Organizations are beginning to realize what a critical role policy management plays in today’s dynamic business environment. In many organizations, however, policies are completely out of date and scattered without any integration throughout the business, and far too often organizations don’t even know the full scope of official policies that exist throughout different departments, functions, and operations.
When an emerging incident hits, organizations need to be able to provide, communicate, and enforce consistent policies in a single portal to help support the organization. Policy management is critical for organizations of all sizes and industries across the globe, and organizations must have control and a complete understanding of what policies they have throughout the extended enterprise and how they are developed, communicated, and enforced.
Organizations need to ensure that their policy management program is collaborative and includes input from stakeholders and experts throughout the enterprise, and they need a complete system of record with audit trail on who did what and when to a certain policy – a complete ability to track the original author of policies, anyone that makes edits, and what had been edited and when. This also needs to be supported by workflow and task management to certain policies.
Organizations need to develop a coordinated approach for policy management that includes training programs across the extended enterprise. Organizations need a shared, common framework to ensure that policies are fully understood, and employees have the proper training and education. This helps make sure that policies are managed as an integrated whole.
Some of the core elements of an effective policy management strategy are as follows:
When policy management is handled without coordination, accountability, and proper training and communication the organization lacks the visibility into the full scope of its support for governance, risk management, and compliance initiatives and responsibility. Complete visibility and the full integration of policies and training are critical when operating in the complex and dynamic modern business environment.
Building Your Policy Management Program for the Future
Building an effective policy management strategy can be a daunting task for organizations. Effective policy management requires collaboration and a level of accountability within that collaboration does not come automatically or easily but delivers increased effectiveness, efficiency, and agility for the organization.
Policy management is a critical element of effective governance, risk management, and compliance. The purpose of an effective policy management program is to build a strong framework for meeting compliance requirements and managing risk. These policies should be developed to set out standards for employee behaviors and conduct throughout the organization.
Organizations should want to deliver effectiveness, efficiency, and agility to the business while managing GRC, and in order to do this it requires the development of a strategy that connects the business and all of its processes, units, training, and information into a single, unified policy management program. Designing this unified policy management program starts with the strategy and this strategy will inevitably fail if it does not seek to connect the business with common and integrated policies and training. This sets up a foundation within the organization that can enable transparency, visibility and control across the organization.