Here’s the trick for crushing your stretch goals…

Declare this “time for a fresh start” and get organized!

Is everyone stirring and antsy at the thought of kids running out of school, hooting and hollering, and throwing papers in the air? Well, I’m a momma and my kiddos have been off kilter and frazzled with anticipation of summer break for at least two weeks! One of our practices that we carry out a couple of times each year—and every year at this time—is to clean out backpacks, cubbies, bookshelves, and the desks at school and at home. We organize items into the “this will be useful in the coming year” pile, “keep forever in the scrapbook” pile, “how in the world did this get in here?” laundry pile, and into the “recycle/retire to final resting place” pile. They are super anxious to run off to their friends’ houses, ride bikes, or dive into their latest Minecraft creation, but mom forces them to hit the skids until they have completed this chore.

Having a clean slate and getting organized for a fresh start in the next life chapter is one of our strategies for setting ourselves up for success. They might grumble and sulk for a short time, but they’ll thank me for these habits one day. That’s my hope, anyway.

Being disciplined about hitting the pause button and making time to lay the groundwork for future success is not just a chore for school children and moms. You’ll hear the same guidance from the policyIQ team as you embark on your goal to better manage your Governance, Risk, and Compliance initiatives.

Take time to organize content and users.

One of the most obvious benefits of policyIQ is that you can be up and running—actually using the tool in your organization—on the same day that you submit your order form. Our recommendation, though, is that you tap the breaks a bit and set up your site in a way that more likely ensures your long term success.  The fundamental questions to consider for any policyIQ implementation are:

  1. What are we planning to capture or manage in policyIQ?
  2. Who needs to have access [and what type of access do they need]?
  3. How can we organize information in a manner that is intuitive to our users?

Thinking of the overarching goal of the initiative or documentation and considering how the pieces of documentation may be broken down and related to adjoining processes will give your team the flexibility to home in on specific details for analysis while also overseeing completeness and performance at a high level. If you’re drawing your plan on a whiteboard and feel the need to branch off into several related items, that might be an indication that you could design more than one template to capture the different types of documentation.

Similarly, taking the time to create an organization chart, so to speak, that logically accommodates all of the hats that are worn by your policyIQ users will go a long way to simplifying access to policyIQ content going forward. Creating groups for Control Owners, Asia-Pac Approvers, 302 Respondents, and the Board of Directors, for example, makes it easy to ensure accuracy while minimizing maintenance as employees move into new roles within the company or new employees are brought on board.

This org chart does not have to match a traditional org chart with departments and position titles. That hierarchy might be a part of the structure. A tip that makes life much easier, when it comes to maintenance in the future, is to consider the other hats worn by your employees. Is the Business Unit Manager also a Process Owner or a Control Owner? Does she respond to 302 Sub-certification Questions? Does she lead any committees or projects? If those initiatives are managed in policyIQ (and they can be), then it will help to have the roles of all the players represented in your Groups structure. With a well-planned group structure, only the users require adjustment when there is turnover, not all of the documentation and responsibilities of the people coming and going.

Do you feel like you don’t have time…to save time??

That’s the perfect time to contact us! There is a standard policyIQ configuration for many GRC solutions and the experienced implementers on the policyIQ team have helped hundreds of companies to set up policyIQ for various solutions. We can help you to get started—or re-started—quickly. If you’re strapped for resources while the organization is trying to squeeze in a change in process or shifting from manual processes in Word, Excel, and email to a centrally accessible cloud solution with workflow management tools and you just don’t have time to really focus on the effort to save time, then let us put you in touch with a subject matter expert who can help you with the design of your Risk Management or Compliance or Audit process, or our professional consultants can lead your project team, or they can take on the lion’s share of the work to transition documentation. We can help you to assess your needs and close the gaps.

Happy Summer Break!

We hope that you enjoy some fun time with family and friends this summer. Let us know where we can support you to work more efficiently and more effectively to help free up some time.

Did you inherit a mess? We’ll help you clean up with these housekeeping tips!

Stress>We are so happy to hear stories of policyIQ continuing to serve organizations across various teams, over time and even outlasting seasons of turnover.

What’s almost inevitable is that some of you likely inherited people, processes and products and even problems that were in place long before you arrived. That’s the beauty of a flexible and configurable product like policyIQ—it can be easily adjusted to better meet the current times and your team’s current needs.

To help you establish more solid footing, we have some housekeeping tips that will give you a fresh start in policyIQ:

Review and delete old users.

Use the Standard Report showing Users, their Groups, Roles and Last Login Date to help you analyze whether users can be removed from policyIQ—and you can edit users directly from the report results! If you have a huge list of users to comb through and want to take the work offline, you might opt for the Print/Export option in the upper right corner of the table.

Standard-User-Report

Review the users’ Roles (security for your users) to ensure that users have appropriate access.

While you’re there (in the Standard Users Report mentioned above), sort by the Role and see if you have users with Site Administrator or Project Manager roles who would fit more appropriately as a Manager or maybe as a Standard user. It is always better to avoid too many cooks in the kitchen—as they say.

Review your Templates.

Maybe your predecessor’s process didn’t exactly represent a top-down approach and the Risk pages are more operations-oriented than focused on financial statement line items. Do you wish that you could follow the process through issues and reporting? Take a look at the Page Templates that you inherited and the fields that you’re tracking—it is very simple to add new Templates and to edit the fields to make your configuration more accurately represent your current needs.

Review Groups and Users hierarchies to ensure that they are being used effectively.

Look over the structure to see if it is well organized and makes sense—is it a good representation of your organization and the users who need access to your content? Assigning responsibilities (including simple read access) to well defined groups makes for simplified use and maintenance in the long run.

Groups-and-Folders

Review your Folders to ensure that they are being used effectively.

The ease or difficulty of navigating your folder structure has significant bearing on whether your employees will embrace or reject following the processes that you have worked to automate in your tool. Maybe it’s time to archive the old structure and start with a fresh approach to organizing your policies, procedures, tests or training materials. Remember that you have access to free snapshots and can easily copy or move folders around.

Determine the proper schedule for snapshots.

Speaking of snapshots, do you have a plan for routinely capturing snapshots and purging old content from your site? You can schedule up to 5 each year at no charge and can access any one of them in a calendar year for up to 30 days—also at no charge. Many policyIQ clients keep approximately 2 years’ data in their live production site and refer to snapshots on the occasional-as-needed basis.

While you’re at it, do you have a Reference Manual for policyIQ?

If one hasn’t yet been developed, we recommend that you create a data dictionary or policyIQ Reference Manual which captures and documents your decisions, definitions, procedures, etc. related to your policyIQ work.  We also recommend that you develop and maintain this manual within policyIQ.  This helps to ensure sustainability of your content and processes over time.  We have included an example and a Word document to use as a template within your online policyIQ Help guide.

Giving some consideration to each of these maintenance tips on an annual basis can help you to keep policyIQ working for you instead of feeling hand-cuffed by decisions of the past. Let us know if you have any questions about how to carry out any of these tasks!

See what clients have to say about policyIQ’s version 7!

As we’re wrapping up our beta testing period, the policyIQ team is chomping at the bit to share our latest release with the world! Version 7.0 of policyIQ has been in the hands of clients since late November. The beta testers have provided us with invaluable feedback leading to product tweaks and bug fixes. They have also shared their excitement and positive feedback about their experience of this latest release…and we want to share some of their comments with you!

1301_v7Beta-quotes

It won’t be long now…the production release of policyIQ’s version 7 is right around the corner! Watch your email for an invitation to select your upgrade window.