Policy and procedure writers have been faced with the dilemma of finding ways to get people to follow the content of policies and procedures for decades. The writers have tried everything from:
- Orientation and tutorial
- Hold hands
- Newsletter Articles
- Post to a bulletin board
- Videotape, DVD
- And much more
These traditional methods may work in some cases, but let’s be honest, unless these traditional methods are performed routinely, there is no way to guarantee that policies and procedures are followed.
There are some “foolproof” methods to ensure policies and procedures are followed. My two favorites are “Checkpoints” and “Buy-In”. As I have written articles on “Acquisition”, I will not focus on it other than saying that “If you enlist the help of your users while writing policies and procedures, then the chances of those users following the policies and procedures are much higher “.
In “Control points”:Checkpoints are “built in” mechanisms that help a person follow the directions of a policy or procedure or force the person to follow directions. Let me explain.
- In the first case, simply incorporate these mechanisms into your policy or procedure. For example, you may have a procedure that requires the approval of person “X”. In this case, I would insist (and you can also audit the person) that this “X” person just sign whatever comes your way, when the BEFORE PROCESS has been correctly followed. And refuse (or not sign) when the PROCESS appears to be broken. For example, if the procedure is about purchase requests and certain fields are required and when person “X” receives the request and these certain fields are not completed, then voila, person “X” must reject the document! And now the process works.
- This checkpoint can also be a form that only contains the correct fields to enter and, better yet, in electronic forms, the form can be designed to “stop” form filling (or force a correct answer) by insisting on specific requirements. fields.
One last piece of information: Checkpoints work well when management believes in doing the right thing, but if you have management that allows things to slide, then your job of ensuring compliance will be more difficult.
In conclusionI would suggest using all the traditional methods and incorporating “checkpoints” whenever possible.