15 December, 2015
Written by Louise
Compliance can strike fear into the heart of any organisation. Whether is is internal processes or external regulators, every organisation has rules and regulations that it needs to follow. Often it is only when things go wrong that you realize just how important these processes are. The right task management system can solve many of the problems compliance brings, avoiding complaint or even criminal charges, whilst at the same time building a professional reputation, increasing productivity and having an impact of staff morale and performance.
Compliance is critical and encompasses a huge range of issues, from health and safety, data protection, security and regulatory restrictions. When there is a compliance issue, information needs to be collated quickly. This can take a huge amount of time, tracking down paperwork, drafting in management colleagues, taking them away from important tasks, if it can be done at all.
A consistent workflow procedure, alongside paperless asset management and clear and instant reporting can transform the way things are done in a variety of ways.
Make sure Policies and Procedures are followed
All organisations have set requirements for projects and tasks that must be complied with. This may be due to external regulation or internal needs. All organisations also have incident or safety reports and checks that must be carried out. Using intelligent forms which ask smart questions can save thousands of hours, either by automatically collating reports, or ensuring that each required step has been carried out properly.
Procedures often have individual tasks which need to be accomplished before it is passed on to the next stage. A task management system allows each stage to be marked as completed, timestamped and by whom, before further work can be carried out. And a paperless solution means that, at a later date, there is no need to go routing through manual forms, records or diaries to see who did what. It is clear to see who completed the work, who signed if off and that the correct steps had been taken. An automated process virtually eliminates the possibility of human error, as only designated options can be chosen and each process must be completed according to the exact criteria for it to progress. Staff cannot skip stages or cut corners, and no more incomplete paperwork or misread entries.
One of the key issues of compliance is knowing where all the relevant information is kept when needed. The ability to retrieve paperwork when needed is vital in any compliance related matter, particularly where signed contracts are concerned. Storing all documents electronically and having them assigned to key tasks, projects and functions means that accurate and up to date information is always available to everyone who needs it.
Data protection and confidentiality is another major compliance factor. All organisations now hold a huge amount of information about clients, staff and associates. Secure storage no longer means a locked filing cabinet. A ‘For Your Eyes Only’ approach is easily achievable and it’s important that only those with the need and the authority are able to access key pieces of information. This can be granted on an individual basis, or key pieces can be unlocked when specific necessary for specific tasks being carried out.
Auditing and Reporting
An accurate and comprehensive audit trail makes compliance issues straightforward. Whenever any query about any project is raised, staff need to have the ability to investigate instantly with a robust reporting system, showing when things were done, who did them, who signed them off and what procedures were followed. As all information is entered in real time, every report will be accurate and up to date, even if tasks are being carried out on location. For tasks with a fixed workflow, this can be done, confident in the knowledge that the correct procedures have been followed.
An intelligent task management system can remove the headache from compliance, saving hours of time, focus and energy. That time and focus can then be diverted into refining and improving the business, identifying where bottlenecks are occurring, where stages are falling short and how finding solutions.