13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2014 8:25 AM by Debbie Curtis-Magley

    How do you handle a contract amendment?

    Danielle Auretto Apprentice

      I am in the process of building our main agreement contract workflow and I've come upon multiple ways to handle amendments to a published contract. I was curious to see how other companies have successfully dealt with this.


      1. We could use the amend button with a amandment process in tasks conditional on appearing for full/terminated/renewal. This processs would need to repeat itself for every amendment 'fire'. This can only be done if a document is associated to the process. This isn't the case...therefore the tasks will not start again for every new amendment.


      2. Use follow-on projects but this creates a distinct project and attributes will need to be completed in two places.


      3. Use sub-agreements but that would require us changing the original agreement to a master.


      How have others created a workable amendment process for multiple users?





        • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
          Craig Fischer Journeyman


               At my company, we do two different processes used by two different divisions. In my division, we always amend a StandAlone contract so that everything related to the contract is in one project

               Prior to Ariba, we used a homegrown system that was built similar the Master/SubAgreement model that Ariba uses and our users had fits because anytime they amended a contract, it created a separate SubAgreement.  Sometimes our users attached their amendment documents in the SubAgreement...other times they attached their amendment documents in the Master.  Our Procurement group that referenced the system for contracting details to place POs had to do extra searching to find (and connect) all the documents related to a contract.  Upon receicing Ariba, our users selected to go with StandAlone.

               Another division uses the Master/SubAgreement because it fits their business where they create a Master for a supplier and then each individual project or scope is a SubAgreement.  If they ever amend the master (renegotiate Ts&Cs) they amend the Master and attach the amendment with the changes to the Ts&Cs below the Master Document so all items are in one spot.


          Hope that helps!


            • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
              Sharon Horton, PMP Master

              Danielle and Craig,


              I think a key part of this discussion may also include any business requirements that an amendment process be used in conjunction, i.e. will the amendment have it's own set of tasks, particularly approval tasks.  Having a separate but linked workspace - whether subagreement (technically preferred over the other linked project types), subproject or follow-on project - supports whatever process needs to be performed with amendments through the configuration of an amendment template, which will include tasks for preparation, negotiation, review and routing for approvals.  If you were to choose to amend "in place" - that is have all amendments created within the agreement workspace using Contract Attributes -> Actions -> Amend - there are many advantages, but it's difficult to support a full process for agreements that will have many amendments.  Perhaps you could get this to work if there were just a single approval task but a full blown process will work well the first time, then have problems the second and more time around.

                • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                  Danielle Auretto Apprentice

                  Thank you for the responses. because many of our workspaces will have multiple amendments, we decided to do a combination of approaches.


                  1. We created a phase with a visibility condition set to only appear when renewal, termination, or amendment is chosen.

                  2, To Do tasks have been set up to "refire" for each new draft/amendment of the template instructing the owner on a few points (review tasks and approval tasks will send all documents in the workspace if set to associate the template as the document and not a directed folder or document which is why we did not use them this way)

                       A. Use the dform we created to capture the amendment attributes

                       B. Create or add the amendment documentation as needed

                       C. Use "New Rounds" of the review and approval process used in the main agreement based on need. (note - this does not promote full compliance but was deemed an acceptable short term solution) Within the approval process we set up a condition for some project teams to be removed if the amendment doesn't need them to approve)

                  3. Use Follow On projects or sub agreements as needed based on the complexity and degree of changes needed within the amendment.

                    • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                      Kevin Dvorchak Expert

                      Another approach, that can certainly be a bit more complex to build,  is to create "Amendment Phases" and then use the completion tasks and a combinaion of hidden fields  to help track what version of the workspace you are on.


                      Your workspace then looks something like:


                      Inital Phase

                                Draft phase

                                Approve phase

                                Eexcute phase

                                - / Version 1 of workpace.

                      Amendment phase 1

                                Draft phase

                                  Approve phase

                                Eexcute phase

                                - / Version 2 of workpace.

                      Amendment phase 2

                                Draft phase

                                   Approve phase

                                Eexcute phase

                                 - / Version 3 of workpace.

                      Amendmen phase 3

                                Draft phase

                                  Approve phase

                               Eexcute phase

                                 - / Version 4 of workpace.

                      Amendment 4 : etc....


                      I've seen a lot of customers in the past who will build a "Renewal Amendment" phase and a "Termination Amendment" phase, and an " Amendment Amendment" phase. The challenge with this is that it only works 1 time. After you've performed your "Renewal Amendment" you are then back to the same problem. If you need to perform a second renwal amendment etc..your process has just broken down.  I've seen some contracts that have been around since the 80's. Thats can be a lot of amendments.


                      The basic logic is that you allow your user to work though the workspace and publish, When they eventually amend you give them a single task that states something like

                      "Mark Complete to initiate a New Amendment Phase" When they mark the phase complete, you use the completion of that task, along with a counter to make the next "Amendment Phase" visible. The user works through the amendment phase and publishes. If they later do another amendment they can repeat the process. If they need more tasks, they mark the Task complete to initate the new tasks, and you make a new round of tasks appear with visiblity conditions. 


                      From user training perspective, this works very well. Its easier to train users how to work through a basic set of tasks than it is to get them accustomed to re-activing tasks manually. It can also be a nice option to allow users to have the choice of getting new tasks, or perhaps just updating attributes and re-publishing without any additional tasks.


                      To acomplish this, the template can become a bit comlex, as you have to build in the logic to handle the muliple amendment phases.


                      For the on-premise deployments, we've talked about possibly customizing a way to initiate new template questions that fire on specfic amendment types and then use use a custom re-occurance task similar to SPM re-occuring phases to build out amendment phases. Doing this would allow you to ask a few basic questions to set conditions for your amendment the same as with a new worksapce, and then apply those to any re-occuring phases that would be coded to appear on amendment.


                      The concept of Amendment phases also works well with Legacy loaded contracts, and if implimented correctly can allow you to load all legacy loaded contracts into the same template that you are using for new workspaces.This helps ensure a consistent process for all amended workspaces of a given type.  Regardless of what you do, it is imporant to try and make it consistent for all workspaces templates that have been used. You may have a difficult time with adoption of a new process if users amend one workspace and get the new process, but amendend other workspace that happened to be based on different template IE "Legacy Load template" and get a different process. I've definitly seen this cause frustration and end users thinking the system is doing things at random.


                      A great question, and one that I think all deployments should seriously consdier. I would be curious to see know what percentage of contract work is the amending of existing contracts. I expect it is quite high.



                        • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                          h15t0r1an Apprentice



                          I really like your solution.  Not only is it easier to train and will enable Ariba Contracts to be built so that it appears to operate consistently to the users, but it also looks as though it will give an easier to understand audit trail as the same process is applied throughout.


                          Karen Brown

                          • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                            Bob Biros Expert

                            Kevin,  We are an on-Premise customer and are looking for a solution to the "how to regenerate tasks for successive amendments" issue.  I saw you post in Exchange. Can you explain more about how to implement an "Amendment Counter" that can be used to make succesive phases/tasks visible in a contract workspace template?  Does this require a custom aml field somehwhere?  or can I do it all in the template itself?

                      • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                        mambriz Novice

                        Can you please give me the steps on how you Amend a stand alone agreement. I am new to this group and our group does the total apposite of what your group does. The problem we have just ran into is that we have a Contract that was uploaded as a Stand alone agreement which should have been a Master agreement. So everytime the Contract Admin tries to amend it wont allow her too. Every option is pretty much greyed out.

                          • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                            Debbie Curtis-Magley Master

                            Hi Marisol:


                            I reached out to Sharon Horton with our Best Practice Center team and she provided the following guidance:


                            With all of the options being greyed out, this doesn’t sound like it’s related to the workspace being a stand-alone.  This sounds like something that someone will need to look at the workspace to see what’s going on, so we suggest starting with the Help Desk.  (If you have a BPC subscription, you can also email the BPC.)




                            Debbie Curtis-Magley

                            Ariba Exchange Community Manager

                        • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                          f.hodgkins Novice

                          Hi all,


                          How do you find the above means of amending fits in with your Procurement function?  The reason I ask is because we have used subagreements so as not to amend any of the details on the original contract record/workspace - this has been a procurement requirement in order to help with their receipting and record keeping.


                          Many thanks



                          • Re: How do you handle a contract amendment?
                            Sean Smith Journeyman



                            To go off of your very first point, you do not have to associate an approval flow with a document.  You can associate it with the entire Contract Workspace.  If you go into the template you are working on, go to Overview > View Details then it will let you create an approval task in there.  That task will be associate with the entire Contract Workspace.  You can also mark that task to "refire" every time the CW is amended.  That's how we do it, it makes for a much simpler process, although it does create an issue if your approval flow for amendments is different than your initial approval flow.


                            Feel free to reply if you have any questions.