Review: PolicyMatter

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Review: PolicyMatter

Technology can only go so far in imposing policies, and there are times when text-based policies must be used. Legal requirements, health and safety, and personal conduct issues require employees to read and digest information.

Technology can only go so far in imposing policies, and there are times when text-based policies must be used. Legal requirements, health and safety, and personal conduct issues require employees to read and digest information.

PolicyMatter targets this market, making it more of a helpdesk or HR tool, but it can also teach staff how to use email and surf the internet in a responsible manner.

It partially automates the generation of policy documents, publishes finished documents via its in-built web server, and then records and tests the progress of employees working through them.

Every policy starts its lifecycle in the Policy Control Centre, where policies can be constructed from rule sets stored in the Rule Pool.

There are two categories of rule sets. Some are supplied with the package and have been designed by Extend and its partners. Users can add company-specific rules.

Creating a policy is then a case of dragging and dropping the new rules into the policy creation window. Each policy document is then appended with a multiple choice questionnaire to test the employees' understanding of the document.

The next stage is to populate a database with the users to whom the policy is relevant. This can be compiled from Microsoft Active Directory or manually.

In operation, the PolicyMatter Web server is polled as each user logs onto their computer. If any policies have been selected for their attention, they are presented with an option screen and can work through the documents at their leisure. Policies can also be presented again after a specified time to refresh users' memories.

Progress of each employee can be checked through reports that range from covering individuals, to groups to metrics for the whole company. The statistics are displayed as text or in the form of pie charts.

If any employee does not see the relevance of a particular section of a policy, they can refuse to sign it off. In this case, the program allows them to select any offending paragraph and explain why they feel it does not apply. These objections show up in the reporting section for further action by the administrators.

For:

A simple solution to a perennial chore. The policies are presented well and can be put together quite quickly.


Against:

Needs care to ensure legal requirements are met.


Verdict:

An excellent product. The interfaces are easy to use and require minimal training.

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