What is the difference between a ‘process’ and a ‘procedure’?

A process has a number of characteristics:

  • it involves a number of ‘contributors’ such as departments, locations, groups, etc.
  • it transforms inputs (triggers) into outputs through a series of related steps (actions, tasks, decisions, documents, etc.)
  • it has an objective or purpose and is owned by a single person
  • its performance can be monitored, measured and improved

A procedure:

  • supports a step in a process
  • is a detailed explanation of how to perform a single task
  • provides step by step instructions, often complemented by photographs and diagrams

Both processes and procedures are controlled documents as they provide instruction and will change over time, and therefore require document controls.

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