Definition Process vs. Procedure - Definitions and Differences in the Terms

V

VIXERG

#1
We tend to use the terms "Process" and "Procedure" regularly and use them as identicals.

Are there any clear quidelines /definitions regarding these terms and the difference(s) between them. :rolleyes:
 
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J
#2
Re: Process versus Procedure

This is a good question.
I'm afriad I don't have any documented answer but my understanding fo the terms is that a "process" is a larger, more general term while a procedure is something more specific. In other words a process might contain several procedures.....

Peace
James
 

harry

Super Moderator
#3
Re: Process versus Procedure

If we define process as: The interaction of materials, machines/tools, methods and people together in an environment to produce a product or result, then, procedures are the guidelines (written or not) to guide the orderly and efficient achievement of this goal.
 
J

JaneB

#4
Re: Process versus Procedure

That's a good way of saying it, Harry.

People often use the terms process and procedure interchangeably, but they aren't.

Vixerg, strongly suggest you look at how those terms are defined in ISO 9000 - it exists to try and clarify these issues!
 
J

JaneB

#5
Re: Process versus Procedure

James, I agree with you.

Also: a process can exist with or without (written) procedures to support it. A procedure never exists in isolation. It is always part of a process. If more people understood this,we might have fewer bad procedures.

Example: You can have a process to take and process a customer order, without ever specifically formalising your requirements into a written procedure.

But you cannot (should not? ) have a procedure like 'Entering a customer order into the system' without understanding how and where that procedure fits into the overall process.
 
K

Ka Pilo

#6
Re: Process versus Procedure

I am enlightened as well. My understanding before was process = not documented and procedure = documented. I was wrong.
 
D

ddunn

#7
I've always looked at a process as a linked series of inputs and outputs and a procedure as what is done with the input to create the desired output during a phase of a process.

The word "process" is defined in ISO 9000:2000 clause 3.4.1 as "a set of interrelated or interacting activities that transforms inputs into outputs." Inputs to a process are generally outputs of other processes.

The process approach directly links process inputs that come from suppliers to the outputs of the process that go to customers.
 
J
#8
I usually find that simple sentences can help to clarify the relationship in these cases,
Using Jane's example of customer order entry....we have have this sentence.

I proceed to process the customer orders.

So the "Procedure" is contains the "steps" taken to complete the process.

Peace
James
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#9
We tend to use the terms "Process" and "Procedure" regularly and use them as identicals.

Are there any clear quidelines /definitions regarding these terms and the difference(s) between them. :rolleyes:
From ISO 9000-2005:

3.4.1
process
set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs

3.4.5
procedure
specified way to carry out an activity or a process (3.4.1)


So a procedure is a specific method (documented or not) for operating a process. There might be different and diverse methods for creating a product--products can be made using different processes. Within each different process, the procedure is the methodology for completing it.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
To cross the road is the process.
To walk on the zebra path when the pedestrian green light is lit up is the procedure.
To see left and then right, and walk straight across to the other side quickly when safe is an other procedure where applicable.
To read an sms on your handphone as you wander across the road is a wrong procedure.
 
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