Document Review

Adding storeys to the top of a building that has a crumbling foundation is a recipe for disaster.

Before embarking on a policy overhaul of any scope, it pays to check that all the major building blocks are in place. An honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your current policy suite will inform your decision-making around the remedial actions you require.

Updating governance, values, principles, and other fundamental pieces of the policy framework before beginning the drafting process will prevent duplication of work and wasted effort.

1. Assess your current policy documents to determine whether they are

clear or ambiguous

concise or wordy

engaging or confrontational

properly supported by your policy framework

efficiently organization

2. Advise you on what it will take to improve them

what needs to be done

what skills are required

how much time it takes

what benefits to expect

3. Train your staff to draft and organize policy documents properly

what goes where

what goes in

what belongs elsewhere

how to avoid duplication

Lewis is the author of How to Write Rules That People Want to Follow: A guide to drafting respectful policies and directives, and four editions of The Canadian Lawyer’s Internet Guide. He has contributed numerous articles to a variety of publications