Home | Our Mission

Effective Policy Writing


Whether you are running a large corporate business, a government agency, a home based start up business, a non-profit organization or anything in-between, the formation of policies are extremely important. As a matter of fact they are crucial to the success and survival of the entity.

Policies are different from rules or laws; they are intended as a guide to ensure desired outcomes. These outcomes can be specific, such as the process for hiring, handling complaints or purchases for manufacturing processes. They can also be general in nature, such as behavior policies that match an organization's mission statement. There are instances when a policy may become clear only in retrospect (Australian Policy Handbook, p. 6), yet they still serve the purpose of driving an organization forward, ever learning, ever striving to become better.

Policies of any organization are the backbone and guiding force that keep a project on track and moving forward. They contain the "who", "what" and "why" of your organization. From them, procedures can then be developed that will be the "how". Policies help to create consistency and reliability in which management, employees, volunteers and the public can identify and feel confident. Policies articulate organizations goals and provide strategies and steps to help reach their goals.

Policies can be described in three different ways; first as an authoritative choice, second as a hypothesis and third, as the objective of action. Government policy makers may use any, if not all of these when creating public policy in any country. As an authoritative choice, it decrees power and the ability to exercise directives and decisions. They may bind employees, and upper management, to behave in certain ways or direct future action of an organization. In the case of government policies such power is certainly needed. Many large corporate businesses may also need to use policy creation in this way as well. Policy can also be created as a hypothesis. Policies created and used as a hypothesis are making assumptions about behavior. According to Althaus, Bridgman and Davis (2007), "To think of policy as hypothesis puts into words the mental calculations that guide all policy advisors and makers." It is important that organizations learn from policy implementation and evaluation. Policies are ultimately about meeting objectives, therefore instituting policy as objective gives purpose. Use of a good policy cycle will help keep objectives clear and concise, offering a better chance for the policies to meet the desired goals.

Though the link between policy formation and implementation is an important aspect of the process difficulties are often encountered when attempting to translate intentions into action. Implementation may be the most demanding aspect of policy making because of the failure to anticipate opposition to policy, or because the financial, intellectual and other resources required for successful implementation have been underestimated.

Time management is necessary in today's competitive world and the ability to respond quickly to new opportunity or unforeseen circumstance is more easily accomplished with strong and tested policies in place. Without the guidance that policies provide, a business could easily flounder, misspend monies, repeat less than efficient strategies and perhaps even accidentally overstepping in to unlawful practices, leaving the organization in some very deep and hot water.

Policies also have the ability to add a measure of safety in to manufacturing or service delivery practices and provide guidance in to dealing with difficult occurrences. Organizational policies could be empowering, allowing management and employees the chance to use experience and intelligence to create greater opportunity for the company. The ability for any organization to capture and use best practices can place them as leaders in any industry.

Whether you are running a large corporate business, a government agency, a home based start up business, a non-profit organization or anything in-between, the formation of policies are extremely important. As a matter of fact they are crucial to the success and survival of the entity.

Policies are different from rules or laws; they are intended as a guide to ensure desired outcomes. These outcomes can be specific, such as the process for hiring, handling complaints or purchases for manufacturing processes. They can also be general in nature, such as behavior policies that match an organization's mission statement. There are instances when a policy may become clear only in retrospect (Australian Policy Handbook, p. 6), yet they still serve the purpose of driving an organization forward, ever learning, ever striving to become better.

Policies of any organization are the backbone and guiding force that keep a project on track and moving forward. They contain the "who", "what" and "why" of your organization. From them, procedures can then be developed that will be the "how". Policies help to create consistency and reliability in which management, employees, volunteers and the public can identify and feel confident. Policies articulate organizations goals and provide strategies and steps to help reach their goals.

Policies can be described in three different ways; first as an authoritative choice, second as a hypothesis and third, as the objective of action. Government policy makers may use any, if not all of these when creating public policy in any country. As an authoritative choice, it decrees power and the ability to exercise directives and decisions. They may bind employees, and upper management, to behave in certain ways or direct future action of an organization. In the case of government policies such power is certainly needed. Many large corporate businesses may also need to use policy creation in this way as well. Policy can also be created as a hypothesis. Policies created and used as a hypothesis are making assumptions about behavior. According to Althaus, Bridgman and Davis (2007), "To think of policy as hypothesis puts into words the mental calculations that guide all policy advisors and makers." It is important that organizations learn from policy implementation and evaluation. Policies are ultimately about meeting objectives, therefore instituting policy as objective gives purpose. Use of a good policy cycle will help keep objectives clear and concise, offering a better chance for the policies to meet the desired goals.