Ten Best Practices for Setting up Page Templates

1. Plan on paper

Save yourself time by minimizing rework. Jot down your plans for which Templates you want to include, which fields will be on each Template, and the workflow associated with each (list those who can change the Page Template; who can create, approve and view content from the template).

2. Exploit policyIQ’s strengths

policyIQ is much more than a repository or library for organizing your content. Use policyIQ’s features for necessary governance and security; workflow; monitoring of status, performance, deliverables; and management and analyses associated with certifications. Consider these uses when planning and scoping the implementation.

3. Create representative Templates for ALL content

For improved organization and categorization, avoid using a “default” or catch-all Template. This allows users to easily report on pages of a particular type (e.g. If you create Templates for like content, you can pull up a report of all Process Flowcharts or all Internal Audit Memos or all Equipment Specifications.)

4. Keep it simple

On the flip side, be careful to not overcomplicate by having too many Templates.  Use policyIQ’s functionality to create a balance or optimal set of Templates. Adding a drop-down field to a “Reference” Template will allow you to capture a great deal of content that has a generic format, while allowing you to distinguish between memos versus minutes, for example.

5. Use Groups in all possible properties

If you put individuals’ names in the Administrators, Creators and Approvers fields, then when someone leaves the organization, Site Administrators are forced to research all of the places that the individual held responsibility in the site for Administration of Templates, Groups, content, Reports, and so on.  If you follow the practice of using Groups for all of these properties, then the administrator need only take care to maintain the Groups and User structure when the organization experiences turnover.  All responsibilities will be transferred to the new replacement simply by virtue of being in the appropriate Groups.

Template-Properties-Image 

6. Utilize Page Template Security – Take care to grant appropriate access

Related to the advice to use Groups, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the specific security options associated with Page Templates. Want to limit who can make changes to the Setup of your Template? You can do that! You can select who, specifically, is allowed to create, approve and view content that comes from each Page Template. Even if you are not worried about mis-use, note that by restricting various rights to appropriate audiences, you are actually streamlining the system and flow of information for users—you are making the content and system more user-friendly!

7. Understand when you should create a new Template

Create a new Template to create logical divisions between content so that the organization can easily report on important elements (all Procedures linked to a given Policy, for example). You should also create a new template if different groups of individuals will be responsible for updating different portions of the content. In other words, take care to maintain appropriate segregation of duties. Authors of Procedures should not be allowed access to change associated Policies and Control Owners should not have access to edit Test results, for example.

8. Optimize Reporting Capability with Appropriate Fields

As much as possible, avoid the potential for human error by creating fields with specific choices (Dropdown or Multi-select). If the situation calls for text fields (Short or Rich Text), provide default text to give editors guidance on what should be entered and in what format. Also, take care to not create redundancies in the database. It is not necessary to capture a field in the Template which tracks the Process or Department associated with the content, if the content is being filed in the appropriate Folder(s) by Process or Department.

9. Do Not Edit While Published

Template Administrators have the option of selecting which elements will be editable while content is published.  We recommend that you ensure tighter version control by NOT allowing changes to Template Fields on Published pages. Rather, utilize policyIQ’s version control by un-publishing Pages, then making changes before republishing.

10. Document Decisions in a Reference Guide

As you determine which Templates you will work with and land on the various attributes that you will track within each Template, capture your decisions within a reference guide. By documenting these decisions, agreed-upon definitions for Template Fields, intended relationships between fields, the plan for filing content into Folders and procedures for adding, maintaining and archiving content, you are improving the likelihood of content viability, reliability, sustainability, and transferability going forward.

Of course, if you have questions about how to implement any of these best practices, we want to help you!

  1. Join us in our upcoming CPE Training session addressing a number of policyIQ Best Practices.
  2. Follow our written guidance within your online policyIQ Help guide.
  3. Launch related videos from our Trainings page.
  4. Contact our Support team to ask questions.
This entry was posted in Features by Stephenie Buehrle. Bookmark the permalink.

About Stephenie Buehrle

Stephenie is the “solutions” expert on the policyIQ team. With RGP since 2004, she designs and develops solutions that capitalize on the best practices of the hundreds of companies that she has touched, while tailoring each configuration to meet the unique needs of each client. Before joining RGP and the policyIQ team, Stephenie enjoyed working as an independent consultant in the non-profit sector. Stephenie also previously performed analyst services for a major brewer ranging from roles in biological and chemical services to analytical roles in business process improvement and innovation. Stephenie quips that she still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up, but hopes to spend her days helping others (companies, individuals, and communities) to realize their full potential.

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