Process vs Procedure – the battle continues!

This topic has been batted around for over 30 years, since the first version of ISO 9001 was released. For organizations that like LOTS of documentation these words open up a whole world of possibilities for mountains of documents.

The fact of the matter is, ISO allows for any type and amount of documented information. It needs to be adequate to control activities well enough to get you the results your organization wants – ‘objectives’ you might say.

One way to simplify process management is through flowcharts. The ‘procedure’ and the ‘process’ can be combined into one document to make it easier to use as an orientation tool. It also becomes the map for your internal audits. If needed, you could add a checklist to one or more of the boxes in the flowchart. If you give your employees credit for knowing how to do their work, this can eliminate redundant documentation and foster a ‘continual improvement’ culture.

Another advantage of the flowchart approach is that the flow also shows who your internal customers are and the communication path – remember, ‘Communication is a synonym for ‘Life’!

There’s a BSI Whitepaper on the topic here: You’ll find 4 types of processes listed here and useful information about processes and procedures.

Know Quality, Know Profits…No Quality, No Profits

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