Policy Management: The Five Steps to Success

By Ray Lau posted 04-22-2011 02:01 PM


Let’s face it: policy management is like eating your vegetables. It’s necessary and we know we have to deal with it every day to stay healthy. But in reality, quality policy creation, dissemination, and continuous management are crucial to any organization. Every internal document has the same higher purpose: to keep the organization in compliance and its personnel happy and safe.

Whether they exist in file cabinets, as PDFs on an intranet system, you probably have quite the collection of policies and procedures at your organization. But how are you managing them – if at all? And what about the documents you know need to be written, but you just can’t find the time to author them?

Luckily, policy management software exist to help you through this process. Here are five steps that will get you started on moving toward a better future with your policy management.

  • Make a list of your unique needs. Tons of tools exist to make your professional life easier while keeping you in compliance. Your specific needs will help guide you to the right set of software.
  • Consider your options and make a purchase. Once you’ve made a list of what you need, do a little research. Google some relevant keywords that pertain to your needs, or even shoot a little higher with industry-specific searches. See what websites offer something you can take away (like a whitepaper or eBook), which give you the most bang for your buck, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of any sales representatives who contact you.
  • Start brainstorming. How your policies currently exist is a big factor in what this step means for you. If you already have all the documentation you need in one of the aforementioned formats (hard copy, PDF files, etc.), all you need to do is upload them and make sure you stick to a consistent naming convention. If there are policies you need to author, then hopefully you chose a set of software that allows you to do that!
  • Distribute! Enjoy time saved, as well as money saved on paper, by sending out your policies to those employees who need to read and sign off on them electronically. If necessary, have them take attached tests for maximum knowledge retention and assurance.
  • Keep up with it. Set expiration dates on document signatures. This will ensure no one’s compliance slips through the cracks, without you having to manually sort through a never-ending stack of papers or set of scattered PDF files.

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