Is now the right time to start investigating the benefits of policy management tools?
With increasingly digitised workplaces and regulatory bodies expanding their guidelines across numerous areas (notably around digital and data procedures), decision makers are looking for more efficient ways to manage their organisation’s policies and procedures.
Perhaps this is why the global policy management software market reached a value of $1.33bn in 2021, and is projected to grow to $3.04bn in 2027, just under tripling in size in six years. With workforces spreading out and flexible working becoming increasingly popular, it’s never been more important to have a centralised system for managing your policy management.
Below, we outline what policy management constitutes, and how policy management software can help you oversee these processes more effectively.
What is policy management?
Policy management is the practice of creating, implementing and maintaining policies and procedures within your organisation to mitigate risk, improve business performance and simplify compliance workflows.
Policy management is usually governed by a policy manager, alongside relevant employees and policy administrators. Their duties involve:
- Centralising policy and procedure documents in one location
- Documenting new policies and procedures
- Updating existing policies in line with business needs and compliance laws
- Involving the right stakeholders in policy creation and maintenance processes
- Creating audit trails for internal policies and procedures
What is a policy management framework?
A policy management framework is a set of standards and principles that govern the policy management process. Policy managers follow the framework to create, implement and review policies across your business, ensuring industry best practices are followed at all times.
Your policy management framework will contain several separate workflows, many of which involve time-consuming administrative tasks. These tasks can be automated so that your team can focus on the parts of the policy lifecycle that add value – notably policy creation and review.
What are policy management tools?
With a modern policy management software solution like Claromentis, you can automate your policy management workflow and bring all of your corporate policies into one single system, making the policy lifecycle easier and faster to manage.
Key features of Claromentis policy management software include:
- Policy tracking: track policies at each stage of the lifecycle using easy-to-set-up workflows.
- Integrate multiple policy information formats: the Claromentis Policy Manager solution supports a full range of policy information formats, including internal documents, external files, customisable online content, and web links.
- Categorise company policies and procedures: categorise all policies and procedures into easily searchable lists which can be made available to the necessary departments for better policy management.
- Policy archive: all policies – as well as the actions completed against them – are recorded in a comprehensive and easily searchable policy archive.
- Mandatory policies: for easy management of essential company compliance and mandatory policies, the Claromentis Policy Manager automatically notifies individuals who need to take action. Upon competition, all actions and information are recorded for tracking and auditing purposes.
In addition, the Claromentis solution provides the following functionality to aid a robust policy management program:
- Document management: keep all your policies and procedures in the same system to facilitate version control and reduce errors.
- Mandatory read and attestation features: automatic notifications to policy administrators and stakeholders to automate review and sign-off processes for speed and accuracy.
- Workflow creation: create and manage workflows to optimise policy management procedures.
- Personalised reports and dashboards: allow policy administrators ultimate visibility into their own policies, and any actions that need to be taken around them.
- Version control: ensure everyone is using the most up-to-date version of each policy with version control features.
- Fully integrated compliance programme: manage your compliance and policy needs from a single platform.
- Form builder: allow your managers ultimate flexibility in how they manage their policies with customisable web forms.
- Automated audit trail: get unparalleled visibility into when compliance workflows have been completed to create an error-free, real-time audit trail.
The benefits of policy management software
Using a policy management tool like Claromentis gives your policy managers access to a range of useful features. Here are just a few of the benefits these offer to your business performance.
1. Fewer time demands on policy managers
A significant part of the policy manager role involves chasing relevant stakeholders for attestation on compliance and risk management audit trails. Lack of visibility into the process causes delays, and your team spend their time managing sign-offs instead of optimising policies across your business.
With a procedure management solution designed specifically to automate this workflow, managers can:
- Gain immediate insight into who has and hasn’t read updates, thanks to read reports and real time dashboards
- Reduce the time spent on chasing-up emails and other administrative tasks surrounding compliance and risk management.
- Reinvest time saved in policy management areas on value-led activities to further the business.
2. Instant audit trails via compliance management solution
Your policy management system can automatically record when a particular action in your compliance workflow was taken. As well as reducing administrative work, this vastly reduces the chance that they will be affected by human error.
If you run all of your policy-related workflows through your policy management system, you create an automated, timestamped record of each action taken. Your policy management team can then create failsafe audit reports, knowing that attestation is complete, and all other relevant steps have been completed.
Overall, this greatly reduces the risks associated with manual compliance workflows – you’re less likely to find yourselves on the wrong side of industry regulations, and as a result, to suffer financial and reputational damage as a result.
3. Your policy management solution centralises all key documents and processes
Without a central policy management software solution, you risk different procedures being followed across different parts of the business. You also risk poor version control, with departments working with outdated versions of the same policy.
Centralising your document storage vastly reduces these risks, as it provides a single source of truth for everyone to work from. Ensuring all relevant functions have immediate access to the latest policies and procedures makes managing internal policy compliance significantly easier for your team.
4. A cloud-based platform increases flexibility
Arguably, policy management software has become even more important since the onset of remote and hybrid working. With 97% of remote employees wanting to continue to work remotely for the rest of their career, it’s important to rethink access to key policy documents.
If your business is planning on long-term remote working, look for a cloud based solution designed to be accessed from anywhere. This ensures that knowledge continues to flow across your organisation effectively, and avoids lag times associated with legacy, on premise systems.
Final thoughts on policy management systems
As the way we work changes and regulatory bodies try and keep up with significant technological advancements, more demands are placed on policy managers’ time and expertise. Manual policy management processes only add to those demands, increasing the risk of human error whilst reducing meaningful work and productivity.
The Claromentis Policy Management software solution helps businesses manage their compliance needs more effectively whilst freeing your senior policy staff from long paper trails and low-level administrative tasks. Automated workflows optimise policy management across your business, whilst decreasing risks associated with compliance issues.