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SOPHeroes BlogSOP ImplementationProcedure vs Process: Which One Drives Better Results in Business

Procedure vs Process: Which One Drives Better Results in Business

procedure vs process discussion with two employee


Entrepreneurs and business owners use procedure vs process in running their enterprises. These actions optimize how you run your workflow.

To achieve your goals and objectives, you must use organized systems and methods. As a convention, most professionals leverage processes and procedures.

If you have come across these terms, you may likely have used them interchangeably.

Nonetheless, these words mostly mean distinctive things. Therefore, each action may imply something different.

Understanding Procedures and Processes

The best way to learn about the differences between these two actions is to understand each term. In general, processes and procedures are activities or actions used for achieving specific goals and objectives.

What differentiates the two terms is application and scope. Therefore, individuals and institutions use processes and procedures differently.

You may be wondering “Why is procedure important in your business?”. This action refers to detailed and precise instructions for performing specific tasks. In particular, this directive helps employees perform their duties efficiently.

In general, a procedure structures workflow by ensuring accuracy and consistency. It allows you to perform essential and repetitive actions in situations where sequence is critical, especially in a big company.

Providing exact steps for employees minimizes errors and eliminates ambiguity. Therefore, properly developed procedures can serve as tools for training new workers, making it easier for them to learn a business’s workflow.

The Role of Processes in Business

Unlike a procedure, a process covers a larger perspective. This action refers to a series of interrelated activities and steps used to complete a complex task typically involving several functions or units. As such, a process encompasses several procedures and more.

Processes mostly concentrate on the coordination and workflow of an organization. As an overview, this term defines an overall overview of methods, sequences, interactions, and dependencies between different units or operational stages.

Therefore, effective use of processes should improve collaboration, enhance interdepartmental interaction, eliminate bottlenecks, and identify areas requiring improvement.

Key Differences Between Procedures and Processes

After understanding these actions, it becomes easier to learn about procedure vs process. Highlighted below are the key differences between these two terms.

Granularity and Scope

Procedures offer specific instructions for completing tasks. Due to differences between workers, these guides are usually detailed and provide precise outlines of the manner and order of completing an activity. In most cases, an institution may require a standard operating procedure template for running specific actions.

However, processes provide a larger perspective to employees. It usually involves different interconnected activities and steps that cover multiple units and functions. In addition, it usually outlines the overall workflow and how workers should coordinate work.


Procedures mostly guide how to perform tasks. Typically, workers would receive explicit and clear instructions on how to complete tasks from start to finish.

When dealing with processes, the primary concern is the overall workflow. This plan usually documents several activities and events and how they interdepend with different stages of operations.


A procedure is often standardized and repetitive. It is designed this way to guarantee consistent results within a specific timeframe. In particular, a procedural document usually defines these details.

A process allows for more flexibility, depending on circumstances. When requirements change, the sequence of this action can be modified to adapt to prevailing needs.


When considering procedure vs process, the details involved are different for each. Procedures are specific and detailed, providing all the information employees may require to complete a task. Therefore, workers can use these actions with little need for interpretation.

On the other hand, processes provide a more general description of workflow. As such, there is no need for a structured explanation of expected events.

Standardization and Training

Individual parts of a procedure are standardized, making it easy to use the same documentation for training. Processes allow for the alignment and standardization of functions within an organization. If you want to standardize the processes and procedures of your business, you should consider using the services of Sopheroes.

Procedure vs. Process: Which One to Choose for Your Business

After understanding the differences between, you may want to know which action is best for your business.

The approach you use depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Organizational goals;
  • Work type;
  • Nature of industry;
  • Production process.

Depending on what you do, you may need to combine the two strategies for effective operations. Below are guidelines to consider when deciding on which approach to adopt.

  • Interdependencies and Complexities: If you run a complex business with interconnected activities, you should consider adopting processes to streamline operations.
  • Consistency and Standardization: Considering procedure vs process, it is better to leverage procedures if your operations require standardized and consistent actions. Doing this ensures you get the same results after each workflow iteration.
  • Adaptability and Scalability: Adopting processes is better for an institution with changing environments. This strategy helps you respond and adapt effectively to changes.

Task-based Efficiency: Adopting a standard operating procedure is advantageous if repeatability and precision are essential in your workflow. As such, leveraging this strategy should minimize errors and enhance efficiency.


If you are starting a business, you should consider procedure vs process. Depending on your industry, one or all of these strategies can help you achieve desired results.

In general, procedures are task-specific. They offer clear instructions and narrow perspectives, making them ideal for consistent, standardized, and repetitive tasks. Running a complex, interdependent, adaptable, and scalable business requires you to use processes.

With a clear understanding of the differences, you should know when to use procedures, processes, or both.

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