CATS CM provides a proactive methodical approach to contract management for IT service providers.
CATS CM is aimed at four different categories of IT functions:
- Operational managers responsible for managing contracts at the operational level.
- Contract managers that have a natural ability to manage contract without using specific methods. CATS CM will provide them with a tool to further structure their work to make it verifiable and transferable.
- General management that is accountable for a solid, dependable and verifiable contract management.
- Contract managers for customer organizations. CATS CM will provide them with insights on how IT service providers organize their contract management processes.
In the past five years contract management has become an important focus area for the IT industry, and has become a separate governance area. Because of this development, the need arose for a structured and verifiable method for contract management. CATS CM was developed by two Dutch experts in the field of contract management, Van Beckum and Vlasveld. The method was first published in 2008: “Contract management voor ICT op basis van CATS CM”. The CATS CM method is owned by CM Partners in the Netherlands.
In the method, contract management is defined as all related procedures, measures, guidelines and protocols aimed at creating, managing and profitable running of a continuously increasing order book. The concept of Tracking Scenarios shows how to monitor all contract management aspects with the help of detailed and structured roadmaps.
The detailed roadmaps provide a way to manage contracts from the moment they are signed. CATS CM consists of thirty activities that are grouped into six blocks. Each of these six blocks forms one stage in the contract management process. The activities are interrelated, and arise from the tasks, responsibilities and accountabilities of the contract manager.
Scope and constraints
The scope of the method is contract management from the perspective of IT service providers. CATS CM complements other approaches such as PRINCE2®, ITIL®, ASL® and BiSL®.
CATS CM enables service provider organizations to make their contract management function more effective and efficient. The most important constraint is the abstract level of description of the elements of the CATS CM method. It is not suitable for inexperienced contract managers and organizations.
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NB: Dutch title!