Friday, March 29, 2013

The Policy Life-flow

Policy and Procedure management involves much more than simply writing a policy, and posting it to a company directory.  Policies and procedures- the legislation that governs the critical processes of your organization- cannot effectively communicate without the proper framework in place.

Take a look at the image below, how many of these steps does your organization currently handle?


Configure Document:  Once the decision has been made to create a policy or procedure, original thought must be put in to determine who will write it, what the content will be, how will it communicate the message, and when will it be published.

Collaborate:  Collect technical writers and subject matter experts to determine the principal author(s), as well as reviewers, approvers, and all other players involved.  

Author:  Have the principal policy writer (or team of writers) author the policy.  Possibly allow subject matter experts to weigh in or edit during this stage.

Review:  Send the policy for review to the appropriate subject matter experts.  Make appropriate edits based upon their feedback.

Submit for Approval:  Once the policy has been reviewed, send the document to approvers or others who need to authorize the publishing of the policy to members of the organization.

Approve or Decline:  Allow approvers to Approve the publishing of the policy, or decline.  If declined, determine the reasons why, and revert back to the collaboration stage.

Publish:  Publish the document to the appropriate individuals or groups in your organization   Many policies do not apply globally, so ensure the proper framework in place to determine which groups or sub-sets of the organization you wish to publish to.

Read Acknowledgement Requests:  Track which end users have read and acknowledged the document.  Possibly add a test or questionnaire which can ensure end user knowledge of the content.

Periodic Review:  Schedule periodic reviews to go over the content and ensure it is up to date and relevant to the current organizational processes.

Archive Old, Start New:  If changes need to be made, start working on a new version that reflects the appropriate processes for the organization.   Archive old versions as new versions are published.


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