Four Essential Considerations When Selecting Policy and Procedure Management Software

Written by ComplianceBridge Policies & Procedures Team on February 28, 2018

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Are you looking for a software system to efficiently manage all your policies and procedures? If so, you’re in the right place! In this article, we’re going to outline some common policy and procedure management software pitfalls and show you how you can avoid them. While it’s a massive step forward from manual or paper-based systems, setting up a system for online policy and procedure management is rarely completely stress-free or as smooth a change as you might wish for. For that reason alone, many companies persist for far too long using a system which they have long ago outgrown.

Many organizations are using systems to manage their internal policy and procedure compliance that they have concocted themselves using a variety of spreadsheets, emails, and hard copy tick-box forms. What they are increasingly finding is that even with the input of hundreds of hours of manual labor, their system is struggling to cope. The more departments and employees that an organization has, the greater the drag on productivity that is inflicted by manual policy and procedure management.

One of the biggest challenges when moving to a cloud-based system is simply figuring out what policy and procedure management software will be best for your business. Here are four essential considerations to keep in mind that will help you figure out what system is best for you. Rather see this in video format? Just scroll to the bottom of the page!

ONE: AFTER-SALES SUPPORT & TRAINING IS NOT JUST AN “ADD ON.” IT’S ESSENTIAL.

Policy and procedure management is a challenging area and a rushed software implementation could easily result in even more wasted time and frustration for colleagues and associates. Even the best planned implementation is bound to run into a few teething difficulties. With this in mind, you should consider the aftersales support and training package to be just as important a factor in your decision-making as the features and benefits of the software itself.

Does the software vendor offer free setup and training? What about ongoing user training, via webinars and training videos? Remember that you will likely have new users coming on every year, so it’s not just a matter of the existing team working out how the policy and procedure management software functions and then running with it for the foreseeable future.

Also, you need to factor in the ongoing costs of technical support. This is a very necessary resource especially in the initial phase, and also when major changes or integrations occur. You will need it, most likely for as long as you use the software, so don’t be drawn in by attractive-sounding packages that appear to offer great value but come with a heavy cost for ongoing development and support.

When it comes to support, don’t just take the salesperson’s word that it will meet your expectations. Ask for customers who are using it that you can call to ask for real-world feedback on what the support level is like. Any proper company should be able to provide you with at least a couple of their clients who will be happy to give you a real testimonial.

Finally, making sure that whatever software and support platform you choose comes with free upgrades as the system is developed is always a good idea. It can be frustrating to realize after the fact that there is an annual cost to upgrade to the latest version of the software you have come to rely on.

TWO: CAN THE POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE HANDLE THE REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR SECTOR?

While there are general purpose tools that work across a wide variety of sectors, if you choose a tool that has a proven track record in your specific sector, you may save your organization a lot of time and money further down the road. A “jack of all trades” type of tool is likely to need significant customizing for your requirements at some stage.

Every sector is unique and come with their own challenges. Your ideal policy and procedure management tool should sit unobtrusively in the background, ensuring compliance is maintained, while also helping operators to provide an excellent level of service and make their daily tasks easier.

It’s important to get the right fit if you are to get the most out of it and choosing a policy and procedure management software system that has a proven track record in your specific sector – whether that be law enforcement, healthcare, local government, or finance – will give you a better chance of maximizing your ROI.

THREE: JUST BECAUSE IT’S A WELL-KNOWN BRAND DOESN’T MEAN IT WILL BE AN IDEAL SOLUTION FOR YOUR REQUIREMENTS

It’s very tempting to go with a well-established brand name in the marketplace that everyone has heard of. We tend to feel much more comfortable dealing with well-established brands because we assume that their software must be good in the first place for them to have got so popular.

While that may be true, it may also be the case that there are much better options out there which are much more appropriate to your specific requirements. Don’t walk into the embrace of a comfortable choice until you have thoroughly researched the market and made a shortlist of other options to consider as well!

FOUR: THINK OF IT LIKE A BUSINESS MARRIAGE!

Policy and procedure management software, when used to its full potential, is a tool that can flow right through your organization and help every department manage their compliance requirements and even simplify relationships with supply partners and internal communication. It is hugely powerful, but as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility.

Users will need to be trained in the use of the new system, and you’re likely to spend a lot of time getting it set up just right for your requirements. You will get to know your software provider extremely well during all of this. So, consider it as a long-term commitment – not something you enter into lightly or with a company you dislike!

Just like a marriage, if successful the business partnership can benefit both parties involved. This is why it is essential you have properly researched the solutions available and had demonstrations of different policy and procedure management software packages before you commit to your provider of choice. Here at ComplianceBridge, we have over a decade of experience in helping organizations from collages to hospitals and 9-1-1 departments efficiently manage their compliance requirements. Our clients say that our program of aftersales support and training, including free user training webinars, is second to none. Why not get in touch to request a demo today?

 

 

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ComplianceBridge Policies & Procedures Team

The ComplianceBridge Team has more than a decade of experience in compliance management and solution development. We cover stories of interest to Compliance Officers and provide tips and tricks for maximizing compliance.

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