Tactics was asked to overhaul a suite of policy documents for a large public sector client. The trigger for Tactics’ involvement was a pending legislation change requiring policies that have legislative effect (so-called ‘secondary legislation’) to be available to the public. The project had two distinct requirements:
- Update and document HR policy development processes and procedures.
- Restructure and update existing HR policy chapters to:
- present policies separately from procedures, and
- provide sample documents based on structured writing principles for HR staff to follow when updating a further 200 chapters.
Two Tactics consultants created interconnected project plans to achieve both deliverables within a tight timeframe.
Our work involves establishing relationships with clients, observing and understanding where and how they work and how they develop, access and use documentation. However, this entire project had to be completed during the Covid-19 lockdown, with no face-to-face contact or on-site observation, and no certainty when lockdown would be lifted.
What we learned
- Virtual communication takes more time. It’s not as easy to ask a quick question, everyone has more emails so response times are slower, and virtual meetings require more focus.
- Project plans are constantly reviewed. We needed to acknowledge and accommodate the challenges of virtual communication so they didn’t delay our delivery schedule.
What worked well
Once we realised that virtual communication takes more time, we quickly adapted our agile development cycle by:
- developing smaller sections of content at a time
- shortening our cycles of development and review, and
- scheduling regular, more frequent, shorter virtual meetings.
We successfully completed all deliverables on time and on budget. Tactics produced:
- End-to-end policy development guidelines, processes and procedures, delivered as:
- a reference manual with policy development principles, process overviews and detailed procedures, and
- a workbook (to be completed for each policy as it is developed) with templates, forms, checklists and quality assurance checkpoints.
- Sample chapters of updated secondary policy legislation based on the new template and structure, as blueprints for policy staff to follow.