Now I know what you are thinking to yourself, I have hundreds if not thousands of policies at my organization – how can I possibly look at all of these costs for every policy? What a nightmare! Instead we suggest taking a random sample of your data set, as testing a subset of policies can save significant time. A good rule of thumb when taking a sample size is to use n=30, as a sample size of 30 policies or procedures will reflect enough of a sample to provide reliable results, without overburdening the person analyzing the data.
A sample size of 30 is by no means required, but helpful in looking at costs spread across the organization. Often though, looking at 1-5 policies may give a good understanding of the costs associated to your policies. This will help you to see the multiples and inefficiencies within the policy lifecycle that can later be streamlined.
Once you have decided on the sample size, or how many policies you will be calculating cost for, take a random (as best you can) sample of policies your organization may have. Make sure to include policies that may serve multiple departments, in case you have multiples of each policy. It is best practice to account these multiples, as multiples do have additional costs associated in maintenance and upkeep. Once you have decided on which policies to sample, it is now time to calculate the costs associated.