Policy & Procedure Management – How to Stop Reinventing the Wheel
Whichever term your company uses – urgency, proactivity, bias for action, or simply getting stuff done – the modern corporate environment operates at a breathless pace that often favors accomplishment over efficiency. In this context, priorities can take on a life of their own, often at the expense of a broader perspective or a brief pause to consider the larger ramifications of a decision. When your company faces a change in local, state, or federal guidelines, the eagerness of multiple departments to get a jump on the consequences for policies and procedures management can actually work against your ultimate goal of prompt compliance to the new regulations.
Poor internal communication practices can often result in multiple departments working on the same policy issues with the best of intentions but for the wrong reasons, and this can result in confusion, loss of version control, and the use of far more labor resources than would be required in a well-managed, access-controlled policy management system. In the communal eagerness to expedite a solution, multiple drafts can get created, shared with more people than needed for input and commentary (in the spirit of engagement), and run through so many iterations that no one knows where the ‘final’ version is.
If individual departments interpret the change in regulations as impacting them more directly than any of their peer departments, they may take it upon themselves to initiate changes to be shared with the group effort as a faits accomplis. Again, such ad-hoc development may have the best of intentions, but from a resource perspective, one easily managed policy change can quickly become a very expensive reinvention of the wheel across multiple departments, producing work that will ultimately have to be deconstructed by the designated policies and procedures specialist in order to produce a workable and generally applicable solution.
Controlling data and communication without stifling the enthusiasm and dedication of your people can seem like a daunting task, but with the right set of tools, compliance can be achieved quickly and efficiently without wasting time and resources in an unnecessary replication of effort. With a clear designation of accountability and authority in a robust template built on industry best practices, everyone sings from the same song sheet. Each department understands who is authorized to initiate, review and approve policy changes, and when that work is carried-out within a secure access-controlled work portal, multiple unauthorized drafts become a thing of the past. Only those personnel designated to work on the policy change have access to the project, and their workflow can be closely monitored according to established deadlines and delivery dates. Everyone else, however eager they may be to support the cause, is freed up to do other more productive work that is directly related to their specific departmental responsibilities.
While the thought of having too many people wanting to contribute may seem counter-intuitive, the real cost of such poor communication can be exorbitant. Let us show you how our comprehensive SharePoint policy management software solution can help you eradicate the costly wasted effort of reinventing the wheel. Request a demo now.