P&P Policies and Procedures Consulting
P&P Policies and Procedures Consulting

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The Policies & Procedures Authority – The newsletter about the art of transforming workplace learning and performance through Policies & Procedures Communication

The User Identifier—Helpful Tool for Uncovering Additional Value of Policies & Procedures

– Raymond E. Urgo

Important: Uncovering all users

When clients request policies and procedures (P&P), they usually have primary users in mind. However, it is important to work with clients to uncover other users who may benefit from the same information, either all or in part. P&P will have greater value to the organization when more user roles are identified.

Urgo & Associates’ solution

How, then, do you identify all potential users of P&P information? At Urgo & Associates, we designed a simple tool—the User Identifier, a two-by-two matrix to help clients uncover all potential users. This tool enables us to help clients visualize additional categories of users who will benefit from the P&P project. Our experience indicates that clients are pleasantly surprised to realize there are additional types of users who were not originally considered.

User Identifier Tool

Urgo & Associates’ User Identifier Tool is illustrated below:

Users Internal to
Organizational Context
External to
Organizational Context
Intended
Non-intended

User definitions

Internal users: Users with roles “inside” the defined organizational context, such as a department(s) or company.

External users: Users with roles “outside” the defined organizational context, such as a department(s) or company.

Intended users: Users for whom the P&P information is designed to be used in full or in part.

Non-intended users: Users with roles for whom the P&P information is not purposely designed, but who would benefit by referring to the information in full or in part.

Example 1: Property management practices manual

A property management company requested a P&P manual for property managers, the primary users. Using the User Identifier Tool, we uncovered five additional user roles (shown below in italics) that would benefit from the manual.

Users Internal to Company External to Company
Intended Property managers (not applicable)
Non-intended
  • Corporate accounting
  • Legal Counsel
  • Loan officers approving requests for loans and credit lines for new properties or property improvements
  • Underwriters evaluating risks for liability insurance
  • Prospective tenants interested in established operating practices

Example 2: Web-help system for contracting professional services

A public agency requested a web-help system for purchasing department buyers, as well as administrators of professional services contracts. Using the tool, we uncovered five additional user roles (shown below in italics) that would benefit from the system.

Users Internal to Purchasing Department External to Purchasing Department
Intended Buyers of professional services Administrators of professional services contracts
Non-intended Purchasing Department Director and administrative staff
  • Attorneys in Legal Department
  • Auditors inside the company
  • Auditors outside the company
  • General public, especially professional service providers (contractors and consultants) entitled to access public information under The U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Conclusion: Urgo & Associates’ User Identifier Tool helps clients uncover all intended internal and external users, as well as non-intended users who can use the P&P information—maximizing the value of P&P to an organization.

To maximize the value of your policies and procedures information investment, contact Urgo & Associates.