Suffering low morale and a disconnect between executives and those doing the work every day?


 

 

 

 

Art Weeast has helped a number of organizations to “think beyond the task of documenting policies and procedures to the intelligence of the information that is in those documents.” In other words, think of the value or purpose that the documents serve. One of his objectives, as he trains organizations on how to create valuable documentation, is to “keep what’s in it for me, from the end user’s or the employee’s perspective, in mind as you develop content”. The end user and all stakeholders might consider, “What problems and questions can this documentation solve?”

To demonstrate the application of Process Intelligence practices (as Mr. Weeast termed his work), consider three common problems:

  1. Employees and Management do not value the documentation (mainly the procedures).
  2. Work tasks are not clearly connected to executive priorities.
  3. Business Units/Departments/Functions do not collaborate on cross-functional processes, often leading to tension and decreased productivity.

With Art Weeast’s help, let’s tackle each of these problems one at a time.

The problem faced by many (maybe most) organizations: Employees and Management do not value the documentation.

Consider how you can make your documentation useful. Follow this three step process:

  1. Set a course to establish more comprehensive documentation. Rather than tracking just the steps of the procedure, frequency, who performs…think of all of the everyday business questions that come up related to the procedures. Add Roles and Responsibilities, Applications Used, Definitions, Procedure Input and Output–these fields will help you to address common problems. Read further to see how.
  2. Make it easy for process owners and your front-line doers to capture the documentation. You don’t have to complete the fields in consecutive order. Starting with the procedure, then considering what leads into the procedure and what the outcome of the procedure is before moving on to the purpose and other data is a much easier thought process.
  3. Make use of the intelligence that is inherent in your documentation to solve business problems. With updated, comprehensive procedures, you can address common problems…effectively and efficiently!

Put your information to work for you!

Another common problem: Work tasks are not clearly connected to executive priorities. 

The front line doers, on a day to day basis, do more repeatable processes than executives do. At the executive level, it is unlikely that you will see procedures. This is the root cause of the disconnect between the tasks and executive priorities. It’s no wonder that executives generally don’t feel the value of the documentation and therefore, the employees don’t feel the priority from the executives to create and maintain the documentation. So, per human nature, documentation becomes an unwelcome task to do, and usually it is tackled at the last minute with a mad rush to get it done.

The solution?

Help your organization to establish the connection between top priorities of the business and the tasks that hardworking employees carry out day after day.

A master at translating the complex into simple steps, Art Weeast developed a method for creating this connection. He calls it an Operational Map. To build your Operational Map you will:

  • Interview the Business Owner and document Primary Functions and Sub-functions from her perspective
  • Prepare List of Procedures for each Process Owner’s Area
  • Create a visual representation of Functions and their related Sub-functions
  • Map Procedures to related Sub-Function by playing “Operational Bingo” with Process Owners—you hold and call out the Procedures while she identifies the related Sub-function.
  • Validate the mapping with the Business Owner.

The result?

  • Executives come down to a level that they rarely visit—they better understand what it takes to get things done! They begin to appreciate the value—and the NECESSITY—of the documentation in a more highly regulated and complex world.
  • Process Owners (the everyday do-ers) appreciate the collaboration with executives. They sense the tone from the top and the priority becomes clear. The do-ers begin to understand the bigger picture—the risks that the organization faces and the importance of what they’re being asked to do. And they are very curious about what other departments do!

The final problem we aim to address: Breakdown in cross-functional processes.

Frustrations build in an organization when communication and collaboration breaks down or does not exist among certain parties. You can tell this is happening when you or others can easily blame someone for inadequate, inconsistent or untimely inputs into your process—or others who put disruptive demands on you to produce an output with a nearly impossible delivery date and provide inadequate information needed to meet the demand. It is natural for all of us to personalize the process under these circumstances.

The art of establishing collaboration among cross-functional parties can be reduced to four main steps. The following steps serve to “de-personalize” the process and issues, and allow parties to focus on the desired end result.

  1. Meeting: Bring functional representatives together for a collaborative process review mediated by a neutral party.
  2. Current state: Have them describe the standard process; first without the history, exceptions or problems. Then revisit the standard process with issues.
  3. Future state: What does it look like? How is it better?
  4. Transition state: Outline steps to get from where we are today to where we need to be.

Think about what’s happening here. Typically, if anyone ever does dare to address the communication breakdown among parties, what do they typically do? They work to identify the issue(s) and to problem solve against those issues. The process outlined by Mr. Weeast, an expert in operational and change management, takes an opposite approach; helping parties to very quickly begin working together effectively.

Applying these practices outlined by Art Weeast results in an efficient and effective organization that can:


Art Weeast has decades of impressive experience in enterprise-wide leadership, technology & data expertise, Lean Six Sigma methodologies, organizational change management, and in defining and refining operational processes. Art has been a client of policyIQ with three different organizations. When I met Art, I had been involved in the work of streamlining, refining, re-engineering, and automating processes for many years, myself, and—while it was my responsibility and mission to help him in any way that I could to solve his organization’s business problems using our software—I was forever changed by what he taught me!

This post was originally shared following a policyIQ-sponsored webinar in which Mr. Weeast shared his Process Intelligence practices. The policyIQ team continues to share the lessons of his Process Intelligence session year after year. If you’re interested in more information or hands-on support with applying Mr. Weeast’s methodology, reach out to us and we’ll connect you with the appropriate tools, information, and resources!

Support@policyIQ.com, 866.753.1231

Lesson’s Learned from a Policy Management Software Implementation

Last week, the policyIQ team hosted our quarterly “Introduction to policyIQ” class–this one focused on a full scale policy management solution.  While many aspects of the presentation are typical of any policyIQ Solution, there are a few that lend themselves to the policy management world.

  • Importing of documentation – saves a ton of time and manual entry of policies.  All policies can be created and set up in an Excel spreadsheet, and importing into policyIQ in just minutes.  In addition to populating many of the content fields (policy owner, reference number, summary statement, etc.), many aspects of workflow, folder indexing, and security can dictated, as well.
  • Setup of policy sign-offs – automated email reminders and follow-up. Once the policy sign-offs have been issued out to your organization, it is a huge benefit to have policyIQ automate regular email follow-ups to users with sign-offs that have not been submitted.  Gone are the days of hunting down employees via email or phone calls – policyIQ does this for you!
  • Response filtering – find the important information quickly.  Sort through hundreds or even thousands of policy sign-off responses in seconds by looking for the outliers, and taking critical action on those items: follow-up, meetings or clarifications.

These, among many others, offer a some great benefits to checking out policyIQ for your Policy Management needs.  However, every organization’s needs are different – which makes policyIQ an ideal solution.  It’s easily configurable!  Let’s meet via the phone or webcast to discuss if policyIQ can be configured to meet your needs.

A recording of this demonstration is available here. 

To learn more about the complete policyIQ Policy Management solution, visit our website.

A complete solution – presented in a policyIQ CPE event!

As part of our ongoing quarterly CPE event for policyIQ, we are putting together something a bit different – and bigger – than normal!

Join us on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 12pm Eastern Time for the one hour CPE event presented via the web, showcasing policyIQ’s abilities, features and processes for all of your Policy Management needs.  Hosting this session will be Chris Burd, policyIQ Managing Director, and Travis Whalen, policyIQ Product Manager.  Learn more about policyIQ’s solution possibilities here.

In this Introduction to policyIQ CPE session, participants will be able to (among other milestones):

  • See how to utilize the import utility to centralize previously disparate content
  • Secure documentation with read, write and edit access – and approval processes
  • Apply search and reporting features to quickly gather information that is critical to decision-making

Sign up for this training here, and learn more about how policyIQ can be an effective solution for your organization’s Policy Management needs.

 

policyIQ has a solution for you!

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Policy Management, SOX Compliance, Revenue Recognition, Enterprise Risk Management. What do all of these things have in common? policyIQ. That’s right; policyIQ users have implemented policyIQ for many different content management, process streamlining, automation, and oversight or approval management purposes.  The list doesn’t end there; click on and bookmark this link to check out the list of policyIQ solutions. Plan to revisit as we will continue to update this page with Solutions as we hear of our clients’ creative applications of policyIQ.

As you may know, we’ve also been conducting solution-focused training sessions over the last couple of years. We encourage you to visit our training page to see the list of our solution-session recordings and to launch those that may benefit your organization. There is also a link at the top of our training page to access and register for our upcoming live solution sessions.

If you are interested in implementing policyIQ for any of these solutions, contact us and let us show you how to get started saving time and money by using policyIQ for multiple solutions.

 

Review, Revisit and Revise: Let us help.  For Free. For Real.

If this blog post sounds familiar, it is because you have likely heard us say this before.  However, we think it bears repeating.

We want to help you make the most of policyIQ.

As with any product that is continuously evolving, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the new possibilities that are available within the policyIQ application.  Maybe you didn’t even know that every upgrade and every new feature developed is rolled out to all of our clients automatically at no additional cost.

If you implemented policyIQ last year, there are already new features that might save time or allow you to create a solution for your team that you haven’t thought about yet.

If you implemented policyIQ more than five years ago and have not revisited the way that the application is configured, we need to talk.

What does that expert review and guidance cost you?  An hour of your time.  That’s it.  For real.  We know your time is valuable, but an hour of your time with one of our policyIQ implementation specialists can save you far more time in the long run.

Contact us today – and ask to set up a meeting with a policyIQ implementation specialist to talk about the way that you are using policyIQ!

Enterprise-wide GRC made more powerful *and* simple with our new list fields!

By now, you likely are aware that policyIQ is a flexible GRC platform that can be easily configured and customized into various GRC and other solutions. One of policyIQ’s strengths is the ability to tailor security at a broad and granular level allowing organizations to implement policyIQ in many areas without stepping on each other’s toes, so to speak. Because of this security capability, with our user-based pricing (rather than the common software model of pushing multiple products or add-on modules), our clients have long been able to leverage policyIQ throughout the organization for multiple initiatives at a reasonable cost.

The latest release of policyIQ includes features that support robust enterprise-wide applications of policyIQ for a range of initiatives. In the past, users in different areas of the organization would create a folder, manual, dropdown or multi-select list to track different critical pieces of information pertinent for their documentation. And while this setup could have been perfect for the audit team’s testing documentation, the same location list, for example, would have to be recreated by the technical accountants performing ASC 606 contract reviews. That was then. Clients leveraging policyIQ’s version 7.8 are able to create and manage Global Lists that can be shared across the organization. If your list of Field Offices is leveraged in various types of content throughout the organization, it can now be centrally maintained and updated rather than having to be updated in several department-specific templates.

Similarly, clients historically had to create independent dropdown fields to track people or responsibilities in their content (i.e. Control Owners, testers, contract reviewers). Now, the lists of users created under Groups and Users and established as a part of user profiles can be leveraged as fields within templates. Once and done.

Here are more examples of where this might be pertinent to you. If you have fields or folders tracking these things and would like to save time and sanity managing them, we recommend looking into the new shared fields (Global Lists, Users Lists):

  • Currency
  • Location
  • Revenue Stream
  • Process Area
  • Business Unit
  • Control Owners
  • Significant Accounts
  • System Applications
  • Relevant Compliance Area
  • Prepared By

Of course, reach out to us if you have questions on how to make the adjustments to your policyIQ site.