Keeping documentation on policies, procedures, and guidelines up-to-date – and making sure the responsible employees read and abide by them – is one of the major headaches of many businesses. It is also critical to meeting regulatory and compliance requirements as well as avoiding fines from overseeing agencies.
Where does this apply? Just about in any industry, but especially in healthcare, finance, energy generation, manufacturing, and education, which are subject to an alphabet soup of regulatory agencies and rules – HIPAA, FDA, NERC, FDIC, CFPB, ISO, to name just a few.
Policy & Procedure Documents as Organic Entities
In today’s highly regulated (and litigious) business environment, documents such as maintenance procedures, company policies, and official guidelines change frequently; updates must be tracked and approved; responsible parties need to read and understand the new documentation; and sometimes training is required due to the implementation of policy or procedural changes.
However, the document management process is fraught with hazards, due to the sheer number of interactions involved:
- How to keep track of a document’s transition from one step to the next?
- How to engage with the people involved? Approval, revision, publication, verification, and training all involve the participation of multiple employees.
- How to manage the approval and notification process?
- How to make sure employees read and are trained on new procedures and policies?
Allowing revision of document content at-will without a management system in place is a recipe for disaster — versions get mixed up, content changes are made without direction or approval, and distribution is bottlenecked. Changes to documents need to be subject to a process that is supported by a revision-friendly software solution.
Microsoft SharePoint is an ideal environment for managing documents, tracking changes to them, and ensuring employees are updated and trained properly. To do this, a document revision process must be in place that uses SharePoint’s capabilities to their fullest.
Using SharePoint to Manage Policies and Procedures
Crow Canyon provides a SharePoint-integrated solution that features a comprehensive approach to policy and procedure document management. The system uses a ticket-based methodology to track the movement of documents in an organization. Highly configurable tasks are associated with each document, enabling the appropriate parties to request documents, grant approvals, and assign document verifications.
The Crow Canyon platform facilitates the document revision process by automatically keeping track of documents and their progress from one stage to the next. Revision requests can be made from multiple origin points, such as email, Outlook, SharePoint, or even via telephone. Configurable notifications and alerts keep all recipients in-the-loop whenever the status of a document changes, such as new version released, revisions approved, and publication.
Senior managers have robust reporting and analysis capabilities. Document management becomes transparent, trackable, and verifiable. Reports can display exactly where documents are in the revision process, the amount of time that Subject Matter Experts spend performing revisions, efficiency of document approvals by management, and alerts that convey which documents have stalled during revision processing and are still waiting for approval, past the publication deadline, etc.
If the document includes critical policy-related content, then the company will need proof that its employees have read the document. This process, called Document Verification, is frequently required not only for legal reasons but often for regulatory and compliance-related purposes. Procedural and guideline oriented documents may also be used for training; these types of organic documents may be integrated with existing training courses or for onboarding purposes.
Success with the Right Document Management System
Gone are the days when company policies and procedural guidelines were conveyed via conversations or memos. More and more, businesses and organizations in all sectors are moving to document management processes that provide transparency and ease of use while remaining within the required legal parameters.
Crow Canyon’s Policy and Procedure Management system operates in SharePoint and Office 365, environments that are rapidly growing in familiarity to many businesses. This enables companies to implement a comprehensive document management process that meets the demanding needs of today’s business environment.
Want to learn more about how our solutions can transform your SharePoint experience? Give us a call at 1-888-706-0070 (in US) or 1-925-478-3110 (any location) or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org