Many organization struggle keeping their policies and procedures up to date, organized, and easy to find. Yet the components of a policy and procedure software are not widely known. What IS a policy and procedure software?
We believe that a policy and procedure software needs 7 key components:
Import/Create: Many different types of documents must easily be loaded into the software.
Review/Approve: The software must automate the Review and Approval cycle, and not force the publisher to chase subject matter experts around.
Publish/Notify: When published, end users must receive notifications taking them to the document.
View/Acknowledge/Test: End users must be able to view, take a test or questionnaire, and acknowledge a document online, anywhere, anytime. All that is needed is an internet connection for an end user to take action on a document, and leave an authenticated electronic signature with their acknowledgment acceptance.
Reminders: The software must be able to send or schedule automated reminders to those who have not taken action on a document.
Metrics/Reports: Managers must be able to see all the metrics related to their documents. They must see who has taken action on a document and when, and also any test scores and acknowledgment comments. Lastly, every action within the system must be tracked. An audit trail is a necessary component to reduce your organizations liability while increasing your accountability.
Most organizations are not aware of the best practices in policy and procedure management. The time-cost of pushing papers, retrieving old documents, re-producing lost documents, along with the physical costs of storage and retrieval, makes it a costly mistake for business not to utilize a policy and procedure management system. In many cases, an effective document management system that employs the best practices in policy and procedure management pays for itself in the first few weeks.