have unlimited modularity and with support for custom fields, we can simplify data associated with the contract

Cost and time are the heart of the contract. You can utilize time management provided by Jira, whereas Pact adds cost-related custom fields to your Jira issue. You can store all documents related to the contract as attachments to Jira issue.

You also can create more custom fields to extend your contract further.

Process

While processing a contract two most important aspects are classification and workflow.

In Jira, we start by classifying the contract in a more simpler and manageable set of requirements. Requirements should be an atomic entity, and you must try to reduce interdependency among them. We can use Jira issue links to connect these requirements with the contract. Before executing a requirement, we will further drill it down to a set of negotiations. All stakeholders will participate in these negotiations, and the end result of each negotiation will be reflected in the associated requirement for clarification and cost control.

For workflow, we will utilize a powerful workflow engine provided by Jira. Workflow can be complex or simple, but it should be identical for requirements and throughout the organization. In a workflow, we must focus on each step and carefully handle exceptional cases.

Execute

Executing a contract is the core of its success. No matter what process we are using for a contract but poor execution can lead to disaster.

Thankfully, execution is the strength of Jira. We can follow any execution model of choice in Jira. Currently, the industry is focussed on Agile methodologies for execution.

Jira provides wonderful sprint dashboard for agile workflow. It also provides various checks and balances that will essential for the success of your contract in future.

Measure

It is very important to measure and audit your contract. It will help you identify future risks and mitigate them.

Pact provides a holistic view of each contract in Jira. This view helps you track progress and identify roadblocks in your contract.

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