Policies, Processes and Procedures, what is the difference between them?

Policies, processes and procedures are not only for large organisations, they can significantly improve any business and

  1. Eliminate mistakes.
  2. Decrease stress and increase staff satisfaction, as they know what they need to do clearly!
  3. Improve productivity.

Let’s find out what each is.

What is a policy?

A policy is a guideline principle that sets a direction for an organization.

It is a guide but doesn’t have many details. For example:

Customer support personnel shall ensure that all outstanding customer support tickets are closed in a timely manner.

It is high level and very similar to a mini-mission statement.

What is a process?

A process is a high-level set of things (procedures, etc) that must happen in order to ensure compliance with a policy.

For example, to create a new web hosting account for a client, the developer needs to follow an open account procedure which dictates what needs to be done to accomplish that.

Having a process allows organizations to cut long procedures into small bits, which are easier to test and execute.

What is a procedure?

A procedure is a particular way of accomplishing a task. It is a series of steps to be followed in a consistent and repetitive approach to accomplish an end result.

The benefits of having policies, processes and procedures.

Once completed, you will have a set of established methods for conducting the business of your organization.

It’s useful for

  • Training new staff and onboarding
  • Process auditing
  • Process improvement
  • Compliance initiatives