Process and procedure

A process is a set of interrelated activities that are carried out to generate a result or product.

A procedure is a method made up of clear, objective steps that must be followed to complete the task.

The difference between process and procedure is that processes are general activities to achieve a goal and procedures are specific steps that must be followed to complete a task.

DefinitionIt is the compendium of stages, events or activities necessary to obtain a result.It is the method that is going to be implemented to carry out a process.
  • It is managed.
  • It is structured in general stages.
  • It is dynamic, it can change over time.
  • You can do without a procedure.
  • It is implemented.
  • It is structured in specific steps.
  • It is static, its steps must be fixed in time.
  • It requires a process.
ExampleA cooking recipe.The steps to follow to prepare the recipe.

What is a process?

A process is a sequence of events or activities that results in a specific goal.

Process derives from the Latin processus which means ‘progression of stages that follow one another’.

The processes are dynamic and managed according to a purpose, hence they can be managed by several people with different objectives.

Some processes require a procedure with specific steps to carry out. For example, in the process of losing weight, you must follow a procedure indicated by a nutritionist, such as following a diet, controlling the amount of food eaten during the day, exercising for a certain number of hours a week, etc.

However, other processes do not require a procedure to accomplish the objective. We can take as an example an administrative process that has the purpose of enhancing the efficiency of resources in an organization. There are no steps to follow but the same objective for the people and departments involved.

What is a procedure?

A procedure is the method that is followed to implement something or achieve a result. It is structured by steps that must be followed in an orderly fashion to meet the stated objective.

Procedure derives from the Latin verb procedo which means ‘to march forward’.

In a procedure the way in which the steps to be followed should be implemented is detailed and it is generally a static method, that is, it does not change over time, so it must always be executed in the same way.

An instruction manual, an organizational procedures manual, or instructions for preparing a recipe are examples of procedures.

See also Norm and Rule

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