Contract Intelligence Framework


While project management and contract management are well understood individually, optimizing the intersection could be a source of significant untapped potential.

The Contract Intelligence™ framework helps organizations execute multi-stage, multi-party projects by optimizing workflows across the organization and its contractual partners.

Key Principles

  1. During project execution, project managers (PMs) should manage contractual relationships and project billing (approving invoices from subcontractors and billing the client) because only the project team has all the required information. Except in a crisis, contract administrators and leadership should limit themselves to support, training and oversight.
  2. PMs need to know and have at their fingertips the essence of the agreements with third parties (at a minimum: project stages, dollar amounts, and any deadlines). Clarity around contractual milestones aligns the project team with their leadership team.
  3. Require sub-consultants/subcontractors to break down their invoices as per the agreed contractual stages. This will reduce invoice processing effort, helps catch billing beyond the agreed amount, and reduces unnecessary followup and friction between teams.
  4. PMs should receive and approve subcontractor invoices - not bookkeepers or executives who lack information. PMs have to be involved anyway, so in an efficient system, invoices will flow from the subcontractor -> PM -> accounting dept -> client.
  5. Changes (design changes, changes to project scope, or deliverables) should follow a well-defined change procedure to avoid missed billing opportunities and cost overruns. Contractual clarity (§2. above) will help project teams convert requests (that constitute a design change) into a billing opportunity.
  6. PMs should produce progress reports and provide the information to bill the client (if applicable) because only PMs have all the information to do that.
  7. Progress reporting and client billing that's aligned with the organization's billing cycle is a good rhythm for everyone. It provides consistency for the client, leadership, and the PMs. Progress reports in a standard format promote clarity, inspire confidence in the client, and smooth invoice approval.
  8. Provide PMs with KPIs - what's measured will improve over time. Financial metrics will increase financial awareness and align the project teams with leadership. Key project metrics include income (client), expenditure (subcontracts), internal labour cost (staff timesheets), and projected net income.

A common objection is that this framework seems to expand the role and responsibilities of PMs (who are already busy).

That's true, but the Contract Intelligence framework eliminates efficiencies. So what gives?

StageProject, our cloud app that's based on the framework, greatly eases a PM's contract management and billing workload. You will see more confident project teams, and increased project capacity, resulting in organic growth.

Unleash the framework and the cloud application for a working system that will ease project execution, empower your PMs, free up your executive team, and increase your project carrying capacity.

Request a Demo or try it on your next project.

/  Further Reading  /

"Our PMs don't have much to do with billing"
Project team in a meeting

Telltale signs of a sub-optimal contract management workflow.

Rethinking contract management
Typical contractual information flows

Is your company's contract management and project billing workflow homegrown?

Do you recognize these challenges?
Subcontractor invoice approval

Wishing you could spend more time working on the things you love, instead of routine billing and contractual details? You'll recognize some of the challenges highlighted here.

Contract Intelligence™ Framework
Reimagined in Edmonton

Optimizing the intersection between project management and contract management could be a source of significant untapped potential.

Reimagined in Edmonton
Reimagined in Edmonton

How, Why and Where : the brainchild of an award-winning Edmonton architectural firm.

Document Workflow System

Who thinks that the hard part of contract management is document storage, document sharing, and electronic signatures?

Introducing StageProject

StageProject® launched for public consumption in January 2021.

Supporting unlimited users and priced per active project, it's lean and will grow with you. Try it on your next project and see how it revolutionizes your contracts and billing workflows.

Contract management demystified

Undertaking complex projects involving multiple stages, contractors, clients, or all of the above, contract management is the task of negotiating and managing the terms of each relationship favourably.

For success, agreements between parties require exceptional clarity about deliverables, deadlines, rewards, and penalties.

Contract management demystified

In a medium-sized firm where I once worked, senior partners would meet with their bookkeeper to process the incoming pile of invoices that had arrived in the preceding month.

Stay on top of project billing

Invoicing clients and approving invoices from subcontractors is essential but routine, detail- oriented, and time-consuming. Challenges include incoming invoices that do not align properly with contractual milestones. For client invoicing, issues include billing on time, including contractor bills, missed billing opportunities, and compiling good- looking progress reports.

the stageproject system

StageProject streamlines contract management and billing for projects with multiple stages and subcontractors. It's primarily a tool for project managers to approve invoices and bill an external client if applicable.