- Common features of policy management software
- PMAM Review
- Zavanta Review
- PolicyTech Review
- PowerDMS Review
As a leader in your city’s government, you know that keeping your policies on paper in binders doesn’t allow you to keep pace with increasingly frequent changes to regulatory and legal requirements.
Let’s say that a new state guideline is issued, requiring you to update your policies. To maintain compliance, you can’t just make that update. You also need to go out to each department – parks, fire, law enforcement, and others – and share that policy with all necessary employees. Another option is email, but emails are easy to ignore and misplace, and there’s no way to track if the email was actually opened and read.
Even for a small city, doing so with paper policies is an almost insurmountable task, especially when you’re already asked to do more than ever in the face of budget cuts.
But keeping policies, procedures, and training up to date is essential for compliance as well as to maintain accreditation and to protect your city from the liability of potential lawsuits. In the event that a wrongful termination or other lawsuit occurs, you’ll need to prove that employees signed off on your policies.
If you’ve come here, it’s because you know that policy management software can make your work easier and more efficient by automating processes and storing your critical documents in a central repository. But, you’re wondering, which is the best policy management software?
Here, we’ll look in depth at six types of management software platforms, breaking down the differentiators that set each of them apart. Because, as a provider of policy management software ourselves, we want to give you a transparent look at the offerings of each tool, compiled directly from each service. We hope that this saves you time in your search.
But before we get into what sets these platforms apart, let’s look first at the common features of each of them.
Common features between solutions
Your policies are the guidebook that governs what your employees do and how they do it. But those policies are only effective if they’re up to date and if your employees have access to them and understand them.
An effective policy management software takes your policies and puts them into action. It stores those policies in a single place and allows for easy cross-departmental collaboration and dissemination. It serves as a foundation for your operation, allowing you to work faster and more efficiently.
In this article, we’ll examine four policy management platforms: PMAM, Zavanta, PolicyTech, and PowerDMS. First, let’s look at the common features that each service offers.
The foundational aspect of policy management software is to take all of your policies and to store them in one online place. This allows you to have a single source to go to look for policy, procedure, and training information.
Think of it as a digital replacement for all of those filing cabinets in your storage room. Except, having those documents in digital form makes it far easier and faster to search and sort through them. And it’s far more efficient to make changes.
The next key to a policy management platform is collaboration. When you update your policies, you need to work across departments with different people. And once policies are updated, they need to be shared.
To keep on top of your processes, you need to be able to check in on the status of your policies. Have all administrators approved of an update? Have documents been finalized? Have they been shared with employees?
With an effective platform, you can go to one source to quickly check the status of all of your policies and check if anything needs your immediate attention.
Most platforms offer the ability to digitally connect to your content hub, so that you can access your documents where and when you need them. But as we’ll see later, not all offer the same degree of access.
For compliance and accreditation standards, it’s essential that you are able to maintain a single source of truth for your policies. Version control allows you to track and review the history of revisions of any policy, to show who made changes, and when.
Version control alone isn’t enough to protect your city from the liability of lawsuits, though. As we’ll see later, you’ll also need a platform that provides signature tracking, which isn’t offered by every solution.
Sometimes, you need to supplement your policies with training. Some policy management platforms integrate training management to help automate that process. When you input your training processes into the software, it can flag you when training needs to take place and identify which employees need to go through training.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the common features of policy management software, let’s look at these six platforms individually to see what sets them apart.
What is PMAM?
PMAM is a policy management software platform that mostly serves law enforcement, municipalities, and higher education with an emphasis on preparing for audits and accreditation.
Pros of PMAM
PMAM is a cloud-based service, so that your content is accessible any time, anywhere. It’s an affordable option with a simple platform. It offers mobile accessibility, though its mobile system doesn’t match the best in class standards.
In addition to version control, PMAM offers signature tracking. This allows users to collect proof that all employees who need to review policies have done so, which is critical in reducing liability for potential lawsuits.
PMAM also offers the ability to manage training, as well as to create user-generated training offerings to integrate into the system.
Cons of PMAM
The biggest drawback to PMAM comes from its customer service, which doesn’t match best-in-class industry standards. That can be a significant challenge in the event that something goes wrong and you need help immediately.
PMAM also offers an outdated user interface that isn’t as robust as other options.
What is Zavanta?
Zavanta is a cloud-based solution that focuses on municipal customers at the federal, state, and local levels. It assists users with creating policies through an “authoring wizard.” Its features are focused on standardizing operations and helping governments meet compliance standards.
It’s a straightforward platform that offers a step up from relying on Microsoft Word files stored on hard drives. It has a research-based structure designed to build your policies into a logical architecture, making them easier to find and put into use.
Pros of Zavanta
Zavanta’s biggest differentiator is its training offerings. Once users have their policies in place, they can incorporate virtual training, webinars and documentation. This allows users to standardize their web-based training.
Because it focuses exclusively on government clients, its platform is made specifically to serve those who work for municipalities and agencies.
Zavanta also emphasizes standardization of policies, with an emphasis on creating policies that are tailor-made to the standards of regulatory agencies.
Cons of Zavanta
Zavanta doesn’t offer many key services, most notably having no mobile option. That makes it impossible to push policy updates to employees any time, anywhere, on any device. This is a particular challenge for departments with employees who work in the field.
Zavanta’s database-like structure will be a big change for those used to managing policies through word-processing software, which could require more training time on the front end to familiarize users with the platform.
For customer support, Zavanta only offers a chat function, with no ability to call and connect to a live person.
What is PolicyTech?
NAVEX Global is a compliance and risk management platform that mostly serves private sector businesses across a variety of industries. PolicyTech allows users to manage their governance, risk, and compliance documents to mitigate risk. NAVEX has several products, but we’ll look at PolicyTech, their cloud-based policy management solution.
Pros of PolicyTech
PolicyTech allows version control, meaning you can review, approve, and reject documents as needed, adding comments as you go. You can do this while collaborating with other stakeholders using intuitive workflows.
The platform sends out automatic email notifications about the specific documents that need to be reviewed before they are published and disseminated.
When you create a master document, you can modify it for specific regions or languages. It also supplies sample policy templates and training content, which covers the most common risk areas.
Because NAVEX Global also offers additional products, users can add on additional services that will work seamlessly with PolicyTech to manage issues including ethics and compliance.
Cons of PolicyTech
PolicyTech was designed for corporations, not for governments. Many users have noted that PolicyTech has a clunky and difficult interface. It also lacks dedicated customer support. Another key challenge is that it can’t map a single document to multiple standards.
Users can’t compare document revisions while updating them, instead only doing so after updates are completed. While collaborating on updates to policies, users have noted that it’s difficult to assess each document’s status.
When users update policies that exist in multiple places, the most recently updated version isn’t automatically shared or applied across each version of the document. It’s up to the administrator to determine redundancy.
Whereas some software platforms offer a unified file format, PolicyTech publishes documents using their original file format. This leads to inconsistent formatting across documents.
Users can’t move files from one folder to another. Instead, you have to recreate them, which adds work and can cause redundancies. And there isn’t a way to list which documents are attached to each standard.
Users also can’t customize administrator rights, and only one person can own a file, making it challenging to delegate or share work.
What is PowerDMS?
PowerDMS is a policy, training, and accreditation management platform. It’s designed to serve as a foundational tool that creates a living connection between policy, training, and accreditation to save you time, money, and stress. Originally designed as a law enforcement and public safety tool, PowerDMS now serves more than 4,000 private and public sector organizations worldwide with secure, cloud-based solutions.
Pros of PowerDMS
PowerDMS was built for policy administrators, accreditation managers, HR directors, and training managers, so it is specifically tailored to solving policy management problems. It is designed to simplify compliance by bringing policies, training, and accreditation onto a single platform that automates many of your processes.
PowerDMS provides industry-leading customer support, with a U.S.-based support team and 97% customer satisfaction rating.
Other benefits of PowerDMS include the ability to map policies to standards to simplify and prove compliance, automated version control and archiving functionality, and a dedicated Customer Success Advisor who supports your needs as well as a rapid response time – 90% of customer cases are resolved in under one business day.
PowerDMS makes frequent, automatic software updates that don’t require IT support. It allows for each department to maintain an independent system while also collaborating across departments.
Users can upload a variety of file formats to the platform, including documents, images, videos, and audio files. It also provides access to virtually every standards manual.
By moving to a digital platform, PowerDMS users have saved as much as $10,000 on paper and printing costs and have saved up to four times the amount of money and time typically spent on policy and accreditation processes.
With an easy-to-use, modern user interface, PowerDMS is easy for administrators and employees to adopt. It synchronizes with Active Directory, creating a smooth onboarding process that requires little IT support.
Cons of PowerDMS
PowerDMS doesn’t create content, and so it will not create policies for your organization. However, it offers subscription access to certain standards manuals, as well as a service that allows you to add almost any standards manual to the platform.
PowerDMS is a comprehensive solution with features covering policy, training, and accreditation. Like all solutions, it requires an investment of time on the front end to learn the platform, though it will save you time and money in the long term.
PowerDMS has a training solution, though it doesn’t function as a full LMS (learning management system). You can reach out to PowerDMS to find out if its training tool can meet your needs.
The PowerDMS platform comes at a base cost and beyond that is priced on a per-user, per-year basis. Your annual cost will be determined by the number of users and licenses you purchase, as well as the add-ons purchased for your organization’s specific needs. The number of users and add-ons affect the cost of PowerDMS, so pricing can vary widely between industries and organizations. To provide a quote, PowerDMS would need to learn more about your needs over a friendly, no-obligation call.
In government, policy management software is a critical tool for you to operate more efficiently, to create consistency, to heighten collaboration, and to protect your city from the liability of lawsuits. But as you’ve seen, the platforms vary widely in features and functionality. Keep learning about policy and procedure management in government here.
In choosing the solution that works best for you, you need to think about your organization’s needs. What are the features you have to have? This process typically involves conversations with leaders in other departments, as well as supervisors and employees, so that you understand their needs and how they use policies on a day-to-day basis.
This broader perspective will give you a full picture of what your operations require, and then you can compare those needs against the features that are or aren’t included in different policy management platforms, using this article and your own research. Remember, while policy management software is expensive, the right solution pays for itself over time.
PowerDMS has been listed by our users and online review platforms as the leader of several policy management solutions on the market. It’s a platform that covers the broadest area of needs by connecting policies, training, and accreditation, making compliance easier and faster than ever. Schedule a demo to learn more about PowerDMS today.