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Documented Policy

Governance: Ensures that policies and strategy are actually implemented and insures that the required processes and procedures are followed.  This includes the defining of roles and responsibilities, measuring and reporting and taking any actions to resolve any issues identified.

Policy: Formally documented management expectations and intentions.  Policies are used to direct decisions and ensure consistent and appropriate development and implementation of processes, standards, roles, activities, IT infrastructures and anything that will give guidance on the management of your organization.  The objective of policies and procedures is to document an organization’s policy for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill that policy. 
Policies and procedures answer the “what” and “how” questions for individuals within an organization.  Written documentation will allow for consistent treatment across the organization.  Policies and Procedures also help to create an internal control framework.  It is this internal control framework that management will rely upon and that will ensure the organization’s objectives are being met.

Policies and procedures are the strategic link between the organization’s vision and its day-to-day operations. Well written policies and procedures allow employees to understand their roles and responsibilities within predefined limits. Policies and procedures allow management to guide operations without constant management intervention. Policies identify the key activities and provide a general strategy to decision-makers on how to handle issues as they arise. This is accomplished by providing the reader with limits and a choice of alternatives that can be used to "guide" their decision making process as they attempt to overcome problems.

The ultimate goal of every procedure is to provide the reader with a clear and easily understood plan of action required to carry out or implement a policy. A well written procedure will also help eliminate common misunderstandings by identifying job responsibilities and establishing boundaries for the job holders.  Good procedures actually allow managers to control events in advance and prevent the organization (and employees) from making costly mistakes.
Without well documented and communicated policies, misunderstanding, confusion, missed opportunities, aggravation and chaos will ensue.

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