Is SharePoint Good for Policy and Procedure Management?

Is SharePoint Good for Policy and Procedure Management?

Written by ComplianceBridge Policies & Procedures Team on April 1, 2019

If you’re like most companies, you need a powerful policy management system. The benefits are numerous: giving policy administrators the ability to quickly distribute policies to employees, collaborate on policy updates and publish content to the community. A good policy and procedure management system will also give the policy administrator a way to quickly track all documents and where they are in the process, in case of an audit. You likely use Microsoft Office 365 – or certain components of it – to fulfill your business processes. A product commonly utilized by organizations and enterprise companies is Microsoft SharePoint.

SharePoint is a document management database and collaboration platform that many companies use to manage their documents, including policies. This SharePoint system can be used as a personal cloud with storage, archiving and tracking abilities. It is also used as a network to centralize information, or as groupware with features such as project management or to handle internal communications. With so many options to tailor SharePoint to fulfill custom duties, it’s no surprise that many companies have been using it to manage their policies and procedures, but is it really a suitable alternative to P&P software?

To answer this question, we will be comparing SharePoint with TotalCompliance by ComplianceBridge, a platform specifically designed and intended to streamline the policy and procedure management life cycle.

TotalCompliance vs. SharePoint

Software Features TotalCompliance SharePoint
Document Management YES YES
Document Storage YES YES
Automated Workflow YES YES
Configurable Workflow YES No
Versioning History YES YES
Lifetime Versioning History YES No
Automated Approval Notifications YES No
Automated Approval Reminders YES No
Automated Acknowledgement Notifications YES No
Automated Acknowledgement Reminders YES No
Real-Time Monitoring of Compliance YES No
Attestation YES No
Configurable Robust Reporting YES No
Testing Comprehension YES No
Templating YES No

Where SharePoint Falls Short

Compared to policy and procedure management systems, SharePoint is very weak in the areas of policy distribution, employee compliance, attestation, reporting and audit tracking. Typically, a policy and procedure management system such as TotalCompliance is prepared to manage the entire process from start to finish and does not require customization. Real-time data tracking and monitoring for proving compliance in the event of audits are an incredibly important factor to a robust policy management platform and is a feature that SharePoint does not offer.

Real-Time Monitoring

TotalCompliance allows the unique capability to monitor results in real-time. Policy administrators can instantly see who’s view and accepted or rejected a policy or they can evaluate exams as employees are working on them to measure performance, even before answers have been officially submitted.

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Reporting

Tracking data in reports uniquely designed for proving compliance in the event of audits is an incredibly important factor to a robust policy management platform. Unlike SharePoint, TotalCompliance maintains detailed records of who has read, tested and signed off on new policies and procedures and can generate custom reports for auditing purposes. Users can easily prove distribution efforts and attestation.

TC-screenshot-1

Testing Comprehension

SharePoint includes no ability to create quizzes to ensure employee understanding and compliance with new policies and procedures without expensive customization. TotalCompliance gives users the ability to create comprehension tests for policies and gives users extensive control in the configuration of those exams. Over a dozen test metrics help users construct exams that are as simple as yes/no questions or as difficult as fill-in-the-blank. Questions can also be weighted for improved scoring.

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Templating

SharePoint lacks a rich templating system to create documents and policies, because it is primarily a document sharing and collaboration platform. TotalCompliance’s templating system allows policy creators to maintain consistent formatting across all policies and procedures.

Distribution

SharePoint lacks an organized, configurable distribution and attestation process as a standard capability. TotalCompliance gives companies the ability to distribute policies and track their dissemination to employees. Policies can be sent to individuals, departments, groups or to everyone, depending on the topic. Employees will be notified of policy delivery and their review and attestation will be tracked and supervisors notified.

Use P&P Software for Policy Management

Although your company may already be using SharePoint, it is not a system built for policy management. Attempting to configure it to manage your policies and procedures leaves you with gaps in areas such as employee compliance, attestation, reporting and audit tracking. Features vital to ensuring compliance, such as targeted distribution efforts and policy quizzes will not be available to you, as well.

It is also important to note that for policy management, many of the features you need in SharePoint, such as workflow customization, require integration with other Microsoft Suite programs, which may be an additional cost if you don’t already use those programs. In contrast, a P&P software like TotalCompliance provides all of its features already within the program, with no extra software integration needed.

When it comes to policy and procedure management and ensuring compliance, using software specifically focused on policy management can only improve your company and its compliance statistics. TotalCompliance offers all of the necessary features for policy and procedure creation, distribution and attestation. With TotalCompliance, distribution and attestation can be more accurately tracked, quizzes can be as complex as needed with a variety of question types, and workflows are easily automated and configured to ensure policies are created and updated in a timely manner.

TotalCompliance can also do more than just manage policies. It can also create and disseminate fill-in forms, checklists, surveys, request forms, safety analyses, employee reviews and more. Content can also be published for the public via a public portal that integrates with the company website.

Ultimately, a P&P software is the best choice for your company to effectively manage policies and guarantee compliance. To learn how TotalCompliance is the best platform for the job, schedule a demo today!

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Find out more about TotalCompliance’s Policy & Procedure Software, as well as its Risk Management Software by watching a two-minute demo.

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