Processes or procedures

August 6, 2018 | Nathalie Dion
2 min


I am a highly organized person and I believe that structure leads to good business practices. After completing my Lean Six Sigma training, I was able to put into words and concepts what I was already doing on a daily basis.

I often talk about the importance of writing down your best business practices, to clarify them, to improve upon them, in order to be able to share them easily and thus reduce your risk of loss of information or, even worse, your reputation.

More precisely, here’s how this works in business.

How you do things, how you work on a day-to-day basis includes all of your processes and procedures. It’s YOUR recipe for the success! A good recipe has ingredients, a series of steps and directives required to achieve a final product. Without a recipe, it’s very likely that you will never get the same dish twice or quality may vary.

A process allows you to have an overview of the steps you need to follow, how each activity logically interrelates with another to produce a finished product or a specific result. Processes answer the questions: “WHAT TO DO AND WHY DO IT?”

A procedure, explains very precisely all the actions you need to take, the methods in which each action should be taken to respect the process. The procedure answer to this question: “HOW TO DO IT?”

Example of a process and procedures for hiring a new employee

Each step of the hiring process will include its own set of procedures. To continue on this example, here are the procedures for the step “Sort through the CV”s received”. This step of the process has two distinct procedures:

For CVs received by mail:

  • Open envelopes
  • Make sure that the name, address, phone number and email are clearly indicated
  • Ensure you that minimum requirements are respected
  • Put a hardcopy in a file “to be reviewed”

For CVs received by email:

  • Open CV in electronic version
  • Make sure that the name, address, phone number and email are clearly indicated
  • Ensure you that minimum requirements are respected
  • Print the CV
  • Put a hardcopy in a desk “to be reviewed”

Then in the next step of the process “Analyse CVs and make a choice”, here is the procedure:

  • Take the “to be revised” file
  • Analyze each CV individually
  • Highlight in green strengths in relation to the position
  • Write points to explore during the interview
  • Put the CVs in order of priority of skills and experiences
  • Put the top 5 CVs in a file called “Phone Interview”

In your business, there are dozens, even hundreds, of processes that allow your company to work well. For each of these processes, there are procedures that must be performed in an efficient manner… Imagine the amount of information, knowledge and details involved…. It’s phenomenal!

When you think about it, how can we expect a new employee to be efficient in a short period of time when your recipe is not documented? No wonder things don’t always go as planned!

What are you waiting for to write the recipes that will help you achieve your goals?



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