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Policies, Processes and Procedures

The terms ‘Policies’, ‘Processes’ and ‘Procedures’ are ITIL battle cries and are often interchanged with each other.

It is commonly stated by experienced practitioners that implementing an IT Asset Management practice (or any other strategic IT project) is not all about technology but the development, implementation and communication of your policies, processes and procedures.

But for those not familiar with the terminology it can be a little confusing!

What’s the Difference between a Policy, Process and Procedure?

In my view;

  • Policy (why we do it) – A policy is a set of guiding principles or rules intended to influence decisions and actions.
  • Process (what we do) – A series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result.
  • Procedure (how we do it, when we do it, with whom) – The method and order followed in doing something.

How They Mix

A policy might contain a number of rules or statements. Processes turn policies into actions. Processes may include a number of specific procedures.

E.g. I like to visit my Grandma once a week (Policy), I catch the train to London every Friday to see her (How I execute my policy – the process). I leave the house at 9am and turn right onto the main road; I then take the second right…. (The procedure I follow to enable the process that delivers action on the policy).

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About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

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