TrijSolutions has a good post on the benefits of a procedure management system. The outline the three common procedure management system options here:
1. Paper-based Systems. They allow for the initial documentation of policies and procedures but don’t provide a way to easily access or update information for future use. They are usually written, read once and forgotten.
2. Informal Systems. These systems are easily implemented but consist of fragmented methods for managing procedures. The information may be recorded using multiple methods i.e. Word documents, e-mails, Excel spreadsheets or Power Point slides. It’s difficult to maintain the information within procedures and keep track of changes.
3. Document Management Systems. They are an improvement over the previous systems since procedures are stored on shared drives. These systems have additional features such as version control, approval work-flows and text searching. However, they manage documents as a whole, restricting the ability to organize and manage the information within the document.
All organizations fall into one of the three categories above. Of the three, one options is clearly superior and allows for the maximum management capability. So one must ask them self: are you managing your policies, procedures, and other documents optimally?