Contract Planning Guide 2023

(for Non-Lawyers)

A definitive Guide to Contract Planning - planning to draft your Contract.

Because Contracts Professionals and Non-Lawyers need to plan their Contracts too, whether drafting them based off precedents or templates, or working with your Lawyers to draft the best Contract for the Project.

Image of 7 Pillars, with text stating "Contract Planning: The First Pillar" and "The 7 Pillars of Contracting"

The 7 Pillars of Contracting

If you're a Lawyer looking for techniques and practical advice about how to carry out Contract Planning, check out our post on Contract Planning for Lawyers.

The Purpose of Contract Planning

At its core, Contract Planning is about identifying your organisation's needs and goals, assessing potential

risks, and developing strategies for creating a Contract that meets your organisation's

requirements while minimising its risk exposure.

Image of a woman with dark hair writing on a whiteboard, with a man watching in the background. Representing Contract Planning.

What is Contract Planning?

Contract Planning is the process of planning to draft a Contract that protects an organisation, meets the organisation's needs, and facilitates the carrying out of a project or a sale or purchase.

Contract Planning involves Contracts Professionals and their Lawyers:

  • identifying the goals and objectives of the organisation for that project, sale or procurement;
  • gathering and discussing information to enable the Contract to be drafted;
  • selecting the best project delivery method and form of contract;
  • determining appropriate risk allocation for the Contract; and
  • conducting the necessary approval process,

before they commence Contract Drafting.

Want to know more about Contract Planning and what it is?

Check out our post What is Contract Planning? for more information, including an expanded definition of Contract Planning.

Project Planning = Planning for a Project
Contract Planning = Planning to Draft a Contract
Contract Plan = The written document you use to guide you and your Lawyer in drafting a Contract

And check out our helpful list of Contract Planning Resources here.

Image of a notepad with a pen beside and the word "Plan" written on the notepad. Caption reads, "What is Contract Planning?"

Here's another useful post for you...

Contract Planning: An Overview

  1. 1
    It allows you to anticipate any potential issues and vulnerabilities before drafting the contract
  2. 2
    Contract Planning makes the Contract Drafting, Contract Review, Contract Negotiation and Contract Management phases run much smoother
  3. 3
    It gives you a comprehensive understanding of how contracts work, how they are put together in the drafting process, how they affect your organisation and how they are managed by your organisation
  4. 4
    Contract Planning gives you the skills to be able to provide clear instructions to your Lawyer about how the contract should be drafted to fit the needs of the Project.

Image of the front cover of Blaze Professional Learning's Contract Planning Checklist. Title reads, "Contract Planning Checklist. How to Plan your contract step-by-step (for Contracts Professionals)."

we help you Draft the best contract possible!

Get help planning your Contract
And reduce risk during the drafting process!

Learn the information your Lawyer will need to draft the Contract, and the steps you will both need to take when you're acting as the Instructing Officer.


Get help with what needs to go in a Contract, even when you have to draft the damn thing yourself (and whether or not you have a precedent or template to follow)!

How does Contract Planning fit into The 7 Pillars of Contracting?

Contract Planning is the first of The 7 Pillars of Contracting (see the diagram above). It's the very first step that needs to be undertaken before a Contract can be drafted.

Much of the work that is put into planning for a project or a procurement is also useful when it comes to Contract Planning.

Some facts about Contract Planning

Fact 1

Many Contracts Professionals and Lawyers don't even consider that they need to plan their contracts. This is often because they are used to using templates and precedents, and they may not think about all the work that needs to go into getting ready to draft the contract.

Fact 2

Before you plan a contract, it helps to have gained real-life experience in projects and the industry in which the contract will be used. This gives you more ability to understand the issues that may arise and to think through all the issues that need to be dealt with.

Fact 3

You can be taught best practices for planning a contract. Take our Contract Planning Course and learn about how to undertake the Contract Planning process, whether as a Contracts Professional or as a Lawyer.

Fact 4

The best Contract Planning comes when the Contracts Professionals and Lawyers work side-by-side to deliver the best outcomes for your project. And by working often with your counterpart, you can make the process much more efficient for next time.

Amanda Haverstick

Legal Writing Coach for Lawyers and Law Students

The greatest support for me with contracting practice!

"Rachelle has been the greatest support for me with contracting practice. She explains everything so clearly and is an absolute joy to interact with! Her graphics are fantastic - the perfect mix of creativity and serious attention to detail. You will learn so much from Rachelle and enjoy the process!"

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