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The Client: Large national bank holding company, providing retail and commercial banking services across the United States and Canada

Overview

The client operated at 300 branches across North America. In order to manage operations from several locations with multiple regulations efficiently, the client placed emphasis on the importance of a strong corporate governance culture. Furthermore, the client understood that within a dynamic business environment, this culture would need to be supported by strong policies. One of the central challenges was to access and update their policies and documents regularly, while ensuring that their employees across various locations are kept abreast of these changes. The client required a system to help them effectively manage, communicate, implement, and amend these policies and documents within the organization.

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The Solution

The client selected MetricStream from multiple policy management system providers. MetricStream’s experience in working with leading financial services customers, coupled with the scalability, transparency, accountability, and depth of the App, extensibility to other Governance, Risk and Compliance initiatives, as well as its potential to be deployed rapidly were the major factors that influenced the client’s choice.

MetricStream Policy and Document App was deployed on the cloud at the client’s headquarters. Cloud hosting ensured that employees have access to relevant policies and documents from different locations at all times. MetricStream was able to migrate all of the client’s existing policies and documents from SharePoint onto the MetricStream app effortlessly and quickly.

The app enabled the client to standardize and streamline its policy management processes, automating many of the tasks that were previously manual. This allowed the client to effectively communicate its policies across the organization or to specific business groups, ensuring compliance to regulatory and corporate requirements and standards.

Below are the key features of the implementation:

Policy Creation, Review, and Approval

The MetricStream Policy and Document Management App enabled the client to effectively create, categorize, and centrally store their policies and documents. During the policy creation process, the app allows mapping of policies and documents to compliance requirements relevant to the client’s location. The client can also easily upload supporting documents, along with internal and external reference links. With in-built, preconfigurable, automated workflows, the client is able to systematically route policies for review and approval to relevant personnel, with provisions made for entering comments, feedback, and redlining sections for additional amendments. This enhanced their process to collaborate with appropriate stakeholders to modify, and update policies when necessary.

Policy Communication and Implementation

With the completion of policy approvals, the app provides the ability to communicate policies to relevant stakeholders using automatic email notifications. The app enables users to notify concerned personnel on any updates, or policy changes. The app also allows stakeholders to attest their understanding of the policy.

Policy Exception Tracking

The client is able to establish consistent procedures to capture and track policy exceptions. The app allowed the client to monitor these exceptions using real time reports and dashboards to get an overall status of policy exceptions.

Policy Discovery

The app provides a common, centralized repository to store and integrate policies and documents easily. This allows users to retrieve the right policies from any location, and quickly search for polices based on various attributes, content, authors, owners, etc., and then mark favorite policies and save searches for future reference. Secure role-based access controls ensure that only authorized users can access a particular policy.

Reporting and Dashboards

The app provides a built-in reporting engine that provides real-time visibility into the policy and document management lifecycle. Graphical dashboards and reports with drill-down capabilities gives the client a clear view of policy data and statistics, policy status, audit history, approval and review cycle times, and usage summaries. This helps the client to easily track the status and of policies and other documents, as well as pinpoint areas of concern.

The Challenge

Different business groups such as legal, information security, and HR used different formats and templates to create policies. The lack of a unified policy structure led to inconsistency. This approach made it difficult for the client to standardize policies across various locations aligned to different jurisdictions.

Without a centralized repository to store and manage policies and documents, employees across the organization found it challenging to access the right policy at the right time. Since the policy management process was largely siloed, there was duplication of policy content across multiple sites.

The client was using SharePoint as a repository to store policies internally. The client faced the formidable challenge of knowing whether a policy was reviewed, approved, and communicated to their employees.

There was no process to ensure attestation of policies by employees when required. Also, keeping track of the validity of policies was also difficult due to a lack of a reporting system.

Updating policies and documents according to latest regulatory and corporate requirements also became an arduous task. It was difficult to ensure the availability of the latest version of the policy to concerned employees. Furthermore, without a structured and streamlined process to policy and document management, there was limited accountability in identifying the owner, author, and initiator for each policy.

Benefits

  • Faster, Simpler Access to Policies and Documents
    The client now has a central location to store and manage multiple policies and documents for easy access by employees. At the click of a button, employees across business departments can easily locate a policy or document.
  • Elimination of Process Redundancies
    By streamlining the complete policy and document development lifecycle, the MetricStream app has eliminated the duplication of effort and data across different business units. Adding further to the efficiency, the app has automated multiple policy workflows pertaining to different departments within the organization.
  • Greater Accountability and Transparency
    The app offers clearly defined roles and responsibilities at all stages of policy management, thereby improving accountability. The client can track all types of policies and documents processes in real-time. Additionally, the client can easily determine the changes made to a policy or document, as well as who made the changes, where, when, and how.
  • Highly Extensible
    The highly extensible app gives you the flexibility of integrating with other GRC processes including compliance management, enterprise risk management, regulatory change management, and internal audit, if adopted in the future.

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