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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

Importance of Having and Following a Policies & Procedures Content Development Process

By Raymond E. Urgo

Common mistake

One of the most common mistakes by more than 55 percent of organizations is not having a policies and procedures (P&P) content development process in place, or having a process in place that is partially or inconsistently followed.

Polling findings

In a recent polling during a webinar about 13 common mistakes with P&P content, 37 percent of respondents reported having a P&P process in place that is fully and consistently followed. Forty-two percent responded as having a process that is not fully nor consistently followed; and 14 percent responded as having no process in place.

P&P process defined

The Policies & Procedures Content Development Process is a systematic way by which members of an organization can participate together in planning, designing, communicating, publishing, and maintaining their content about performing their organizational work practices, so they become official and controlled.

Importance of having process

Having a P&P process in place and following it fully and consistently enables the organization to develop and maintain content in a collaborative and authoritative manner throughout the content’s life span. Without a fully and consistently followed process, anyone could conceivably create P&P content and anarchy could result.

Symptoms of ineffective process

Symptoms of a non-existent, ineffective, or inefficient P&P process include confusion over roles and responsibilities for providing input, feedback, approvals, and implementation. Other symptoms include P&P projects that get abandoned, usurped by other stakeholders, encounter scope creep, have countless iterations before final approval, or lack response to requests for reviews of policies due to expire.

What to do

To establish an effective and efficient P&P content development process, an organization needs to do the following:

  • Assign responsibility for ownership. Like any other business process, assign a person or group who is responsible to lead the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of the P&P process as a service to and for the organization. The owner is also responsible for promoting, communicating, managing, nurturing, and demonstrating ongoing value of the process.
  • Get buy-in and approval. If two or more groups within the organization will be affected by the existence of the process, obtain input and buy-in from the outset to foster a respectful and collaborative relationship–a necessity for developing content together in today’s workplace.
  • Design the process into phases and then stages. Typical phases include planning and analysis; writing and reviewing; and publishing, implementing, and evaluating.
  • Provide details for each stage. Details should include the roles, responsibilities, tasks, importance, and duration of each stage. Also, include the consequences for not properly following a stage, what difficulties to expect, and who to contact for assistance.

Conclusion

Most organizations lack a fully and consistently followed process for developing and maintaining their P&P content. To effectively and efficiently have a process in place, assign an owner with a full set of responsibilities for creating and managing the process based upon phases and stages suitable for your organization.

For advice and assistance on quickly improving or implementing an effective policies and procedures development process with essential features suitable to your organization’s needs, contact Urgo & Associates.