Have you ever taken on an enormous task and toiled for hours (or days or months), only to find that there was a much easier way? I’ve found myself in this predicament several times – having sunk way more time into a task than necessary, because I just didn’t think to ask an expert if there was a better way. I spent several hours once copying and pasting content from one column in a several thousand record Excel spreadsheet into two separate columns, because I didn’t know about the “Text to Columns” feature. What took me hours could have been accomplished in about 20 seconds. I’m not proud of that – and I’d like to assure you that it was very early in my career, but I wouldn’t be being entirely honest – but I’m sure many of you can relate. (If you’ve never heard of “Text to Columns” and you work with Excel frequently, your life will be easier if you click here and check it out. Promise!)
This lesson hit home again recently – and prompted me to share it with all of you – when I was talking with a client about a huge project she has been tasked with in policyIQ. Her organization is using policyIQ for their Sarbanes-Oxley work, and they are going through some major changes. With those changes come brand new Risk Assessments, totally rewritten Controls and Test Plans. They’ve essentially wiped the SOX slate clean and started from the ground up.
The idea of having to go into every business process and edit or create new Risk and Control pages in policyIQ was overwhelming – as it would be for anyone. After a short chat, I discovered that my client’s company really was starting from scratch – with no reason to link to the older documentation. I asked why she wasn’t considering using the Import feature to create brand new pages in a brand new set of Folders. The response surprised me.
There was a part of me that felt like I had let my client down for the past year that we’ve been working together. She really didn’t know that it was possible to import brand new content into policyIQ from spreadsheets. After having taken over the reins from another team member, it just wasn’t a feature that she ever needed – and so we had never talked about it.
There was another part of me that was so grateful that I had an answer that made her life a little easier. Instead of spending large amounts of time on re-entering the documentation into policyIQ, she could now focus her limited time and resources on better streamlining those controls and processes!
I promise you that it never hurts to ask.
In addition to reminding you all about the Import feature of policyIQ, I’m sharing this story to remind you that it never hurts to talk to the policyIQ team when you are facing what might seem like a huge task in the product. We might be able to tell you about a feature that you just didn’t know about – and instantly your life will be that much easier! We may have an alternative that will save you a little bit of time, or we may be able to complete the work using custom development or support for an hourly rate that will be more cost efficient than sinking your own valuable time into the project.
Or we might only be able to sympathize with your tedious task, and take note of possible efficiency improvements that will make your life easier in a future version of policyIQ.
But I promise you that it will never hurt to ask.