Using SharePoint for Policy and Procedure Management – Is It a Right Choice?

SharePoint for Policy and Procedure Management
22 Dec 2021


Ever felt overwhelmed by implementing complex policy management systems? You’re not alone. Every week, industries are confronted with new policy additions or regulatory rule revisions.

What does this entail for every business, especially those whose top priority is customer satisfaction? To stay ahead of the competition, your organization must be able to update, modify, or publish policies on a regular basis.

Organizations, on the other hand, find it difficult to make timely policy changes. Attempting to keep up with everything at the same time frequently results in failed attempts and obstacles.

This policy mismanagement can cost your company a lot of money in the form of litigation or government fines. Even if you recognize the need for better policy and procedure management, knowing where to begin might be difficult. You may eliminate policy management blunders in your organization by deploying Microsoft SharePoint Quality Management Software.

The most frequently requested feature in policy management is the ability to send out mandatory policies and track readings. But first, let’s take a look at some of the other often desired capabilities and how SharePoint (and Office 365) addresses them.

It’s critical to have a single source for vital rules, processes, forms, and other organizational documentation. Employees and supervisors must have access to information such as your employee handbook, IT usage policy, holiday request process, social media guideline, or supplier due to diligence checklist on a frequent basis and be sure that it is correct and up to date. In regulated businesses, such as financial services, there may be specific requirements for client engagement or protocols that must be followed in order to prevent risk.

Most companies have policies available on their intranet, however, they are frequently:

  • They are dispersed over various department sites and are difficult to locate.
  • Do not upgrade to the most recent policy version.
  • Employees don’t trust them, so they seek a copy or rely on a version on their own file network or mailbox, which may or may not be up to date.
  • The management of policies is critical. Failure to carefully manage your policies and procedures, or to make them conveniently accessible in one central location, exposes organizations and individual employees to hazards, as well as inefficiencies. It is sometimes required by industry authorities or other external third parties, and it may even be the subject of an external audit.

There are seven reasons why using SharePoint for policy and procedure management is the best option:

If your company uses Microsoft 365 or SharePoint on-premises, it makes sense to take advantage of SharePoint’s capabilities to better manage your policy documents.

Document management solution:

SharePoint is a secure document management system. If your company uses SharePoint or SharePoint Online, it’s probable that it is the go-to platform for how a company handles its documents and data. Documents can be easily shared, collaborated on, and versioned, avoiding issues like duplication and ensuring that there is only one source of truth; this is a vital component in managing your policy. When you utilize SharePoint for policy administration, your existing users will be familiar with the document management system you already have. All of this while being extremely secure from external threats.

Lifecycle management processes can be automated:

Successful policy administration relies heavily on lifecycle management. You must, for example, ensure that policies have owners who check the documents they are accountable for on a regular basis. From this standpoint, SharePoint is excellent, and you can use its integration with Active Directory as well as Power Automate (Flow) to establish clear ownership, notifications, and workflow to ensure that policies are kept up to date, as well as create views that show administrators the status of policies.

You can obtain a full audit trail:

You can acquire a complete audit trail of updates to your document, showing when and by whom changes are made, in addition to lifecycle management. This transparency is critical for reducing risks, ensuring accountability, and even allowing for external auditing.

It is possible to incorporate it into your search:

Policies must also be accessible and discoverable. To allow employees to discover what they need, most organizations are relying on SharePoint or Microsoft search features. When you use SharePoint for policy and procedure management, these papers will appear in your main search, which you can access via the intranet.

It’s compatible with the rest of your Microsoft 365 ecosystem: 

If you’re using Microsoft 365, you’re probably using Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and SharePoint team sites, among other collaboration and communication tools. Because a SharePoint-based policy library and the rest of the Microsoft 365 platform are so well integrated, it’s simple to embed and share critical policies from the library in areas where day-to-day work takes place.

You can keep track of your usage and collect data:

When you use SharePoint for policy management, you can track usage and collect data on different policies, such as how many times they’ve been viewed or when they were last changed. You can also start creating reports and tracking crucial data like if a mandatory document is being viewed and by whom by leveraging Active Directory and PowerBI connections.

Multiple versions of a policy or procedure should be saved: 

Almost everyone has made the mistake of saving a document and overwriting changes they wish they hadn’t. “Version management” can be enabled in SharePoint document libraries. This means that every time a user checks a document into SharePoint, a new version is created. This means you can always go back to an earlier version and/or compare modifications to the most recent copy. This is particularly important when it comes to distributing policies to employees because you must keep track of which version of which policy each employee accepted and read.

Document Identification Service

SharePoint’s Document ID Service has two significant advantages. The first advantage is that each document (within the site collection) can be identified individually. Because each document is assigned a unique id, the danger of ambiguity when two papers have the same or similar names is considerably reduced.

The page can also be accessed via a URL that does not contain any information about the user’s location. This has the advantage of keeping the link intact even if the document or URL changes, making integration with other systems more reliable.

SharePoint Makes Policy Management a Breeze

Your firm may stay compliant by using a robust SharePoint for policy and procedure management solutions. Veelead Solutions is ready to help you create it so you can store policies properly and safely, as well as automate their development and archiving processes.

Categories: Microsoft 365, Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint