2020 Policy Insider's Report

PART III: Improve collaboration and manage your policy work as you navigate Covid-19

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This is part III of a three-part blog series from POLITICO Pro bringing you tips and best practices learned from our 2020 Policy Insiders Report: Policymaking During a Pandemic. Read part I and part II here

On March 16, 2020, officials announced the first shelter-in-place orders in California, marking the start of a massive shift to remote work for many. Working remotely presents unique challenges for policy professionals, given the importance of in-person meetings, interpersonal communication and Congress’ 231-year history of policymaking in person.

On top of new challenges, 83% of respondents in our 2020 Policy Insiders Report: Policymaking During a Pandemic, said their policy portfolios expanded since the onset of the pandemic. In short, policy professionals are overwhelmed and need a better way to work. 

In this year’s Policy Insider’s Report, we asked your peers how they navigate this new normal. Here are three tips to help you increase efficiency, productivity and show value

Tip No. 1 — Adopt new technologies to streamline your workflow

Survey respondents noted using a range of methods to track federal and state government responses to the pandemic. Popular strategies include using digital tools (44%), leveraging relationships with government contacts (62%) and getting updates through trade associations. Still, 62% of survey respondents indicated that they are tracking the policy response to the pandemic manually, all while taking on more responsibilities. They’re combing through numerous media sources, government websites and cumbersome databases to piece together disparate information. 

Tip in Action: Small changes to your workflow can quickly lead to greater efficiency and higher productivity. A comprehensive policy workspace tool like POLITICO Pro integrates your team’s day-to-day work into a single tool. Save time and effort as you build and maintain relationships with Pro’s Congressional, Agency and States directories or track and analyze every coronavirus relief package with our federal and state legislative tracker and expert analyses


Tip No. 2 — Build processes that promote continuity amidst change  

Over the last five months, policy professionals have experienced shifts to their agendas or priorities, team structure and budget, travel schedule and more. These changes have intensified two of the three biggest challenges policy professionals face, including coordinating with other functions within their organizations (38%) and coordinating with peers within their function across regions (28%). To overcome this, survey respondents report using a range of tools like Microsoft Teams, video conferencing platforms and policy workflow tools like POLITICO Pro to collaborate.

Tip in Action: Teams function best when information is centrally located, easily accessible, and always up-to-date. Consolidate all the most critical information from across POLITICO Pro into Projects, a new collaborative project management tool available through the Pro Edge Platform. Projects enables your entire team to see the latest policy news, regulations, transcripts, contacts, and more related to your policy priorities. Get alerts and share notes to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. Learn more about Projects


Hear from the Pros: One POLITICO Pro user said, “While working remotely, Pro’s reporting has been invaluable...it provides continuity, consistency, stability and even a sense of normalcy. It’s the inside baseball that I devour and allows me to know what's going on and to keep our members up-to-date.” Read the customer success story
Tip No. 3 — Automate elements of your workflow to avoid collaboration overload 

Collaboration overload occurs when a worker spends so much time engaging with colleagues and responding to requests that they have little time to actually get work done. This is a very real challenge for policy professionals in the era of coronavirus. 

Here’s what collaboration overload looks like for policy professionals: 

  • “Coordination of work across departments is more challenging as everyone is overbooked with Zoom meetings on separate paths. It is more time-consuming to be informed and connected with co-workers and legislative staff.”

  • “Because we can't collaborate in person, I feel there is an overcompensation to connect virtually, which keeps people from doing work. We just talk about the work and can't get to it since we are also juggling a multitude of other responsibilities.”

  • “I spend a lot more time communicating with staff and collaborating with other like-minded organizations and coalitions. Because so much time is spent on Zoom meetings and responding to email, it leaves very little time for proactive policy development. It feels like we only have time to be reactive.”

Tip in Action: Workflow and project management tools are a great way to offset collaboration overload. Find ways to automate different parts of your daily work with POLITICO Pro. Leverage our customizable alerts to get proactively informed on the latest news, set up Folders to align with different deliverables, or create lists of stakeholder contacts accessible by everyone on your team.  

Read the full 2020 Policy Insider's Report here

policy insiders report

Content produced outside of the POLITICO Pro newsroom.

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