What is a Procedure?

A procedure is a systematic sequence of steps undertaken to achieve a specific outcome or result. Often confused with processes, activities, and work instructions, procedures are distinct in that they focus on a series of steps performed within a specific department.

Clarifying Procedures

  1. Distinguishing Processes and Procedures:
    • While processes may span multiple roles and functions, procedures are confined to a series of steps within a particular department. This distinction ensures clarity in understanding the scope and application of procedures.
  2. Comprehensive Series of Steps:
    • Serves as an instructional guide for a comprehensive series of steps. Its purpose is to standardize the execution of tasks, ensuring that every employee can consistently deliver the desired outcome with the same level of quality.
  3. Standardized Outcome:
    • The ultimate goal is to achieve a standardized outcome. For instance, a machine maintenance procedure provides explicit instructions on carrying out maintenance in the correct order and with the precise actions. This standardization ensures uniformity and quality in the delivery of outcomes.
  4. Employee Guidance:
    • Functions as instructions accessible to every employee, offering clear guidance on how to perform a set of tasks. This ensures a common understanding and approach, reducing the likelihood of variations in the final output.

Example: Machine Maintenance

For instance, consider a machine maintenance procedure. This document provides a step-by-step guide on how to conduct maintenance activities for a specific machine. This outlines the exact sequence of actions, the tools required, and safety measures to be taken. Much like the instructions for installing a new television, the course of action ensures that each maintenance task is executed consistently, promoting efficiency and reliability.

In conclusion, a procedure is a structured set of steps designed to achieve a standardized outcome within a specific department. By providing clear instructions, this approach contribute to the uniformity and quality of task execution, empowering employees to deliver consistent results.

Watch our video to learn about where procedures fit into process management:

Further Resources:

Explore more about different process improvement terms in our BPM Glossary.

Louie A

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Louie A

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