[Author: Javier Gutierrez]
Policy management is at the epicenter of business operations.
Thousands of corporate agreements, endless vendor contracts, version control and tough audits – it’s a wild ride and failing to achieve business goals can leave organizations exposed. How can policy management technology deliver greater process efficiency? Can good policy management help those in charge shape the future of their organizations?
Effective policy management is not only the key foundation for building corporate culture but also to achieving operational success.
In this article, we explore in detail policy management in 2022 and the enormous business advantage of choosing the right technology partner. Support this reading by listening to: The RegTech Report Podcast – The Importance of Policy Management.
The world is constantly changing and Covid-19 has altered the way in which we work forever. In the age of hybrid work, policies are key to defining the culture of an organization, establishing the obligations of all team members and ensuring compliance with different laws and regulations.
How does an organization build an agile policy management program?
There are two sides to achieving optimal policy management structure:
- Policy Management Back Office: Make sure that policies are kept up to date, authored, approved, maintained and monitored.
- Policy Management Front Office: Ensure employee engagement and easy accessibility to policies within a dedicated portal.
Create an environment that enables collaborative policy authoring, where multiple people can be working on one policy at the same time.
In today’s day and age there are hundreds of change events coming every business day, enabling your organization with collaborative tech that allows agile revising processes in real-time, rather than in a linear sequence, is key to keeping policies up to date.
The way in which policies are written matters, avoid sloppy writing at all costs. Make sure to use an active voice rather than a passive one. Be concrete, do not create overly complex paragraphs that are confusing and difficult to understand.
Not only does the writing matter, but also does the way in which policies are presented to the team. Make sure to create appealing policy documents that are inviting for people to read, analyze and digest.
Having a perfectly crafted policy document has no value if it is not communicated, monitored and enforced with the objective of creating maximum engagement from the team.
Policies help organizations achieve objectives. The right balance in policies is crucial to deliver consistency in business processes and has a direct impact in achieving objectives and increasing performance.
Remember that policies are risk documents. The very fact that there is a policy document in place means that someone within the organization identified a potential risk.
Policy documents are also compliance documents. They help define what are the boundaries of behavior, how do we comply and shape the integrity and the reputation of the organization. Furthermore, they shape the culture of the organization.
The problem with many policy management programs is that they lack a clear design, a common policy management portal, a policy document template, and one policy administrator. Define a clear architecture that remediates these issues.
Remember that your third-party suppliers form part of your organization’s corporate ecosystem. Ensure that all of these go through the same level of policy management detail as your internal team. Do the work and perform ongoing and continuous due diligence in all your third-parties.
Do not underestimate the importance of a thorough discovery process. Be exhaustive into the kind of policies out there and how the environment is being shaped by them.
Lastly, successful policy management can not be achieved without the appropriate technology partner. Choose a solution that offers three strategic angles: efficiency, effectiveness and agility.