5 min read time

Use the Carrot: Strategies for Maximizing Compliance Process Adoption in Your Organization

by   in Document Management

Make Compliance Cool

Organisations can be like playgrounds: some departments are cool and others just aren’t. The revenue generators or those with cutting edge projects safely reside at the top of the social hierarchy. This article is dedicated to a department that keeps things running but doesn’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve: the compliance department and data owners.

As a product manager for a software tool in the compliance space, a comment I recurringly hear from compliance owners within any level of organization, private or public, is that although the product is working fine, the difficulty is in getting the end-users to adopt it and follow the compliance practices recommended by the organization. I’ve seen organizations with perfect processes get fined by compliance regulators because end-users are simply not following the process correctly if at-all.

The compliance stakeholders are often responsible for maintaining a set of processes and technology that can help their organization meet regulations and run effici ently. Those processes need the buy-in from all other departments, and getting users to follow them can be tricky.

Speaking recently to a compliance stakeholder from a large government organization, he explained their status as needing to use “carrots and not sticks” to get other departments to follow their recommendations. The following article is a description of what that carrot should look like. If you don’t have “stick” credibility, how do you get other departments to buy in to adopting very necessary compliance practices. Read also "2 Days in the Life of a Chief Risk/Compliance Officer".

How do you make compliance attractive?

Automate and Manage in Place

The first recommendation is to automate your compliance process as much as possible, so that the ask you give to your business users is as small as possible. Automation can be achieved using auto-classification features mixed with rules that automatically capture data as much as possible. Make it easy to configure the capture of data and the rules for managing data throughout its lifecycle. One trick is to have one central interface for configuration, even when data is been captured from multiple sources. Use a software tool that does as much as possible in the background, and when it does require user action, it should offer a modern interface that is if possible integrated with tools they already know.

As an example, the compliance solution Content Manager integrates with M365 interfaces, so users don’t have to leave Teams or Outlook to archive their records. Integrating with modern tools, and moving to modern interfaces, tends to increase the update of using the tool. 

Gaining traction in the content management space is the concept of managing data in place. Managing your information directly from source repositories rather than migrating it all to a central source is another great way to achieve faster compliance with less disruption to both your IT and business end users. You can learn more about managing in place governance strategies here: "In-Place Management Enables Enterprise-Wide Information Retention & Preservation".

Give them New Information

If you are asking users to learn a new tool, there has to be a “carrot” within the tool’s functionality. This will differ based on the user and department, but one feature that works well generally is to provide analytical dashboards or reports that give these departments and users business value, with information they didn’t have before. This will encourage tool adoption as they will be looking to use your process and software for the business information they get from it.

An example could be, that using reporting from a compliance tool, managers are able to clearly see where business workflows are stalled, and how many are being processed in a certain amount of time.

In order to best provide new information, its often important for the software tool to integrate with as many existing systems as necessary. Open APIs are also critical here.

Follow the Money

The key to popularity in any organization is to show them ways of saving money.

Compliance can actually offer an ROI in many cases. For example, in a law firm, using a compliance tool could significantly reduce eDiscovery costs. A compliance tool could also reduce your software licensing fees (e.g. by archiving software or by reducing your data volume).

Although we all know that compliance processes reduce risk and avoid costly fines, its sometimes easier to point out existing costs that can be reduced using the new processes. Find customer success story here.

Lighten their Workload

You’ve given your users new functionality that adds extra business value, you’ve delivered it in a modern software tool, and you’ve helped them save money. All of this makes their job easier and encourages them to adopt your process, but there’s one more feature that could further lighten their workload. Choose a software solution that makes their tasks more efficient, so that it takes them less time to complete their given tasks.

There’s many ways a compliance tool can reduce workload.

The obvious one is a powerful search engine that helps them quickly find the data they need.

Another quick win is providing collaboration features such as multi-user real time editing. Watch also "Protect and Preserve Your Most Critical IP and Content While Ensuring Compliance".

In Conclusion: Use the Carrot

When trying to increase adoption of your compliance process, be creative in how you can pitch the added-value to departments and users who have no stake in the company compliance policy. Make sure to highlight the win for them, and provide tools with a low cost of onboarding that will provide added value to the departments that are meant to use them.

As a product manager for the compliance solution Content Manager, these tips are all a part of our product strategy to ensure our tool is loved by users. If you’d like to learn more about a compliance solution that follows the strategy outlined above to ensure success for your organisation:

Start Your Free 90-day Trial

Visit the Content Manager Community to find more resources and to start any discussion about the product.

Join us on LinkedIn and follow @MicroFocusIMG on Twitter.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog. Comment below.

Know your data | empower your people | drive your future

Join our community | @microfocusimg | What is InfoGov?


Content Management
Content Manager