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Code Trends: Good Codes Take Time

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Code Trends: Good Codes Take Time

This is the final part in a three-part series on the latest trends in developing and delivering exceptional codes of conduct.

In the Top 3 list of business code of conduct trends we’re seeing a rewrite of the landscape, Trend Number 3 is: good codes take time. At initial meetings with clients about code projects, we’re routinely asked, “How long will it take?” It’s a reasonable question to ask, but it’s not an easy one to answer. We can state, unequivocally, how long it will take for our team to design a prototype, to write the complete code text, and then merge approved text and design into a final product. But review times on the client end for each of these three milestones can vary wildly, depending on the size of the company, the number of reviewers and any critical dates associated with the Code launch (for example, board meetings, training events, changes in management, etc.).

This is not to say this trend is a troubling one. On the contrary, it points to the critical role a code plays within a company and the importance placed on getting it right (see Part I and Part II of this series). It’s also a reflection of the care companies are taking to socialize their code and to make sure the final product has the support of all of its stakeholders. Getting feedback and buy-in from legal, HR, policyholders, corporate communications and others takes time, but it’s time well-spent and helps to ensure a Code that’s credible and useful, one that will be recognized, referenced and relied on by everyone in the organization.

For companies contemplating a code rewrite/redesign and wanting to hit a particular target date, this trend suggests, perhaps, contemplating any necessary review cycles at the outset of the project, taking into account who should be involved, when they should be involved and how their feedback should be collected and integrated. A good, responsive vendor will help your company stay on track, problem-solve when things get complicated and offer suggestions for incorporating feedback.

In our experience, companies who map this out in advance and build reasonable review times into the process feel more control over the project and more comfortable with the completion date – whether it’s six weeks or six months. When the final product is one that looks, feels and sounds authentic and represents a first-line, go-to resource for employees, the time you spent will be considered time well-spent.

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