Procedures refers to a document written to support the policies of an organization. It clearly defines what, when, why, where and who to establish corporate accountability and to support the implementation of a policy. The question how is answered in a document called the work instructions, which provides support to a procedure by giving more details.
Procedure document contains a fixed step by step sequence of the course of actions or activities (with defined starting and end points), that have to be followed in the same order as mentioned, to correctly perform a particular task.
Procedures that are repeated multiple times are termed as Routine.
Example: A manufacturing organization established a certain policy stating that all overtime done by its employees shall be approved. A procedure is created to answer questions like, “who” can approve these overtimes (roles, ranks and responsibility of the person). “When” is this overtime applicable? “What” (output of procedures) systems/ forms need to be used? “Where” are they located? And “why” includes the management directive established by a Policy. Procedure includes a set of operations or actions which have to be followed in the same manner or order in which it is mentioned to achieve the desired results under the same situations or circumstances. Further the procedure also contains “how” the manager or the employee across the systems will approve or reject overtime.
Types of Procedures:
• Standard Operating Procedure: It is specifically designed to guide and describe multiple iterations or repetitions of the same procedure on multiple occasions, over multiple locations over an open period of time till the time Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is updated or discontinued for any reason.
• Method of Procedure: Unlike SOP, it contains Directives for a particular task or activity on a particular date for a specific piece of equipment or a specific location.