While Policies and Procedures aren’t the same thing, they do go hand in hand. Policies are more of the broad guidelines while the procedures are the specifics for how that policy is done. Companies around the world have them, to varying degrees, because they ensure that operational needs for that company are met. SOP’s manage risks, improve compliance (ISO, HIPAA, SOX, and the like), and overall drive a company’s improvement and growth. Basically, without policies and procedures, you wouldn’t know what is expected of you or how to achieve it.
In a well-run organization, the ‘responsible office’ or people in charge of creating and dispersing these standard operating procedures, (SOP’s), put a lot of time and energy into their assembly; and for good reason. There are many important legal and practical matters that documents like these must cover which is where software applications, like document management systems, come in.