A Guide to Post-Award Contract Management

Post-award contract management is a crucial stage of contract delivery, across all sectors.

What exactly does this involve? And what are the best practices to follow post-contract award? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the post-award phase of contract management.

What is post-award contract management?

Post-award contract management is the term given to the stage of delivering a contract that begins once a contract has been awarded. It refers to any activities that are needed in order to deliver a contract, and is something that’s needed across every sector, including the NHS and healthcare, Central Government, Local Government, the public sector, and more.

There are lots of different aspects to the post-contract award stage post-award contract. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as contract management post-award covers everything from the moment the contract is signed, until its expiry date.

Building a governance framework

  • Ensuring the contract is delivered in line with requirements
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance
  • Monitoring KPIs
  • Ensuring compliance
  • Reporting on performance
  • Managing content renewal

Pre-award contract management vs post-award contract management

Post-award contract management is just as important as pre-award contract management, but the two stages are of course different:

  • Pre-award contract management – this covers everything until a contract is signed, including planning and forecasting, cost analysis, and defining the Statement of Work
  • Post-award contract management – this kicks in once the contract is signed, and covers every aspect of service delivery, until the contract end date

The key stages of post-award contract management

The diagram below outlines exactly what’s needed at the key stages of post-award contract management, which include:

  • Planning and governance
  • Appointing personnel
  • Administration
  • Defining contractor-supplier relationships
  • Monitoring performance
  • Payments
  • Risk management
  • Contract development Supplier development
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Market management

5 post-award contract management best practices

Keep your organisation’s post-award contract management on track by following these best practices:

1. Define clear responsibilities

It’s important to set out clear roles and responsibilities to define who’s managing which aspects of contract delivery. Overall, one of the most important factors of the post-award phase of contract management is to have a defined project manager (either an individual or a team), who is responsible for successful contract delivery. Project managers ensure a contract has direction and oversight, and that service and performance meet the pre-agreed specification. They should schedule regular meetings and reporting to monitor KPIs to ensure continued confidence in the project from initial signing through to expiry or renewal.

2. Collaboration

Continued collaboration between client and supplier is crucial for successful contract delivery. There needs to be regular communication between both parties post-contract award, which should be facilitated by the project manager. Priorities may change and unavoidable delays may occur, but with constant communication and collaboration, suppliers can still ensure smooth contract delivery.

3. Continual monitoring of KPIs

KPIs need to be monitored throughout a project, with a baseline taken at its beginning, and updates recorded (and communicated to the client) at defined intervals. This is a key part of successful collaboration. It’s arguably the most important stage of post-award contract management, as better or worse-than-expected results will need responding to, and priorities and KPIs adjusted accordingly.

4. Keep and maintain accurate records

Keep a record of all work completed, of performance against KPIs at different stages of the project, and of client-supplier communications – basically, of absolutely anything that related to the contract. This is important to ensure there’s a trail of all work in case of an audit – which you should always be expecting.

5. Conduct regular reviews and audits

Depending on the length of the project, progress should be reviewed every few weeks or months. Post-contract award, reviews should take place at regular intervals to ensure work is on track and that KPIs are within reach. Project managers should lead these audits, and take responsibility for adjusting priority plans depending on what’s uncovered.

Why is post-award contract management important?

Diligent post-award contract management is extremely important to ensure successful contract delivery. It’s not possible to deliver against expectations without a carefully planned and governed post-award phase of contract management.

This stage of project delivery is important for ensuring obligation management, managing compliance, monitoring contract performance, and identifying any further opportunities. It can also be helpful when it comes to a contract’s expiry or renewal, as the supplier will be able to approach this stage with a clear demonstration of everything that’s been delivered, and the steps taken to get there.

Supporting the NHS with digital transformation

Restore Digital is proud to support 81% of NHS trusts with various document management solutions. This has created vast experience across the group of the NHS procurement process, and how a Trust can successfully tender for a large digitisation project.

If you have any questions about the post award phase of contract management, or about how we can support your organisation’s digital transformation, contact us today.

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