Creating a new policy or procedure can be a resource-intensive and time-consuming process. Depending on the complexity of the issue being mapped, the work can require the input of multiple personnel and several rounds of review and revision before a final version is approved. It’s no wonder that the project team is often tempted to break out the cigars and champagne to toast the ‘birth’ of their new arrival. A well-run policies and procedures department will want to celebrate the delivery of yet another project on-time and (hopefully) under budget. For the more ad hoc policy development teams, the feeling may well be one of relief that another fire has been put out and another crisis averted. If the team was assembled under an “all hands on deck” memo from senior leadership, the members of that team will now get to look forward to tackling all the work that piled-up in their inboxes while they were on secondment to the policy project.
Make Sure Your Staff Acknowledge Your New Policies And Procedures
Unfortunately, the official sign-off on the final version of the new policy doesn’t mark the end of the work to be done. It still has to be distributed to all relevant personnel, and formal acknowledgment of its implementation still has to be recorded. If the policy represents a major change of practice, there may be additional training involved, with follow-up quizzes to confirm that all attendees understood the material.
Make Sure Your Policies and Procedures Are Audit Ready
For those compliance departments that struggle with the policy creation process – input delays, multiple drafts, loss of version control – the palpable sense of relief in getting a final version written can lead to the policy management stage getting overlooked. Yes, you have a policy in place, and yes, you can present it proudly to an auditor when asked, but without proof that the policy has been implemented and that every relevant employee understands its significance and abides by it, your company is still out of compliance.
Make Sure All Your Stages Are Well Documented
Achieving full compliance requires that all stages of a policy lifecycle are closely documented and managed. A Policy Management software solution enables you to leverage templates built on industry best practices to control both the creation and ongoing management of all of your compliance policies. By using a well defined policy management software, policy creation can be locked-down to authorized personnel only. All work can be tracked in a real-time dashboard so that all deadlines, draft versions and revisions can be closely managed and escalated if necessary. Central document storage with comprehensive search capability ensures that all draft versions are tightly managed and that any requests for supporting documentation from auditors can be handled efficiently. Once the final version has been approved, it can be published to the policy management site to oversee distribution, acknowledgment, training (if required), as well as any ongoing revisions, updates, and renewals.
Get Help From The Experts
We are policy management experts. Let us show you how our comprehensive ConvergePoint policy management software solution built on Microsoft’s SharePoint platform and its tight integration to Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange / Outlook and your email address book can help you make impromptu policy lifecycle management a distant memory.
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