Employment of cross-functional teams to represent various stakeholder groups is highly recommended for the preparation of specifications, tender analyses, supplier audits and key performance setting. Leading teams, both internal and with External supplier involvement is an important aspect of contract management and team leadership experience, or training is recommended.
It is important that all members of a cross-functional team are aware of the rationale governing why the contract is being negotiated so that they can all plan efficiently and effectively towards the intended goal. It is particularly important to define roles within a cross-functional team. This allows members of the team to contribute effectively and without wasting their time in areas where their skills are unnecessary. It is particularly important to define roles and allocate responsibilities when deciding who will manage the contract in the post-award stage and, while they should be involved throughout the contract management process, P&SM professionals input can be especially useful in the award stage. The level of this involvement can vary depending on the importance and complexity of the contract. For instance, a low risk contract would usually only require a contract manager to be in place for a few months, if at all, after which the contract could be managed in monthly or quarterly reviews. A more complex and important contract will usually need a more frequent and detailed management regime, involving highly structured performance management processes.
Also desirable in a cross-functional team is the ability to recognize that the rate of business change is accelerating and that therefore there is an increased emphasis on the need for the effective management of contract change, along with the growing importance of building greater flexibility into the contract to cope with possible future scenarios.