How much does policy management software cost?

The cost of policy management software in local government can depend on many variables.

January 27, 2021

The cost of policy management software can depend on many variables:

  • Base cost of the software
  • Number of licenses/users
  • Contract length (1–3 years)
  • Price of add-ons

For example, the software you receive at a base cost may not include needed functionality, like mapping policies to accreditation, surveys, certifications, etc., so purchasing an add-on could be necessary.

Depending on these variables, your policy software could cost anywhere between $4,000 and $100,000+ annually. Yes, this is a wide range. It may feel of little use right now, but as you assess your own needs and research solutions, your estimated cost will narrow.

Very few solutions provide pricing upfront. With so many variables affecting cost, an introductory appointment is usually required to give an accurate quote. But there are some easy assumptions to make starting out.

For small organizations with 20 users, the cost would be on the lower end of the spectrum. For larger organizations with 1,000–1,500+ users, it would be on the higher end. Although a large organization will pay substantially more than a small organization, its ROI will also increase proportionally.

Even more important than cost is your return. Each solution delivers a different ROI. To better understand a solution’s ROI for your organization and if it aligns with your policy needs, we recommend auditing your policy process, creating a list of non-negotiables, and developing a list of questions.

Many solutions promote the same or similar features, but in practice, the functionality can vary widely. Choosing the wrong software can be expensive, and you won’t realize its limited capabilities for 3+ months, after sinking valuable time and energy into onboarding. Accordingly, the best ROI starts with thorough research.

Policy Process Audit

It may sound obvious, but the process starts with better understanding your own needs. Without this knowledge, you can’t accurately determine the ROI of a product. Consider asking yourself the following questions to start auditing your current policy process:

  • What type of policy and/or accreditation management system are you currently using (paper, digital, mixed) and what are its shortcomings?
  • Are your policy and accreditation processes optimized and automated, or has your organization adapted to less efficient workarounds?
  • Are you able to manage a document across its entire lifecycle?
  • Do you have a single source of truth for all your policies?
  • How many hours does it take to prepare for an assessment?
  • How does your organization review content and who needs to review it? Do these reviewers/approvers have easy access to the right document? Is there a structured method for collaborating on updates?
  • Have you stored, and can you easily access, historical data and documents?
  • Do you have a method for ensuring that all employees, organization wide, are referencing a single correct version of any given document?
  • How do you currently conduct training (in person, digital)? How expensive is it? How long does it take?
  • How easy/hard is it getting employees to show up, in person, on a quarterly/annual basis for training?

The end goal is to identify all gaps and risks in your current process, and that’s not possible to accomplish in a silo. It takes a team. Who are the key policy stakeholders in your organization? As you form your team, consider including an IT Representative, Content Manager, Training Manager, and Accreditation Manager.

List of Non-negotiables

After completing your policy audit, you will better understand your organization’s needs. Now it’s time to create a list of non-negotiables. Here are 15 common criteria that may or may not be non-negotiables for your organization:

  • Cost-effective: delivers a quick return on your investment
  • Central storage: a single source of truth for all your policies
  • Easy to use: an intuitive UI that a variety of users can easily use
  • Customer support: access to a friendly, knowledgeable support team 24/7
  • Training: quality resources and support for onboarding and maintenance
  • Access control: powerful search and control over user permissions
  • Acknowledgement: tracking who has received and signed policies
  • Testing: customizable tests to verify employee comprehension
  • Workflows: advanced workflows to collaborate across your organization
  • Smart editing: side-by-side comparison with policy changes highlighted
  • Version control: a single version of each policy and archiving functionality
  • Tracking: the ability to track policies across their entire lifecycle
  • Security: protection from internal and external security threats
  • Mobile: ability to access and interact with policies from any device
  • Integration: intuitive integration with your favorite programs

Asking the Right Questions

As you create your list of non-negotiables, add to and refine the list of questions below. Between the two lists (questions and non-negotiables), you will be better equipped to assess whether or not a solution’s functionality aligns with your organization’s needs.

General

  • How do your features (policy, training, accreditation) interact and inform one another?
  • Do you provide content, or will I need to provide my own?
  • Do you have a mobile app and what functionality does it provide?
  • What level of reporting does your software provide?

Policy

  • How can your software help me keep employees accountable/compliant?
  • Does your software have a version control feature?
  • Can I create and standardize advanced workflows with multiple reviewers/approvers?
  • What tools/systems can your software integrate with?

Accreditation

  • What features does your software offer to help me simplify and maintain accreditation?
  • Do you provide standards?
  • Do you offer mock assessments?
  • Will I be able to link training to standards?

Training

  • Can I deliver training digitally and track employee progress?
  • Can I create and issue custom tests?
  • Will I be able to create custom certificates to reward employees?
  • Will I be able to issue and track internal surveys?

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