“Available for Checkout”: Black Hole of policyIQ or Misunderstood Gem?

I find myself frequently saying the words, “I don’t recommend using the Available for Checkout stage as a part of your process” – and I have a lot of good reasons.  Available for Checkout essentially means this: a page in policyIQ is not published, but it is also not currently sitting in someone’s queue to be worked on.  You can see how easily these pages might be overlooked and forgotten.  If the responsibility isn’t spelled out, it’s easy to assume that someone else will take care of it.

availableforcheckoutAnd then a funny thing happened.  A few months ago, I found myself specifically recommending the Available for Checkout stage for one of our policyIQ users – for exactly the reasons that I would normally avoid it.

The client uses policyIQ to manage their Sarbanes-Oxley documentation, with multiple business units and locations.  Some processes in certain business units are not in scope – but the risk assessments and controls are retained, and test pages are even created each year.  For those units not in scope, the information is simply left in a Draft state so that it is available should a situation occur to change the scope.

The audit team, however, actively uses their Checked Out to Me queue to manage their workload – and several hundred pages of not-in-scope Risks, Controls and Tests really gum up the works.

We considered some options.  They could simply publish the pages, but they need to be sure that their final audit reports, made available to external auditors within policyIQ, do not include these out of scope pages.  View security could accomplish this, but then every auditor would need to remember to update the View security if an item were to be changed to in scope (or to remove security if something were discovered to be out of scope).

Ultimately the right – and simple – answer was to pull all of those pages into Available for Checkout and keep them out of the queue for active work.

After this experience, I find myself rephrasing my previous words to be more clear.  “Typically, we don’t recommend using Available for Checkout as a part of your active workflow, because pages may be lost or forgotten.”

This entry was posted in Features and tagged by Chris Burd. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Burd

Chris is the Vice President of the policyIQ group at RGP. She gets geeky about compliance and technology, and gets to spend every day working at the crossroads of the two. With policyIQ since 2005, Chris has worked with hundreds of policyIQ clients to implement technology and enhance their internal compliance environment. In past lives, Chris worked as a system implementation consultant, a e-commerce specialist, a customer service call center manager, and - for one short but memorable summer during high school - a machine operator on midnight shift in a plastics factory. In her free time, she spoils her nieces, reads too many books, and spends more time than she should taking photos of her cats. She's on a mission to visit the hometown of every US President - so far managing to get to 14. She would like to be a rock star when she grows up.

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