Mass Action functionality enables users to perform contracting tasks such as create Amendments or update data, in bulk, across a large number of contracts and transactions. At a high level, it allows you to target a set of contracts, identify the change you wish to make, and then execute the action across all targeted contracts.
There are 6 actions that can be performed via Mass actions:
- Add Document(s)
- Create Amendments
- Update/Correct metadata
- Change Contract Owner
- Repaper / Renew contract
- Create Termination
Do you need to perform any of the following en masse?
- Amend multiple contracts with the same change. E.g. updates to regulatory clauses
- Append a specific document to many contracts
- Renew contracts. I.e. a large proportion expires at the same time
- Creation of termination letters/contracts
The first design decision relates to user permissions:
- Who may access this feature
- Which mass actions they are allowed to use
The second item is whether mass action projects created require approval before they can be run.
Where approval is required, the system will require the user to manually initiate a workflow, including manually selecting an approver. (There is no validation that it cannot be the user themself).
Excluding the ‘Add Document’ and ‘Change Owner’ mass actions, the final item relates to the contract template design, which may be different for each template.
When creating a project, there is an option to run a ‘Gather Data’ interview. This effectively allows the user to run a template for a selected contract to generate an answerset that will then be applied (along with other variables specified manually) to the target contracts upon which the mass action is being performed.
Where you wish to avoid copying data/answers across (for fear of overwriting fields that should not be overwritten), the templates will need to have relevant ‘relations’ added to the required variables:
There is no set best practice relating to Mass Action design. However the recommendation is ensuring that all individuals creating/running Mass Actions are fully aware of the consequences of doing it wrong. The more knowledgeable they are about the solution and in particular the contract templates, the less likely that an irreversible error will be made.
- Mass Actions is an advanced feature and should not be given out lightly. It is possible to seriously impact the quality of your contracts/data if applied incorrectly / in error. For example, it is possible to update the Expiry Date for 1000 contracts to a specific value. If this was done in error, you can update those same contracts with a new date, but you cannot roll it back to their original dates. Make sure that the customer is aware of the risks associated with this feature and that they take this into account when defining the access permissions to use it.
- There is no validation on the target of the Approval workflow. It is therefore possible for the user to set themselves as the approver. The lack of technical validation needs to be covered through operational means.
- When changing the search filter config to dropdown, a user is able to see values for contracts you haven’t got access to e.g. counterparty name for super secret contract, when doing a search for contract targets in a Mass Action project.
- There are APIs available for the use of Mass Action. See the CLMA API for more information
- Pay attention to the output status for Termination and Amendment Mass Actions. If ‘Active’, this will result in the contract being updated with the outcomes of the Amendment/Termination. (In the case of the latter, it will automatically terminate the contract). If the output first needs to be validated, you may wish to have the output status set to Draft instead.
- When using the Update/Correct Contract Data Definition type, Users must be intimately knowledgeable about Template structure in order to utilize the Variable Name to populate a “default answer” for any data not explicitly asked in the Gather Data interview.
Please note that using this feature will result in an additional transaction folder being created under the contract, containing the updated values. This is often an unwelcome result, so ensure the customer is aware of the full implications before using it.
- When running the ‘Gather Data’ interview on a target contract, the behaviour will be the same as if you ran the related action (e.g. amendment) on the contract directly. It is not possible to provide a different user experience when running it directly vs running it via the Mass Action Gather Data interview.
Things to avoid
- Mass Actions are not intended for authoring new contracts. Don’t attempt to use it as such.
- Do not use it as part of a phase 1 implementation. This feature should only be used by seasoned CLMA power users.