Playbook: GDPR Monthly Review

Playbook: GDPR Monthly Review

Published November 17, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of data protection, compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is paramount. As businesses continue to grapple with the complexities of safeguarding personal data, a structured approach to compliance is not only necessary but also a strategic imperative. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of the GDPR Monthly Review, outlining the steps and providing a free template to streamline your compliance efforts.

Free License:

This playbook is a FREE Industry template that can be tweaked or used as-is for your own organization or teams, in perpetuity. This contribution to the community was created after research on the current Industry best practices on the subject. However, this is only a guidance and needs to be modified as required, to best fit your needs. This template does not provide any assurances or guarantees. It also needs you to modify Roles, Tasks, and Durations to those that best fit your specific needs.

The template provided for FREE DOWNLOAD covers the following sections:

The Need for a GDPR Monthly Review

Data breaches and privacy concerns have become pervasive in our digital era. The GDPR, implemented to protect the rights of individuals regarding their personal data, requires organizations to regularly assess and enhance their data protection measures. The GDPR Monthly Review serves as a proactive strategy, ensuring ongoing compliance, identifying vulnerabilities, and mitigating risks.

The Playbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to GDPR Monthly Review

1. Identify and Document Personal Data

The first step in the Monthly Review is a comprehensive identification of all types of personal data held by your organization. Document its origins and note who it is shared with. This foundational step sets the stage for informed decision-making throughout the compliance process.

2. Review Privacy Notices

Regularly review and update privacy notices to ensure they are clear, comprehensive, and cover all data processing activities. Transparency is key, and your privacy notices should reflect the current state of your data processing practices.

3. Establish Internal Security Policies and Training

Empower your team with a robust internal security policy. Train your staff on GDPR compliance requirements, fostering a culture of data protection awareness within the organization. A well-informed team is your first line of defense against potential breaches.

4. Update Data Protection Policies and Procedures

Revise and update data protection policies and procedures, incorporating incident response plans and breach notification processes. A proactive approach to handling incidents is crucial in minimizing the impact of potential breaches.

5. Conduct Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

Mitigate risks by conducting a DPIA to identify and address potential issues in data processing activities. This systematic approach allows for targeted risk management and compliance enhancement.

6. Audit Data Processing Activities

Regularly audit data processing activities to ensure alignment with GDPR requirements. Record-keeping is vital for demonstrating compliance and addressing any issues that may arise.

7. Evaluate IT Systems and Applications

Assess the security controls and data encryption methods in use within your IT systems and applications. Ensure that these measures are in line with GDPR standards to fortify your data protection framework.

8. Inspect Third-Party Service Agreements

Review third-party service agreements and confirm GDPR compliance. Amend contracts as necessary to align with data protection standards and mitigate risks associated with external partners.

9. Review Employee Access Controls

Evaluate and update employee access controls and permissions to adhere to the principle of least privilege access. Restricting access to personal data enhances security and minimizes the risk of unauthorized disclosures.

10. Address Deficiencies and Non-Compliance

Develop a plan to address any deficiencies found during the assessment phase. Create separate tasks for each issue and ensure timely closure, with a three-day playbook to expedite the resolution process.

11. Revise Processes for Data Subject Access Requests

Streamline internal processes for handling data subject access requests to meet GDPR timelines. Efficiency in responding to such requests demonstrates a commitment to transparency and compliance.

12. Implement Necessary Changes for Compliance

Take proactive steps to implement necessary changes in data handling and processing activities to resolve non-compliance issues identified during the review.

13. Compile Documentation for Record-Keeping

Compile all documentation from assessments, training sessions, and policy updates for thorough record-keeping. This documentation serves as evidence of compliance and due diligence.

14. Document Data Breaches or Incidents

In the unfortunate event of a data breach or incident, document all actions taken in response in the incident log. Create separate tasks to ensure closure within a three-day playbook, minimizing the impact of the incident.

15. Management Review and Sign-off

Present findings and documentation to management for review and obtain sign-off on compliance status. This step ensures that key stakeholders are aware of the organization’s data protection posture.

16. Plan for Ongoing Compliance Measures

Discuss and plan with department heads for any additional measures needed to maintain ongoing compliance. Create tasks with a three-day playbook to expedite the implementation of these measures.

17. Distribute Final Compliance Report

Share the final compliance report with all stakeholders, including management and department heads. Transparency in communication builds trust and reinforces the organization’s commitment to data protection.

18. Schedule Next Monthly Review

Set objectives for continuous GDPR compliance improvement and schedule the next monthly review. Regular assessments ensure that your organization remains agile in addressing emerging threats and evolving regulations.

19. Organize Feedback Session

Conclude the monthly process with a feedback session involving the GDPR team and senior management. Review the effectiveness of the process and identify areas for improvement, ensuring continuous refinement of your compliance strategy.24


In conclusion, the GDPR Monthly Review is not merely a compliance obligation; it is a strategic initiative to fortify your organization’s data protection stance. By following the playbook steps and utilizing the provided template, you can navigate the complexities of GDPR compliance with confidence and proactively safeguard the personal data entrusted to your care. Remember, compliance is not a destination but a continuous journey, and the Monthly Review is your compass on this path of data protection excellence.

Sailing through stormy seas of process inconsistencies?

Anchor your success with our powerful Playbooks!

Schedule a Demo
Playbooks for success

Standard processes, faster.

A leader in retail analytics achieved an 18% reduction in onboarding time by implementing Playbooks across multiple roles.

get playbook demo

Smarter operations are just a [click] away.

See how SmartPlaybooks can work for you.

Get started with a FREE Account of SmartPlaybooks: We just need a few details to get you going!

    We need this to have person in appropriate time zone to contact you.

    Start your 60-Day Free
    Trial of SmartPlaybooks.

      We need this to have person in appropriate time zone to contact you.

      Take SmartPlaybooks for a spin

      See how SmartPlaybooks can help you drive operations at scale.