Managing information using frameworks

Frameworks is an app in HighBond. Use frameworks to maintain a structured set of information that you can use to build projects.

What is a framework?

A framework is a structured set of information that you can use to build projects. Frameworks are helpful for managing changes in an evolving regulatory and business environment.

How it works

First, you create a framework and define information in the framework. A framework can include the following items:

Then, you import items from a framework into one or more projects. Any items imported to a project are linked to the items in the framework so changes to one can be synced to the other.

Importing items

Importing an item means you are copying it from one location to another. When you import items, you also have the option to import associated items. For example, if you import a control, you can also import risks associated to the control.

For more information on importing specific items, see:

Note

When you import a control, the test plan is imported automatically. You cannot import a test plan separately from a control.

Note

If you import an item that is source linked to another framework, the links are not maintained. The new item is treated as new source information.

Syncing frameworks with projects

See Syncing projects with frameworks.

Backing up and exporting frameworks

To backup or export a framework, you must first import the framework into a project. Then, you can backup and export the project containing the framework information, and archive the project.

Terminology differences

Depending on the project type, terms for items such as objectives, narratives, risks, controls, and test plans may vary. The terminology used in the project is prioritized over the terminology used in the framework.

Different ways of using frameworks

You can use frameworks to manage information in multiple projects, or to build the main structure of similar projects, and customize those projects as needed. You can also build frameworks from existing projects.

Option Steps
Manage information in a framework and sync changes with projects

  1. Create a framework.
  2. Define items, such as objectives, narratives, risks, controls, and test plans in the framework.
  3. Import framework items to projects.
  4. Edit items in the framework or in projects.
  5. Sync changes from the framework to projects or vice versa.
Initially build projects using a framework and then customize projects as needed

  1. Create a framework.
  2. Define items such as objectives, narratives, risks, controls, and test plans in the framework.
  3. Import framework items, such as controls, to projects.
  4. Add items to projects or edit items in projects, as required.
Build frameworks from multiple projects

  1. Create a framework.
  2. Import items, such as controls, from projects to the framework.
  3. Add items to the framework or edit existing items in the framework, as required.

Tip

Importing items from a project to a framework does not create an association between the project and framework, and allows you to efficiently populate your framework with relevant data.

Other best practices for using frameworks

There are a variety of strategies you can use to effectively make use of frameworks.

Group controls for reporting purposes

When you set up a framework, consider grouping controls within an objective for an optimal reporting experience. Your organization may report on different types of entities (business units, departments, locations, or key initiatives that are within the scope of the organization's project function), so ensure that your framework is set up to reflect the desired reporting experience.

Define fields but keep values blank

Frameworks dictate the fields that one or more projects must use, but the values in the fields can be specific to each project.

To use the framework as a template, define the fields you need within the framework, but keep the values blank. For example, you may need to define several control attributes. You can define these fields within the framework, and specify the values for these fields within the relevant projects.

Use frameworks to build similar types of projects

If your organization performs different types of projects (such as SOX Audits, IT Audits, and Operational Audits), you can set up a framework that corresponds with each type of project.

You can also use frameworks to source a subset of objectives that apply to multiple projects. For example, most Operational Audits include a planning and wrap-up section. Using a framework, you can contain the subset of common objectives (planning and wrap-up), and import these objectives to the relevant Operational Audits.

Keep language generic

Where possible, keep descriptive language used in items such as risks and controls generic so you can easily apply updates to multiple projects. If the language used is too specific, you will need to decide on what to sync vs. what not to sync, which could potentially lead to a burdensome maintenance process.

Example

Building projects using frameworks

Scenario

Previously, you created three projects that are all IT related:

  • IT General Controls Review
  • IT Compliance Issue Management
  • Cybersecurity Review

You recognize that there are similar controls that need to be set up within each project, and you want to be able to create one set of controls that can be used across all projects.

Process

You create a new framework called IT General Controls Framework, and you define the objectives, risks, and controls within the framework. Then, you import the controls from the framework into each project. When importing, you decide to include risks that are associated with the controls.

Result

The risks and controls in the framework are linked to the risks and controls in the projects. You can now either update the projects as needed, or ensure that updates made to risks and controls in a framework propagate to the appropriate projects by syncing projects with frameworks.

Permissions

Project Admins, Project Creators, and users assigned the Professional Manager or Professional User role within a framework can create frameworks and sync projects with frameworks.

Users assigned the Contributor Tester or Contributor Users role within a framework can edit all narratives and controls within an objective if they have been assigned objective owner. They can edit specific controls if they have been assigned control owner on individual controls.

Users assigned the Contributor Manager role within a framework can edit all narratives and controls within an objective, regardless of whether or not they have been assigned as an objective or control owner.

Only Project Admins, Project Creators, and Professional Managers can delete frameworks.

Create a framework

Create a framework to store information.

Note

Interface terms are customizable, and fields and tabs are configurable. In your instance of HighBond, some terms, fields, and tabs may be different.

  1. Open the Frameworks app. The Frameworks homepage opens.
  2. Click Start a New Framework.
  3. Enter a name and description for the framework. The maximum length for the framework name is 120 characters.
  4. Select a project type from the drop-down list. Ensure that you select a workflow (Internal Control or Workplan) that matches the workflow of the project you want to build. For more information, see Workflows and project types.
  5. Click Save.

    Result The new framework is created.

    Tip

    Use this workflow to learn how to build a project using a framework: Building projects using a framework

Add multiple frameworks

For information about adding multiple frameworks at once, see Bulk uploading frameworks.

Edit a framework

Edit information within a framework and configure framework settings.

Note

Interface terms are customizable, and fields and tabs are configurable. In your instance of HighBond, some terms, fields, and tabs may be different.

  1. Open the Frameworks app. The Frameworks homepage opens.
  2. Open a framework. The framework dashboard opens.
  3. Complete any of the following tasks:
    TasksInformation
    Manage user access to the framework

    Assigning user roles in projects and frameworks

    Update framework settings

    Projects app settings

    Define the background, purpose/objective, and scope, or add reference documents

    Planning projects

    Define objectives

    Defining objectives

    Import objectivesCloning and importing objectives
    Define narrativesDefining narratives
    Import narrativesImporting narratives
    Bulk upload risks and controls

    Bulk uploading risks and controls

    Tip

    This is the quickest method to populate your framework with risk and control data.

    Define risks and controls

    Defining risks and controls

    Import risks or controls
    Note

    When you import a control, the test plan is also automatically imported. You cannot import a test plan separately from a control.

    Define test plansExecuting procedures and testing controls
    Review and sign-off on work

    Reviewing work and signing-off

    Update or manage to-dos

    Assigning to-dos

    Sync changes with projectsSyncing projects with frameworks

Delete a framework

Delete a framework to permanently remove it.

Note

Interface terms are customizable, and fields and tabs are configurable. In your instance of HighBond, some terms, fields, and tabs may be different.

  1. Open the Frameworks app. The Frameworks homepage opens.
  2. Open a framework. The framework dashboard opens.
  3. Click Settings. The Framework Settings subtab opens.
  4. Click Delete Framework.
  5. Click OK in the confirmation dialog box.
    Caution

    The framework and all associated work is permanently removed. Once deleted, you cannot access or restore any of the framework items.