What is a contract playbook and why do you need one?

contract playbook
06 Dec 2023

A contract playbook is a strategic document that serves as a guide or framework for creating, reviewing, and managing contracts within an organisation. It is a dynamic tool that provides a structured approach to contract creation and management, helping organisations standardise their contract processes and mitigate legal risks.

Critical elements of a contract playbook

  1. Templates and clauses: Contract playbooks typically include a library of standardised contract templates and pre-approved clauses. These templates and clauses ensure consistency across contracts and save time on drafting.
  2. Guidelines and best practices: They contain guidelines and best practices for various contract types, outlining the steps to follow when creating or reviewing contracts. This helps ensure that contracts align with the organisation’s goals and objectives.
  3. Approval workflows: Contract playbooks often outline the approval process for contracts. They specify who needs to review and approve contracts at different stages, ensuring compliance with internal policies and legal requirements.
  4. Risk assessment: Playbooks include risk assessment criteria to evaluate the potential legal, financial, and operational risks associated with different contract terms and conditions. This helps organisations make informed decisions.
  5. Legal compliance: They incorporate legal compliance requirements, ensuring that contracts adhere to local and international laws and regulations relevant to the industry.
  6. Terminology and definitions: Contract playbooks may include a glossary of standard contract terms and their definitions, reducing ambiguity in contract language.

Importance of contract playbooks

  1. Consistency: Contract playbooks promote consistency in contract language, terms, and processes. This consistency helps prevent misunderstandings, disputes, and legal issues.
  2. Efficiency: By providing templates and predefined clauses, contract playbooks streamline the contract drafting process. This saves time and resources for legal teams and contract managers.
  3. Risk mitigation: The risk assessment criteria and legal compliance guidelines in contract playbooks help organisations identify and mitigate potential risks associated with contracts.
  4. Compliance: Playbooks ensure that contracts comply with both internal policies and external legal requirements, reducing the likelihood of non-compliance issues.
  5. Training and onboarding: Contract playbooks can be valuable tools for training new employees and onboarding them into the organization’s contract processes.
  6. Scalability: As organisations grow, contract playbooks can adapt and evolve to meet changing needs, making contract management scalable.


In an increasingly complex business environment, contract playbooks play a pivotal role in streamlining contract management processes. They provide a structured framework for creating, reviewing, and managing contracts, ensuring consistency, efficiency and risk mitigation. By investing in well-designed contract playbooks, organisations can enhance their contract management capabilities, reduce legal risks, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.

Contact an expert at SchoemanLaw for assistance today.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Nicolene Schoeman-Louw

Mrs Nicolene Schoeman – Louw founded the firm in 2007, aged 24, and is now the Managing Director of the firm. Nicolene is an admitted Attorney of the High Court... Read more about Nicolene Schoeman-Louw


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