The first, and potentially highest, hurdle in shifting compliance management from a labor-intensive manual activity to an automated process is defining the scope of the project. That entails chores like identifying stakeholders and their roles, setting milestones and determining things like workflow and sign-offs.
In fact, this is where many companies pressing toward compliance automation get stuck and flounder. And when sighting down on a compliance problem, it's easy to overlook some obvious things, like useful software tools that have been around forever that could help drag a compliance project out of the quagmire.
I'm talking about project management applications. After looking through Information Week's review of project management software, it struck me how well-suited and inexpensive (even free) these applications are for helping frame the compliance management automation project and get it moving again.
Chances are, you've used one or two project management application in the past. And, if not, then chances are that there are at least a few of them being used somewhere in your company. As the reviewers point out, project management software has evolved from monolithic programs to more focused, agile applications for clearly defined purposes and users.
It's just thought, knowing how quickly the compliance management problem can become convoluted with conflicting agendas and subsets of problems that were never envisioned. And if you're not familiar with the available project management tools, the review is a good place to start.