Difference Between Procedure and Work Instruction

Procedure vs Work Instruction

Difference between Procedure and Work Instruction is that work instructions include the guidelines that need to be followed in performing a particular task while procedure means the accepted ways of performing a particular task. Both are related with the policies and guidelines of a particular activity. This article briefly analyzes the two concepts, procedures and work instructions.

What is Work Instruction?

Work instructions include certain guidelines that need to be followed in completing a particular task. Usually in a project, the project manager is the person who provides all the work instructions to his team members that need to be followed in performing the activities in the project.

Work instructions may include certain constraints like the scope of the project, time schedule, budget limits, etc. Through regular review meetings, the project manager checks whether the tasks that are completed are matching with the given work instructions before continuing to the next stage of the process. Otherwise, it would not be able to satisfy the project sponsor’s requirements that will incur additional cost and time. Therefore, all the members involved in the project are having a huge responsibility to follow the given instructions.

What is a Procedure?

Procedures are established ways of performing a particular task. It may be a step by step approach that needs to be followed in achieving ultimate results. Repetitive procedures are called as routine tasks. It also can be considered as specific guidelines that should be followed in achieving activity.

In the organizational context, procedures are the policies used to conduct the day-to-day business operations in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in achieving the ultimate business goals. Organizational procedures express the employees’ job duties and indicate the scope of their responsibilities. This guidance helps to keep employees from interfering with each other or overstepping their ground, which can lead to mistakes and misunderstandings. These procedures ensure that the employees would carry out specific tasks thoroughly and consistently.

For an example, when recruiting employees for the organization, there is a specific procedure that is practiced throughout the organization. Initially, the vacancy is advertised and then the applicants are shortlisted according to the qualifications. Then, those candidates are interviewed by a qualified panel of judges and then the most suitable individual is selected for the post. This is the usual procedure that is followed by the organizations for employee recruitment.

Difference Between Procedures and Work Instructions

What is the difference between Procedure and Work Instruction?

• Procedure expresses the accepted practices of performing a particular task while work instructions describe the ways of performing the task.

• In the organizational context, procedures are useful to outline the roles and responsibilities of the employees and the work instructions guide the ways of performing a particular task effectively.

• In organizations, both the procedures and work instructions will minimize the level of errors that might be caused by the employees.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Policy and Procedure
  2. Difference Between Protocol and Procedure