Standards and Procedures: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Standards are documents that share the specifications and procedures designs for the company to support the reliability of materials, products, methods, and services. The standards can help service functionality and compatibility and facilitate interoperability. Procedures are the guidelines that help in the job. They came to be a plan of action, like a roadmap for the team. Procedures can help in implementing policy, for example, an onboarding policy that has concrete steps and recommended activities. And, it can help managers not be micromanagers, so the manager does not have to worry so much about the working process and instead has fixed guidelines so that they can focus on higher-level activities.

Standard operating procedures can be helpful as they are instructions that help guide employee work processes. They are based on input from the employees who do the job, and when they are followed, it is possible to produce a service that is consistent and predictable. Several benefits include readiness for future growth, simplifying performance management, controlling the quality and consistency of the service, protecting the organization from knowledge loss, and saving on training costs.

A policy sets the high-level of why something needs to be done, formally establishing requirements to guide decisions. It is typically a statement of expectation and is enforced by the standards and further implemented by procedures. Policies and procedures into account external points of reference like industry benchmark and other requirements that have been set from the industry.

Policy statements include the expected behavior, actions, and outcome that applies to departments and people affected by the policy. It typically consists of the reason for the policy, how the policy will be enforced, and include who is responsible for answer questions on the policy.

As you can see, there is a difference between standards and procedures.  Each has their place and fills a specific need.

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