Waltham, Mass. - Effective procedures are critical to business success. That's the finding from nearly 700 U.S. business professionals recently surveyed by Information Mapping Inc. (IMI).Findings show 90% of those surveyed report that documented procedures are either 'extremely important' or 'very important' in meeting their company's objectives. The results also show, for those surveyed:

  • 74% rate their ability to write procedures as 'extremely or very important' to their effectiveness on the job
  • 52% say their company's procedures as not easy to use and understand, and
  • 65% say their company's procedures are not accurate, complete, and up to date.

The respondents represent a diverse group comprising professionals from finance, government, insurance, telecommunications, health care, high tech, and biotech. Of the participating companies, 63% have 1,000 employees or more, and more than 68% of those surveyed are professional or managerial level. Key areas within their job functions include training, documentation, information technology, human resources, general management, and operations.
According to Deborah Kenny, IMI's vice president and general manager of Learning Solutions, "Clear procedures can keep your organization running smoothly; ineffective procedures can cause real problems, risks, and inefficiencies."

"These issues are increasingly important as organizations face a wide array of rules, regulations, and standards, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, the U.S. Patriot Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, SEC rules, Six Sigma, and ISO 9000. With growing regulations come greater risks, escalating compliance costs, and heightened accountability," notes Kenny. "When procedures are non-existent or poorly written and employees make mistakes, organizations can face fines, lawsuits, or shutdowns."

"When policies and procedures are not documented - or when they are inaccessible, incomprehensible, or difficult to use - the consequences for organizations can be very serious," says Kenny. "Both safety and security can be compromised."

The primary areas where procedures are used are compliance/quality control, computer/systems software, customer service, human resources, and safety/emergency, according to the survey.

"Every part of an organization is dependent on documented procedures to mitigate risk and improve productivity and performance," says Kenny.

IMI helps organizations improve performance, solve information-intensive business challenges, and achieve long-term, measurable results.

Source: IMI

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