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A policy or procedure can be written down on paper but frankly, that is the old paradigm from the days of three-ring binders and manual paper-based systems. I know that many companies are still using such systems today but with the advent of Internet based procedure management software and mobile applications, the paradigm is shifting.
Document management software is for managing paper documents. Find them, retrieve them, and print them out. With policies and procedures management, we are managing electronic documents, which are just files. A procedure does not have to be paper.
A procedure could be an audio file, a video file, or a Visio flow chart, process map, or graphical job aid. No standard requires paper based systems. Standards such as FDA, ISO, Sarbanes-Oxley, or Joint Commission require procedures but nothing says a procedure must be written down on paper. They just have to be controlled. Yet, we are so used to written procedures and we have written so many of them that it is hard to get away from paper-based thinking.
Will The Next Generation Want To Read Paper?
The next generation is growing up with the iPhone, iPad, and the internet. They are used to graphical interfaces, video games, social media, and mobile applications that are interactive, colorful, and intuitive. Compare these with paper polices and procedure and they instantly think—boring, old school, antique. Paper is so yesterday. Remember the paperless office? Perhaps it’s here. In the future, you will read your paper on your iPad. Search for instant information on your iPhone. And expect a graphical interface for your information. Will your policies and procedures be ready?
What Will Your Policies And Procedures Look Like In The Future?
I am not talking about paper documents. I am talking about electronic files instead of document files. Electronic procedures can incorporate videos, or audio. Spreadsheets can be controlled and released too. Any type of electronic file can be used as a procedure. Electronic files are more platform independent too. Video and audio can be played back easily on mobile devices.
Bizmanualz new OnPolicy procedures management software makes procedure management easy. Any type of procedure can be controlled and released to any user in their original electronic format. Electronic documents are perfect for expense report spreadsheet templates, Word templates for business letters, PowerPoint presentations, logo graphics and brand standards or instances where you need to control the starting point for a document. Of course you can also release video or audio work instructions. Basically any electronic document can be controlled and released, which makes company templates easy to distribute.”
Once you realize that electronic policies and procedures do not require paper, then the whole world of policies and procedures changes. Give it a try, but you will need OnPolicy Procedures Management Software to control your work.