Important, hard, neglected

Let’s look at a common scenario that beautifully illustrates how important, hard, and neglected contract structure is compared to data capture.

Imagine you sign an MSA with a long-term customer. It has its own set of terms that govern the future working relationship between you.

Over the next few years, you sign 30 Statements of Work (SoW) on top of that MSA, each with its own set of terms around commencement and payment.

However, 20 of them inherit the MSA’s terms around maintenance and renewal and 10 define their own terms which take precedence.

To top it off, the MSA gets several amendments and the whole thing gets novated after a corporate restructure.

How do you capture information from the MSA, feed it into what you’ve captured from each SoW (taking into account that some of them define conflicting terms that take precedence), incorporate the amendments, propagate each of the modified terms to each SoW, reflect that the whole set has been novated to a different legal entity, group them all into a coherent structure that can be understood and navigated by your team, and still be able to easily work from each of the 30 independent sets of information?

Contracts aren’t just individual documents you can independently throw at a data capture machine to spit numbers out. They have a complex, tangled structure that you need to model before any data capture makes sense.