Agile GRC: The Benefits of Building a Future-Proof GRC Program (Best Practices)

Agile GRC cover

Are you struggling to keep up with regulatory changes, compliance obligations, or constant industry changes? Well, Agile GRC could be what you are looking for.

In this article, you will learn how this innovative methodology helps you streamline your GRC processes, improve collaboration, and respond quickly to changing risk environments while lowering costs and boosting productivity.

It’s time to begin!

Table of Contents

  1. What is agile GRC?
  2. What does agility mean for your organization?
  3. How can you achieve agile GRC? The best practices
  4. The benefits of agile GRC
  5. Building an agile GRC program with StandardFusion
  6. Key Takeaways

What is Agile GRC?

Let’s start by defining this concept. Agile GRC is a methodology to improve the efficacy and efficiency of Governance, Risk, and Compliance processes. It focused on flexibility, adaptability, and collaboration.

This powerful methodology is becoming increasingly popular because it offers a more adaptive and flexible method of managing GRC processes, allowing your company to react more quickly to the shifting regulatory and risk environment while reducing costs and increasing productivity.

Now, it’s important to highlight that Agile GRC needs ongoing planning, observation, and adjustment of GRC operations in response to shifting business needs.

What Does Agility Mean for Your Organization?

Agility enables your business to expedite Governance, Risk, and Compliance processes, lower compliance expenses, and boost accountability and transparency. Also, it allows you to respond quickly to emerging threats and compliance requirements, which lowers the risk of compliance violations and reputational harm.

But wait — there’s more.

Agile GRC may ensure that compliance obligations are handled early in the development process by integrating GRC practices into the agile development lifecycle.

Agility in the GRC program provides you with several advantages, such as:

  • boosts responsiveness
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Resource efficiency, and
  • Continuous improvement

By using this approach to manage your GRC processes, you may respond to new risks, and compliance needs more rapidly, lower costs, and increase transparency and accountability. 

Last, agile GRC encourages communication and collaboration between various business units, including IT, legal, risk management, and compliance. This helps spot risks and compliance problems early on and enables a coordinated reaction to resolve them. 

What is the key here?

Well, you can improve your GRC processes continuously to conform to shifting business and regulatory needs through feedback and data.

ready for continuous improvement in your GRC processes? Discover how agile GRC can help

How Can You Achieve Agile GRC? The Best Practices

You can achieve agile GRC by creating a new mindset and being willing to accept and understand changes while focusing on continual improvement and value generation.

Being agile allows you to establish a more effective and efficient GRC program that is better equipped to respond to changing business and regulatory requirements.

How can you achieve this?

By embracing agile concepts and using some of the following best practices:

1) Developing a big-picture plan

Creating a comprehensive plan for implementing agile GRC requires a deliberate and systematic approach that considers the present state, the ideal state, and the activities necessary to close the gap.

2) Get the right leaders on board with the plan

This methodology requires leaders who can promote collaboration, drive change, and produce outcomes while keeping a continuous improvement attitude and coordinating GRC procedures with the overarching business strategy and objectives.

3) Report early and often

Agile GRC strongly emphasizes early and frequent reporting because it allows stakeholders to track developments, spot patterns, and make data-driven decisions that enhance the efficacy and efficiency of GRC procedures.

4) Engage with first-line defence

Organizations can develop a culture of risk awareness and accountability that supports Agile GRC processes and enhances overall risk management capabilities by defining roles and responsibilities, delivering training and awareness, fostering collaboration, utilizing data and analytics, monitoring and reporting, and continuously improving.

5) Strengthen integration

Agility allows organizations to create a more integrated approach to GRC. This integration helps align business objectives, facilitates collaboration and communication, and improves overall risk management and compliance practices.

6) Improve processes with technology

Using automation tools such as StandardFusion to streamline and standardize GRC processes is common in agile GRC. Automation can help reduce manual efforts and errors, improve data quality, and provide better visibility into GRC activities, allowing for better integration.

7) Encourage collaboration

Agile GRC emphasizes collaboration among various teams and functions, such as compliance, risk management, and IT. This collaboration has the potential to break down silos and improve communication, resulting in better integration.

8) Plan your transition

It is critical to assess the current state of GRC practices and identify areas for improvement in order to plan an organization’s transition to Agile GRC. Next, you need to create an Agile GRC framework and a transition roadmap after identifying key stakeholders and training the team. Finally, to ensure a smooth transition, scale up the approach and monitor implementation for any issues.

list of best practices to achieve agile grc

The Benefits of Agile GRC

Let’s jump right into it; the following are some of the most critical benefits you can get from this approach:

Agile GRC Enhances Risk Mitigation

You can use agile GRC tools like StandardFusion to centralize and connect data, workflows, and processes across various GRC functions, such as risk, compliance, internal audit, controls, and more. As a result, GRC teams can respond quickly to a rapidly changing risk environment and mitigate identified risks by having information in one place. Linking risks to objectives helps your organization’s culture shift, so everyone understands your program’s importance in achieving results.

Improved Planning for New Regulatory Requirements and Obligations

Directors and business leaders are held more accountable for compliance and governance than ever, and transparency must be at the core of your organization. Regarding GRC, an agile operations strategy means that new regulatory and legislative requirements can be quickly integrated into your systems, ensuring you never fall behind on your obligations.

Empowered Data-driven Decisions

The digitalization of risk data collection and communication will transform data integrity. Aggregate risk analytics and visibility of risk posture assist in decision-making. As a result, the board has the right information at the right time, allowing companies to implement key GRC actions more quickly. Risk is contextualized within the context of your overall business, making it relevant, clear, and actionable. 

Agile GRC Boosts Efficiency, Accuracy, and Response Time

Agile GRC employs automation, effective mapping technology, and customizations to improve business processes, such as updating and notifying key stakeholders of relevant regulatory updates. It can also help in improving response times. The sooner you have complete and accurate information about a risk event, the better can communicate and collaborate with your team members toward a solution. By removing silos, Agile GRC enables quick and flexible collaboration.

Building an Agile GRC Program with StandardFusion

Developing an Agile GRC program is an essential step for any organization looking to manage risks, comply with regulations, and achieve its governance objectives.

The following is critical.

This program should be tailored to your organization’s specific needs and objectives, and all relevant stakeholders, including executives, managers, employees, and external partners — they all should be involved. 

Also, you should base your GRC program on a framework that includes best practices and standards for risk management, compliance, and governance, such as ISO 31000, COSO, and COBIT. 

Using StandardFusion, you can create a well-designed GRC program that can assist your organization in improving risk management capabilities, lowering compliance costs, and improving reputation and stakeholder trust.

Risk maturity report

1) Centralized Process Management

Centralized process management enabled by StandardFusion’s GRC tool contributes to the Agile GRC program by serving as a single source for policies and procedures that your team and other members of the organization can access.

This centralization promotes policy consistency and standardization, ensuring that everyone follows the same guidelines and procedures. Also, with a centralized policy management tool, you can easily update information and gain real-time visibility. This allows quick, efficient team communication and more effective responses to changes and risks.

2) Enables Integration Across the board

You can define how your policies fit into your compliance and risk management program using StandardFusion’s platform. It assists you in connecting frameworks, controls, risks, and assets. 

This Integration will allow you to understand workflows, which are the bedrock of effective policy management. They provide structure to policy development and implementation. 

Well-structured processes supporting agile GRC can save compliance teams time and resources by specifying how your company will respond to specific events. This is also what regulators look for when determining whether your policy management program meets standards.

3) Effective Communication

Using our GRC tool, you can track any activity on your policies, including changes. It will tell you what changes were made, who made them, and when they occurred. This allows you to see if you’re using the most recent versions of your policies and whether or not the people in charge of updating them have made the necessary changes. It also tracks who has acknowledged the policy, ensuring accountability.

4) Enable Customizations

StandardFusion’s improved in-app document editing provides robust editing options while streamlining the user experience. It allows you to create policies from scratch and import existing rules into the system using an in-software editing tool that supports version control.

This feature saves you time by allowing you to edit documents within the app. Also, the automation of policy management systems ensures that personnel can access, develop, edit, modify, and approve documentation.

5) Powerful Data Analytics

StandardFusion’s GRC platform enables you to analyze data and identify trends, patterns, and anomalies through powerful analytics and reporting capabilities. This can assist you in identifying potential risks, compliance gaps, and areas for improvement. Also, it helps you take a data-driven approach to an Agile GRC program, enhancing your ability to manage risks, comply with regulations, and achieve governance goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Agile GRC is a popular approach for managing GRC processes, allowing you to react quickly to shifting regulatory and risk environments while lowering costs and boosting productivity.

  • Agility in GRC provides several advantages, such as boosts in responsiveness, collaboration, transparency, resource efficiency, and continuous improvement.

  • Agile GRC encourages communication and collaboration between various business units, enabling a coordinated reaction to resolve risks and compliance problems early on.

  • Achieving agile GRC requires embracing agile concepts and using best practices such as developing a big-picture plan, engaging the right leaders, reporting early and often, and improving processes with technology.

  • The benefits of agile GRC include risk mitigation, improved planning for new regulatory requirements and obligations, empowered data-driven decisions, and boosted efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.

  • To achieve agile GRC, it is critical to create a new mindset and focus on continual improvement while being willing to accept and understand changes.

Looking for Better Compliance?

Track compliance to multiple frameworks simultaneously, including SOX, HITRUST CSF, GDPR, CCPA, and FedRAMP, and manage the entire risk and compliance lifecycle with a single tool.

In a nutshell:

By implementing Agile GRC, you can expedite GRC processes, lower compliance expenses, and boost accountability and transparency. Moreover, you’ll be able to respond quickly to emerging threats and compliance requirements, which lowers the risk of compliance violations and reputational harm.

Reach out to our team at StandardFusion and start implementing agile GRC in your organization today and enjoy the benefits of a more integrated and effective approach to Governance, Risk, and Compliance!