CATS CM, the method for Contract Management


An overview in 2 pages

Being fully in control of your contracts during contract execution and closure with CATS CM.

Structure, detailed activities and practical insight make the realization of contract objectives easy and provide your organisation with a ‘one-way-of-working’.


The CATS CM method facilitates the Contract Manager in doing his/her job, both at the side of the customer (principal) and the supplier. The primary goal is to help the contract manager to get a grip on his/her contracts during the execution phase, to make the contract management process as effective and efficient as possible. This increases the chances that contract objectives will be realized and with that the added value aimed for. Because contract and organisation goals will be tuned regularly, you can even achieve a higher value then aimed for. An additional advantage that results from applying the method is the cost control of the contract, resulting in cost savings and/or cost avoidance. Because you are in control, you also have a grip on the risks.

CATS CM, this is how it works

CATS CM helps organisations by means of a structured Contract Management process, allocated for a number of the phases of the Contract Life Cycle.

The method especially addresses the Contract execution and Closure and evaluation phases of the contract life cycle (also named: post award contract management). In the phases before signing the contract (pre award contract management) the method can be used effectively as a checklist for contractual clauses.

CATS CM pillars

The CATS CM method is based on four pillars:

  1. Demarcation of responsibilities by making a difference in ‘Work To Be Done’ and ‘All Other Contract Matter’
  2. Distinguish different roles for an efficient contract management process
  3. The contract management process broken down in six steps:
    Initiate, Plan, Do, Check, Act & Closure and for each step a set of activities defined
  4. The CM Essentials: the focus areas of the contract manager.

Pillar 1: Every contract consists of WTBD & AOCM

Every contract consists of a description of the ‘Work To Be Done’ on the one side and ‘All Other Contract Matter’ on the other side. This difference is important because it creates the demarcation of responsibilities.

Pillar 2: Roles: who is responsible for what?

A contract needs at least three roles for an efficient and effective execution: Contract Owner, Contract Manager and Service or Project Manager.

  • The Contract Owner has the need for the contract and the budget.
  • The Service or Project Manager takes care of the tasks belonging to ‘Work To Be Done’:
    For the supplier that is the delivery of the products or services;
    For the customer/principal it encompasses facilitating that the services or products can be delivered, and determining the quality of the delivered goods/services.
  • The Contract Manager is responsible for ‘All Other Contract Matter’. He addresses questions such as: how is the invoice amount determined? What is the duration of the contract and what are the important events in the contract life cycle? How do we report progress and how does verification takes place? How do we anticipate issues or risks?

Pillar 3: Contract Management process in six steps

The roles Contract Owner, Contract Manager and Service/Project manager have a close connection with the phases of the Contract Life Cycle.  The Contract Management process is part of this life cycle and sits within the execution and closure phases. This process is based on an extended Deming Cycle and consists of six steps: Initiate, Plan, Do, Check, Act and Closure. The method describes for every step which activities have to be done. E.g. studying and analysing the contract file, creating a risk profile and having an intake conversation with the Contract Owner are part of the step ‘Initiate’.

Pillar 4: De CM Essentials

As described above every role has its own area of attention. The attention area for the Contract Manager is All Other Contract Matter. The most important general elements are described in the CATS CM method as the ten ‘CM Essentials’:

  1. The contract environment
  2. The contract file
  3. The contract risk profile
  4. The invoicing process
  5. The status, implementation and progress of the contract
  6. The contract calendar
  7. The contract assessments
  8. The topics for the different necessary meetings
  9. The meetings itself and the actions to be taken after the meetings
  10. The De (dis)contentment of both contract parties


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