Straight from our support desk: What is this “Expiration Date” thing all about?

Periodically, our policyIQ support team will ask us to write a blog post on a topic that is coming up frequently from our clients.  Recently, we were asked to address the concept of “Expiration Dates”.

We have a lot of content that is “expired” according to policyIQ.  Can I update those dates so that I don’t get any more annoying reminders?  Is there an easy way to do that?

The answer to both of those questions is yes, but before I tell you how to do it, I’m going to ask you to think about what Expiration Dates are all about and put a plan around how your organization should (or perhaps should not) be using them.  It will save you time – and make your content more effective.

What is an Expiration Date?  What is its purpose?

policyIQ was built on some basic principles of Effective Policy Management.  One of those principles is that your content needs to stay fresh – and you need to create a process for keeping content owners accountable for updates.  This is where the concept of Expiration Dates in policyIQ originated.

Expiration Dates are designed to be reminders to content owners (or “administrators” in policyIQ vernacular) that the specific page of content hasn’t been edited or updated within a certain period of time.   This concept of keeping content fresh is critical for things like policies and procedures.   Your audience needs to know that what they are reading is current.

Do I have to use Expiration Dates?  My content doesn’t really “expire”.

In 10 years, the usage of policyIQ has shifted from primarily the management of policies and procedures, to a full content management and process automation application across many areas of the business.  And in many cases, the “content” that is managed by policyIQ doesn’t expire – but rather it is point in time data that should be retained in its original state.

For this reason, we’ve made Expiration Dates optional, based on the Template from which the content is created.  If your Audit Test Results don’t ever expire – and why should they? – you can remove this requirement from your Template.

How?  If you are the Template Administrator, go to Setup –> Templates and drill into your Template Properties.  On the Expiration Date tab, set the “Required Expiration Date” to No.  Set the “Default Expiration” to “0” in order to remove any defaults that might appear when a page is published.

expirationDates

I don’t like the term “Expiration Date”.  Can I change it?  Or hide it on the page?

Unfortunately, the answer to this one is “no” at the present time – but we have heard this from several of you, and we’re considering the best way to address it!  Because the field does serve a great purpose for many organizations, we want to make sure that we continue to meet the needs that the feature serves, while allowing you to have more flexibility around how it appears.

Let us know how YOU feel about expiration dates.  Do you use them on all content?  Just certain types of pages?  Do you have a different term that you’d prefer to see instead of “Expiration Date”?

And if we can help you to make the best use of Expiration Dates, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist!

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

About Chris Burd

Chris is the Managing Director 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 the past few years, she's focused on enhancing policyIQ's offering as a Conflict Minerals and Anti-Corruption tool. 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, volunteers at her local food bank, and spends more time than she should taking photos of her cats. She would like to be a rock star when she grows up.

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