Build a policy lifecycle solution with SharePoint and Microsoft 365 - Part 3

How to create a policy lifecycle solution with SharePoint and Microsoft 365 - series

  1. Research and create
  2. Collaborate and approve
  3. Target acknowledge and track (this post)

Stage 3: Target, Acknowledge and Track

You may now publish the new (or modified) policy to the organization and track its progress as people read and acknowledge it.

Policies should be published on a site that employees can easily find and access. For the purpose of this document, we'll call this site the "Policies and Procedures Portal." Depending on your needs, you may choose to have one "Policies Portal" for the entire organization or separate portals for each department. However, to keep things simple and ensure ease of access, we recommend having a single "Policies Portal." This centralization makes it easier for employees to find the necessary policies.

If you have different permission requirements, such as certain policies that should only be visible to specific users, you can organize your policies into separate libraries within the portal. Each library can be configured to grant access exclusively to designated user groups. This ensures that only authorized users can view the relevant policies, maintaining confidentiality and proper access control.

The home page of the "Policies Portal" should be designed with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind. To enhance usability, it should prominently highlight only the policies that the current user is required to read, along with the deadlines for reading them, rather than displaying a comprehensive list of all policies. This targeted approach ensures that employees can quickly and easily identify the specific policies relevant to them, reducing information overload and improving compliance.

Unfortunately, out of the box, SharePoint does not provide a way to target documents to specific users. Nor can it track when they acknowledge reading them. This is where a content-targeting tool like DocRead becomes extremely valuable. DocRead allows for precise document targeting and tracking, ensuring that each employee sees only the policies they need to read and confirms their acknowledgement. This not only streamlines the policy distribution process but also enhances accountability and compliance across the organization.


Once the policy is saved in the relevant document library, it needs to be targeted to the right users. With DocRead, compliance managers can be given permissions to target individual documents to the right users or group of users.

In the example below a compliance manager is targeting the "Managing Contractors" policy to the members of the "Warehouse Department" and "Sales department" user groups.

Image showing how to target policies to groups of users


The success of this stage hinges on ensuring that employees are both aware of and have easy access to the relevant policies. It is crucial that each employee is promptly notified whenever a new policy is introduced, or an existing policy is updated, requiring their review and acknowledgement. Additionally, it is vital for compliance managers to have the capability to monitor and track who has read the policies and who has confirmed their agreement to comply. This level of oversight is essential for maintaining accountability and ensuring comprehensive policy adherence. Tools like DocRead are invaluable in this process as they facilitate efficient notifications, tracking, and acknowledgement, thereby enhancing overall compliance and operational efficiency.

The illustration below showcases an example of a “Policies and Procedures Portal” site utilizing DocRead to target policies to the appropriate users effectively. The homepage uses the DocRead "Reading assignments" web part with the list of reading assignments for the current user. This allows each employee to focus only on the policies that are relevant to them.

Image showing an example of a policies and procedures portal

The “My Reading Assignments” DocRead web part has been placed on the page to bring reading assignments to users attention when they log on. The table shows the name of the document they are required to read and the assignment creation and due dates. The user simply needs to click on one of the documents to follow the link to read the document. After they have finished, they self-certify that they have read its contents.

Image showing how an employee can confirm reading a policy

Tired of reminding staff to read your company policies?

DocRead makes compliance simple


The final stage in the process is enabling compliance managers to verify that policies are being read on time and by the appropriate users. SharePoint's out-of-the-box functionality does not support this level of oversight, so we utilize DocRead to achieve this. DocRead provides the necessary tools to ensure timely and accurate policy compliance tracking.

A suite of DocRead dashboards help compliance managers to track who has and hasn’t completed the reading tasks:

At a library level, compliance managers can track the overall acknowledgement status of each individual policy:

Image showing a library compliance dashboard

At a global level, compliance managers can track compliance across the entire organisation via a "Compliance Cockpit". This provides a high level overview with the ability to drill down on individual users, documents, groups or libraries.

Image showing the organizational compliance status

Find out how DocRead can help

Find out how DocRead can meet your specific requirements by booking a personalized demonstration with one of our experts. During the call they will be able to discuss your specific requirements and show how DocRead can help.

If you have any questions please let us know.

DocRead has enabled us to see a massive efficiency improvement... we are now saving 2 to 3 weeks per policy on administration alone.

Nick Ferguson

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals

Feedback for the on-premises version of DocRead.


We hope this overview has helped you see the potential to use SharePoint ‘out-of-the-box’ along with the right no-code solutions to create a fully functioning and, above all, seamless Policy lifecycle solution.

With a little bit of know-how in SharePoint and a few minutes of your time installing DocRead, you can create a powerful, end-user-ready solution with very low maintenance overhead and, most importantly, one that works for your needs.

Before we finish, we want to acknowledge that there are literally dozens of additional ways that you can use SharePoint for this use case. We have simply picked a select few that we believe give you the most bang for your buck quickly. By researching these and implementing the ones you feel fit with your organization’s wishes, a solution to policy management can become a reality in a shorter time than you thought!

For more information on DocRead:

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