For the last couple of months, I’ve been helping my buddy shape a pitch to help his non profit organization be prepared for the future. During a meeting over a couple of beers, the concept of Processes vs. Procedures came into the conversation. This made me think.

I’m sure most Business Analysts/Project Managers would be familiar with breaking down the differences. However, one thing I realized is that I’m not selling the idea of process vs procedures to them. My audience comprises of different levels of professionals (business owners, their accountants, staff, etc) with an even deeper diversity of perspectives as I drill down each role. It’s not always numbers and charts that will speak to, let’s say the owner of a retirement home or even a small local bakery.

One of the analogies that I’ve used to show the difference between processes and procedures is inheriting a toolbox. The owner of the toolbox might have always used a hammer to secure a screw into two pieces of wood. Many workplaces, you might have someone training you and reinforcing the training with, “It’s always been that way, that’s how we get it done around here.”

Securing the two pieces of wood is the process while the training provides procedures. The disconnect in this situation is there is a better way to secure the screws into the pieces of wood (tip: use a drill to create a leading hole then use a screwdriver to secure the screw). Experience is experience but disregarding suggestions because “if it works, don’t fix it”, procedures may never improve. The challenge is communicating that we all want the same process to be accomplished. However, due to evolving circumstances, procedures must be reevaluated periodically.

Do you have examples of “this is how it’s always been done?” Let’s talk story. Click here to holler @ me through email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.