According to ComplyALIGN’s internal statistics the number one reason organizations begin the hunt for a policy management system is “feeling overwhelmed” with manually tracking policies and procedures.
When demonstrating our solutions to new clients, a vast majority (over 55%) state that their struggles lay in managing multiple documents and tracking each individual policy status.
There are several factors that contribute to the difficulties in manually managing policies and procedures, so it’s not a surprise this comes in as the number one reason organizations are seeking an alternate solution.
The typical challenges with a manual policy management process include:
- Large number of documents being managed (often hundreds to thousands)
- The never-ending revision process
- Ensuring staff completes their reviews, edits and approval in a timely manner
- Document version control when sending policy drafts to reviewers and approvers
- The complex review and approval process involving multiple parties
- Changing roles and organizational structure when new staff members are removed or added
- Tracking multiple review and approval timelines
- Alerting staff about upcoming reviews and past due dates
The good news is, a policy management software can easily address all aspects of policy governance in one centralized portal.
An automated P&P management solution can manage workflow and notifications automatically. Typical base features of an automated policy manager include:
- Notification alerts when a policy is due for review
- Improved workflow with automatic sending of documents to proper editors and review and approval authorities
- Automatic tracking of review and approval steps
- Accurate and automatic archiving of revisions
- Access to an easy-to-use dashboard with reports and charts on policy status and workflow timelines
Advanced Features of a Policy Manager
More advanced and comprehensive policy management products often offer additional features that can assist in effective management of policies and procedures, such as:
- Easy search and browse access to approved policy libraries
- Option to bookmark important documents
- Read attestation tracking
- Policy understanding quizzing option
- Document cross reference
- Document tagging with additional references and meta-data
- Status dashboarding
Even though implementing an automated platform for policy management seems line a “no-brainer”, the perceived effort of implementing a P&P software may seem daunting – review dates and responsibilities for each document will need to be scrutinized and set correctly. But while this task will need to be done only once when implementing an automated policy management product – the same task would need to be repeated every single time a policy is reviewed and revised if managed manually.
Lastly, manual policy management processes are overwhelming because they are inaccurate. Information need to be re-verified and re-checked on an ongoing basis. Automated systems, on the other hand, simplify repetitive tasks and therefore greatly eliminate opportunities for errors and mistakes.