Re: Policy vs Procedure?

Subject: Re: Policy vs Procedure?
From: Chris Kowalchuk <chris -at- bdk -dot- net>
To: R2 Innovations <R2innovations -at- myna -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 03:02:50 -0500

I can't help picking on one little part of Ralph Robinson's post:

Perhaps at least part of the reason people have trouble with the ISO
9000 definition of what constitutes procedure is that it contradicts the
standard English definition of the word: "mode of conducting business or
legal action; mode of performing task" [OED]. That is to say, the "how"
of a thing is intrinsic to the very notion of procedure. I think the ISO
standard chose its terminology a bit unfortunately in this case.

That said, I have always supposed (and implemented from time to time)
that the policy was the large-scale what and why, and the procedure was
the who, where, when, and how, especially the how, or what you might
also call the "detailed what". However, I see the wisdom in breaking out
the how as a separate issue. In many large organisations, establishing
the who, where, and when, is a serious enough task in itself, and one
that has little connection with what exactly is done once you figure out
who ought to be doing it. Unfortunately, if I had my druthers, that last
bit would be what you called the procedure, and the other stuff would be
policy, and roles/responsibilities or something like that. But generally
I don't have my druthers, so carry on...

Chris Kowalchuk

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