Why are key dates so hard?

“We keep missing key dates in contracts.”

Why hasn’t this problem been solved?

It looks so simple on the surface but it’s incredibly deep.

First you need to index all key dates. Most of these don’t even appear as dates in the contract. Instead they're implicit. You need to calculate them from other information which needs capturing.

Even for basic expiry and renewal information you need 15 data points. Those data points are dispersed across multiple documents (including amendments), which need to be grouped into agreements before you can even think about data capture.

All that has to be done 100% accurately. And this is the simplest possible scenario. We’ve seen cases where you need hundreds of data points!

Next, you need to make sure those indexed key dates aren’t missed. You need to send notifications when key dates come up.

If those notifications require a lot of work to configure (spoiler: with most systems they usually do), they won’t get configured and so they won’t get sent. Or you’ll send too many notifications and desensitise people to them. Or you won’t send notifications long enough in advance. Or you won’t resend notifications when they get ignored the first time round. Or you'll send noisy notifications with dates that people don’t care about so they get ignored.

I'll spare you the other 6,839 pitfalls.