Archive: November, 2006

The Holy Grail of Document Assembly is Coming

There’s a favorite question that people love to ask when they’re pondering whether document assembly will work for them. It usually goes something like this:

“That’s great, I answer all the questions, the system spits out a great first draft, I send it off to the other side, and their lawyers mess around with the fine print of clauses 11 and 23. Now, can I shove that document back into the document assembly system and change a few of my previous answers?”

And the response used to be:

“Aaaah… well… no… sorry.”

Welcome to the Engine Room

For a while now we’ve been writing a blog called Pactum, in which we wax lyrical about contracts, agreements and all the fine print in between. Pactum deals mostly with news items (good and bad) which are relevant to people who spend their days writing, negotiating and managing contracts.

With the Engine Room, we’re taking a different approach. We’re blogging about a technology known as document assembly, with a particular (some might say shameless) focus on our own product, Exari.

The aim is to share our insights and experiences of real world document problems and what (if anything) can be done to solve them. We’ll do our best to strip out the marketing fluff. We’ll try to keep it practical and to the point. That’s the plan, anyway.

Are Governance Standards the Solution to IT Contract Blowouts?

An attention-grabbing article in The Australian IT starts with a couple of IT contracting horror stories, but quickly drifts off on a rather dull voyage through the alphabet soup of IT governance standards. Never mind that your contract might be full of holes. What you really need is AS-8000. And AS-8015. And AS-8016. Or AS-8018. Or BS-15000. Or maybe ISO-20000. And ISO-27001, of course.

Whatever the solution, the horror stories are classic tales of deals gone wrong:

In the first case, a sales guy won himself a big fat bonus and a nice tropical holiday by underbidding to land a mission-critical government project. Surprise, surprise, the project failed, the vendor lost $14M, and the government won a $5M damages claim to cover the costs of their manual work-around.