Effective politics – 17 characteristics of good politics

Effective politics – 17 characteristics of good politics

How to determine if a policy is a good policy. In other words, has it achieved the organization’s desired goals and required results.

A relatively simple way to determine whether a policy is effective is to apply the following 17 criteria. The 17 characteristics of a good policy can help us determine whether it will be effective before it is implemented. The 17 characteristics can be used as an audit tool to identify gaps in documentation prior to its implementation.

The 17 characteristics of good politics are;

The results are clearly stated.

The assumptions are clear and straightforward.

It has to do with organizational direction.

Due process in the development stage has been observed.

Stakeholders are involved in development.

Public interest is given high priority.

Organizational expectations are met.

The policy is likely to be both efficient and effective.

Results are stated in measurable terms.

Has the capacity to evaluate results.

Adequate funding and resources are available.

There is clear accountability.

It follows all relevant laws.

Subject to enforcement.

There is historical information.

Ideas are tested before implementation.

The outcomes of the policy are clearly stated.

A policy must have a clear purpose and outcome if it is to have any value to the organization. It is important that staff recognize the problem being addressed by implementing the policy. It is extremely difficult to implement a policy in a situation where people do not perceive the need for the particular policy unit to be developed or implemented. If the policy is implemented to support an organization in its growth and development, it is imperative that the outcomes of the policy are clearly stated so that everyone understands why the policy has been implemented and what the policy expectations are.

The assumptions are clear.

Part of the policy statement should clearly express why the policy was written and what is expected to be achieved by implementing it. Part of the consultative process before implementing the policy should be to test the process and ideas about why the policy should be implemented. One of the common problems in organizations is that people at the organizational level believe that next year’s policy, which means solving the particular problem, may not necessarily exist throughout the organization. Assumptions that are made about why the policy should be implemented must be tested within the organizational context. Whether a perceived problem in a department is a policy problem that needs to be addressed from an organizational perspective, or is it a specific problem related to that department and having specific personnel in the department.

It has to do with organizational direction.

Policy makers must ensure that policies are linked to the overall direction and goals of the organization. The overall business framework will provide some strategic direction and will be important in assessing the direction of organizational policies. Policy authors must ensure that the policy supports the organization’s existing policies and procedures. One of the tests of a good policy is that it supports the organization in achieving its goals and objectives. Often the time policy through its implementation can actually prevent staff from achieving organizational goals. Policy should be seen as the pillars supporting the structure of an organization. The policy should be written in such a way that it removes barriers to staff and better enables them to realize their full potential.

Due process was followed.

Organizational rules and principles must be established and clearly understood as part of the policy development process. It is critical that all components of the organization have some input into policy development.

A policy implemented in one department may seem fair and reasonable until that policy has a detrimental effect on other parts of the organization as a whole.

As part of the organizational framework, a structure must be both designed and implemented that will allow policy development to occur in a concise and engaging way so that all aspects of the organization have input into policy development and implementation.

Stakeholders included.

Stakeholders, in other words, those directly affected by policy implementation and policy outcomes, must have some inclusive process developed through which they can participate in policy development. Therefore, part of the policy development process is to clearly identify who all the stakeholders are. Furthermore, an appropriate consultation strategy should be implemented as part of the policy development process.

One of the significant problems that can arise if stakeholders are invited to participate in policy development is the expectation by each stakeholder that their specific outcomes or desires will be achieved through the implementation of the policy. It is often difficult, indeed almost impossible, to achieve all desired outcomes from each stakeholder group.

One of the key components of policy development is to discuss with each of the stakeholder groups the policy outcomes to be implemented. When these outcomes clearly do not meet stakeholder expectations, it is imperative that the organization identify these issues and resolve these conflicts as much as possible.

Public interest is given high priority.

Public All government policies must have as their primary public interest. In other words, the policy is written with the overall outcome in mind and the expectation that the public will be better off as a result of implementing the policy. One of the main challenges for the government while implementing the policy is to ensure that the impact of the policy will not have a detrimental impact on community members.

Organizational expectations are met.

Policy writers must realize that they have two audiences to work with, the first audience being the group of people on whom the policy has a direct impact. In other words, the staff who will be directly affected by the implementation of the policy. Staff may need to implement new procedures as a result of implementing the new policy. Their working practices may change to some extent. The second audience, and often a more important audience, is other leaders in the organization. Make the expectations of leaders addressed and realized in the policy outcome. It serves little purpose to bring the policy to a board meeting only to find that the majority of the board does not actually support the intent of the policy or specific outcomes.

Policy writers must have a clear understanding of organizational expectations and what the intent and outcome of the policy is as they develop the policy.

The policy is likely to be effective.

The intended policy is to achieve a specific result, and the result must be effective in terms of the impact it has on the organization. Undertaking part of the consultative process appropriately will help identify areas where the policy may not be effective within the organization.

The policy is both effective and cost-effective.

Policy directives should ensure that organizational resources are used appropriately. It achieves very little of the new policy being implemented and the cost impact on the organization is significant.

Politics is measurable

This refers to measurable indicators that will provide evidence that a policy is having the desired effect. This is particularly useful for the evaluation stage of the policy cycle.

It has the capacity to evaluate

As stated in the desired characteristic above, the ability to measure the effectiveness of any policy enables it to be evaluated. Policy evaluation helps an organization determine effectiveness and possible areas where change is needed, allowing that particular organization to operate at its most effective level.

It is adequately funded

Not only must an organization ensure that its policies and policy development initiatives are properly and adequately funded, it is imperative to identify and allocate the necessary funds to implement them. Your organization should have a budget for these initiatives; stay within budget.

Clear accountability

The policy should make it easily clear which individuals and departments are responsible for what actions and within what timeframe. Everyone from the policy officers to the line worker is responsible for some part of the policy, whether it’s the correct use of funds, correct development protocols or recommended implementations, should be held accountable.

It follows all relevant laws

Politicians, whether within government organizations or businesses, must adhere to certain laws. If policy officers are unsure whether the policy they are proposing crosses any legal boundaries, then the organization’s lawyers should be consulted. Failure to do so and the adoption of an incorrect enforcement policy can be very costly at the legal level.

Subject to enforcement

A policy that cannot be enforced is not worth the time and effort put into it, much less the paper it is written on. If the policy is practical, then it must be enforceable. If not, it may need to be revised and amended.

There is historical information

If an organization ignores past experience, it often finds itself “reinventing the wheel.” It’s a waste of time, effort and money. Using a good policy framework can help prevent recurrence, as the organization should constantly review and revise, if necessary, all policies, learning from evaluations.

Ideas are tested

Ideas can be tested through “spot testing” or “dry trials”. More practically, however, testing can be done by looking back with a historical eye, as mentioned earlier. Consultation with staff and others who understand and have better first-hand experience can also be helpful in testing a proposed policy.

If the implementation of the policy is to be effective in terms of the policy outcomes to be achieved, it is critical to audit the policy prior to its implementation using the above 17 criteria as a guideline.

The 17 characteristics of a good policy also provide a solid foundation that allows the policy to be reviewed and evaluated regularly. It is critical that the existing policy is reviewed and evaluated regularly to ensure that it is still achieving the policy outcomes and organizational objectives that it was originally intended to do.

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