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Checklist: Implementation of AI in Contract Review

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The implementation of AI (artificial intelligence) in a legal department or other specialist departments represents a major change for legal teams. To help you avoid major obstacles when implementing legal AI in contract review, we have put together a checklist to help you successfully implement your AI-assisted contract review.

Checklist for implementation

The implementation process is divided into four phases: the planning phase, analysis, implementation, and review and optimization phase. We present the most important to-dos for each phase. 

 1. Planning

1.1. Determine the project team

Who is the project manager?

You need committed professionals who take responsibility and coordinate during the project. This forms the project team.

Who is the project team?

1.2. Determine internal stakeholders

Who are our stakeholders?


Who will come into contact with the technology, benefit from it, or could hinder the project?

The legal department, IT, procurement, sales, finance, and management can play key roles.

Who approves the project: budget, IT regulations?

1.3. Create a project order

Create a brief project order with goals, rough timeline, project team, and project budget. The project order sets the direction.

The project order sets the direction.

Download button for Checklist implementation legal AI2. Analysis

During the analysis phase of the project, you create the foundation for your project plan. To do this, you describe and analyze the initial situation with reference to relevant indicators and formulate the desired goals that should be achieved with automated contract review in your company.

2.1. Initial situation

Description of the initial situation and the problem. 

Let your AI provider support you in analyzing the actual situation and create a business case together.

Show KPIs and metrics (number of contracts/year, number of hours spent on contract review per year).

Risks due to non-standardization

Satisfaction of the legal team

Productivity of the legal team with regard to contract reviews

2.2. Initial situation for specialist department

Waiting time in days until a contract review is completed

If there are potentials for acceleration in specialist departments, you should conduct an analysis with the affected departments.

Number of completed contracts/contract type per year

Satisfaction of the specialist department with the duration of contract review

2.3. Objectives: Formulating the target goals



In the target situation, demonstrate:

Which processes have been improved?

How have the tasks in the legal department changed?

By what percentage do you want to accelerate the contract review process?

By what percentage do you want to reduce the turnaround time of a contract?

By what percentage do you want to increase the number of completed contracts per year?

By what percentage do you want to minimize the legal risks associated with contract review?



By what percentage do you want to increase the satisfaction of your legal teams?

By what percentage do you want to increase the satisfaction of the specialist departments?

Which processes have been improved?

How have the improvements affected productivity?

2.4. Create a business case

Create the current/target situation together with the solution provider.

The goal of the business case is to determine what the cost-benefit analysis of introducing AI-assisted contract review looks like in the legal department.

Demonstrate cost-benefit analysis.


2.5. Create project budget


Investment cost planning:

Distinguish in the budget plan:

What are the one-time project costs?

What are the annual and recurring costs?

License costs

Onboarding costs

External consulting costs

IT adjustments


Internal personnel costs:

Project manager

Project team

Other project employees


Other costs:

Unforeseen expenses

2.6. Approval for implementation


Who approves the project:

Clarify early on who will approve the project to avoid delays in project planning.

Steering Committee?



Self-responsible budget?

2.7. Create project plan

Define timeframe, project phases, and milestones


Determine user groups for the first rollout

Determine user groups for further rollouts

Are all internal IT regulations known and met?

Is the installation process (timing, milestones) coordinated with IT?

3. Implementation

At the start of the implementation, coordinate with project managers, providers, and budget holders, and prepare users for using the tool.

3.1. Kickoff Implementation

Coordinate with:


Project manager

Solution provider

Sponsor or budget holder

3.2. User Onboarding

Preparing users:


Insight into the tool

Clarify expectations for use

Seek support from the provider

During onboarding:

Obtain feedback

Offer support

4. Review and Rollout

During the review phase, identify potential for optimization that can be implemented in the next rollout and ensure that the tool is used by users without any further obstacles in the process work flows.

Do all users know how to use the tool?


Is coordination with the legal department aligned?

Is the next rollout planned?

Key Takeaways

A strategic approach to implementing your AI project promises the success of the implementation. A well-planned strategy for implementing AI in contract review is a prerequisite for a profitable investment. The introduction of artificial intelligence in the legal department is not just a matter of buying legal software but requires consideration of new processes, requirements, and needs of involved users.

With this checklist, you get a step-by-step guide through the most important to-dos in the planning and implementation process of your tool.

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