Trello boards are a popular project management and collaboration tool that uses a visual and super flexible approach to help teams organize tasks and projects. We have seen a number of startups use Trello for contract management and managing the legal pipeline for customer contracts. Trello is designed to mimic the concept of a physical bulletin board or whiteboard where tasks and information can be arranged and moved around.
Trello has a very user-friendly interface. It’s particularly popular among remote and distributed teams due to its accessibility from various devices and the ability to easily collaborate and share information. For this reason it has become useful for small startup teams who need to work with external providers such as an external SaaS lawyer.
Setting Up Trello For Contract Management
To create a Trello board and set up stages like “Contract Sent,” “Contract Redlines Returned by Customer,” “Redlines in Negotiation,” “Contract Returned for Signing,” and “Contract Signed,” follow these steps:
- Create a Trello Account: If you don’t already have a Trello account, you’ll need to sign up for one. You can do this by visiting the Trello website (trello.com) and following the registration process.
- Log In to Trello: After creating your account, log in to Trello with your credentials.
- Create a New Board: Once you’re logged in, click on the “Boards” tab on the top left corner of the Trello dashboard. Then click the “Create a board” button. Give your board a name, such as “Contract Management,” and select your preferred visibility settings (e.g., Private, Team, Public).
- Add Lists (Stages): Within your new board, you’ll see a “Add a list” option on the right. Create lists for each of your stages, in the order you mentioned. To do this, click “Add a list” and give it the name of the first stage, e.g., “Contract Sent.” Repeat this process for the other stages you mentioned.
- Create Cards: Within each list, you can create cards to represent specific tasks or items related to that stage. For example, in the “Contract Sent” list, you might create a card for each contract you send. Click “Add a card” within a list, and then you can add details to the card, such as due dates, descriptions, attachments, etc.
- Customize Cards: For each card, you can click on it to open and add more details. You can add due dates, labels, descriptions, and more to provide additional context for the task.
- Move Cards Between Lists: As the status of each contract changes, you can move the corresponding card from one list to the next to reflect its progress. For example, if a contract sent to a customer is returned with redlines, move the card from “Contract Sent” to “Contract Redlines Returned by Customer.”
- Collaborate and Manage: You can invite team members to your board by clicking “Invite” on the right side of the board and adding their email addresses. They can then collaborate with you on the board, add comments, and make updates.
- Manage Work in Progress: You can set limits on the number of cards in each list (Work-in-Progress limits) to manage the flow of work efficiently. This helps prevent overloading any particular stage of the process.
- Continuous Improvement: Use the board to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and continuously improve your contract management process.
By following these steps, you can create a Trello board to manage the stages of your contract management process effectively. Customize the board and cards as needed to suit your specific workflow and requirements.
Redline What Matters
Raise Changes For Approval To Turnaround Contracts Faster
When A Trello Board Isn’t Right
The great advantage of using Trello for contract management is that it is incredibly flexible in what you can do with it. It is very easy to set up new stages, invite new users and track things with checklists and attachments. The biggest disadvantage of using Trello for contract management is also that it is incredibly flexible.
Trello Boards Don’t Manage Contract Versions
Effective management of contract versions during the negotiation of SaaS (Software as a Service) sales contracts is very important. It ensures clarity and agreement between the parties involved in the transaction and cuts down on wasted time. During negotiations, changes are often proposed and discussed, involving crucial aspects such as pricing, service levels, data security, and contract compliance requirements. The ability to manage contract versions enables all parties to work from the same document, fostering a shared understanding of the evolving terms. This not only helps in preventing misunderstandings but also establishes an audit trail that captures the history of changes, their authors, and timestamps.
Trello is not set up for this, and nor should it be. The tool is for project management and when you’re trying to manage contract versioning on Trello you get stuck in the same trap of relying on naming conventions as your contract filing system on Drive or Sharepoint does. Getting contract versions and communication with your customers legal team right fosters trust between parties, streamlines the contract negotiation process, enhances communication and collaboration, and empowers contract governance, ensuring that the agreement gets completed as soon as possible.
Contract Sent has been built with contract version management in mind. Each version is managed separately with tags over whether it is the current working version, old version or signed version so that your team is no longer confused when it comes to which version they should be referencing. Couple this with Contract Sent’s advanced contract comparison to compare contract versions and you’re set up to close deals faster.
Trello Boards Don’t Capture Contract Details
Trello as a tool is not going to capture the contract details that you negotiate during the contracting process. It is not a tool build to extract this information.
Capturing critical contract information, including start and end dates, liability caps, and jurisdiction, during the negotiation of SaaS sales contracts is important for several reasons. It sets the foundation for a clear, enforceable, and mutually beneficial agreement. Start and end dates define the contractual term, ensuring both parties are aware of the commitment’s duration and enabling effective planning. Liability caps are essential to manage risks; they limit potential financial exposure in case of disputes, providing financial security for both the service provider and the client. Jurisdiction, or the legal venue for dispute resolution, is crucial for legal clarity and can significantly impact the outcome of legal proceedings.
By capturing these key elements during negotiations you’ll be able to track what you have been contracted to deliver to the customer. Better yet, you won’t be trapped in the task of constantly having to read long form contracts to understand what is in each contract. You’ll simply be able to reference your customer contract database.
Contract Sent has been build with this in mind. We help to extract and structure contract data to help you cut down on the post sales manual work that you’d normally have to do if you were using Trello for contract management.