In business, law and order, and bureaucratic work, certain rules have to be followed while working in a particular environment.
Policies, rules, regulations, and procedures maintain the framework of operation in the particular bureaucratic setting, which has to be followed by every individual.
These may vary depending on the level of management, but the performance of the organization depends on these codes of conduct.
- A policy is a set of guidelines to achieve a specific goal, while a procedure is a series of steps to carry out a specific task.
- Policies are broader and applicable to a wider audience, while procedures are narrower in scope and applicable to a specific process.
- Policies are often created by top-level management, while procedures are created by middle management or operational staff.
Policy vs Procedure
Policies are a set of statements and guidelines that govern the decision-making and behaviour of parties engaged in the policy. It acts as a framework for consistent decision-making and ensures an organization achieves common goals. Procedures are rigid steps taken to complete a specific task or achieve a particular outcome.
A policy is a precise statement that contains the principles, limits, and obligations that have to be observed and followed by the parties engaged in the policy.
These limits and principles apply to all the parties signed within the policy.
These guidelines are defined for achieving the goals of the organizations framing the policies, and hence, a lot of decision-making goes into making a policy.
Procedures are rigid rules that define the exact way in which a particular task has to be performed in a bureaucratic environment.
These are systematic sequences that have to be followed without exception. A certain logical path is followed while forming the procedures. Hence, the sequence of the procedure is very important.
|Parameters of Comparison||Policy||Procedure|
|Definition||Policies are specific statements that contain the limits, principles, and obligations that have to be observed and followed by parties engaged in the policy||Procedures are rigid rules that define the exact ways in which a particular task has to be performed.|
|Nature||Policies can offer a little leeway to the parties||Procedures are strict and rigid|
|Implemented for||For achieving the goals of the organization implementing||To lay down correct sequences to be followed within the organization|
|Reflects||The strategies of the organization||The programs implemented by the organization|
|Method of making||Involves heavy decision making while framing the policies||A logical sequence is followed while framing the procedures|
What is Policy?
Policies are exact specific statements that contain the principles, obligations, and limits that have to be followed by all the parties involved in the policy.
These policies are crafted to achieve the goals of the organization making the policy. Hence, a lot of decision-making goes into making the policy.
The policies define the structure of the activities and clauses mentioned in the policies. Hence, the statements are concise and made exactly to the point.
Policies are an integral part of the organization as they lay down the framework for the various bureaucratic work performed by the parties involved in the policy.
Policies are made by business organizations, government, and other bureaucratic organizations.
Policies provide the parameters that have to be taken into consideration by the management as well as the third parties and common people involved in the policies for consistent functioning of the policy for a long period.
Some points have to be considered while crafting a policy. The policy has to be flexible, allowing leeway to the parties involved as exceptional cases are expected.
Along with this, the policy must be constructed in such a way that it influences participation from all the parties involved. A policy should be framed in such a way that it is beneficial to all the parties involved.
What is Procedure?
A procedure is a set of rigid rules that define the exact way in which a particular task has to be performed.
It is a schedule of activities that follow a particular sequence, and they are made for the proper functioning of the organization.
Procedures are thus strict codes that have to be followed while performing a particular activity. The sequence of activities mentioned in the procedure is very important, as it follows the logic for completing the task.
Procedures are made by companies and governments for implementing new programs or activities for the people involved with the company or government. These could be new policies or reformations in the existing programs. Thus, every policy, activity, or program has a defined set of procedures for the smooth functioning of the activity.
Some of the reasons why procedures are framed are to make a complicated process easy by dividing it into parts, to make the completion of an activity easy, and to increase the efficiency of the process.
Maintaining the sequence mentioned in the procedure is very important as the functioning of the organization or the company depends upon the procedure of performing activities.
Thus, the nature of the procedure is very rigid, and there is little to no leeway while following procedures.
Main Differences Between Policy and Procedure
- Policies are specific statements that contain the limits, principles and obligations that have to be followed by all the parties mentioned in the policy. Procedures outline the framework for doing a particular task correctly.
- Policies can offer a little leeway to the parties. The nature of procedures is rigid, and there is little to no leeway.
- Policies are implemented to achieve the goals of the organization. Procedures are implemented to lay down the correct sequence that has to be followed while performing a task.
- Policies reflect the strategies of the organization. Procedures reflect the correct sequence of operations.
- There is heavy decision-making involved while framing the policies. A logical sequence is followed while framing a procedure.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.