What are the differences between procedure and method? (Business studies)

Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Procedure and method are very similar, but method is a smaller part of the procedure.  Think of it in this terms: In business, you have a plan.  A series of steps, or a program, which must be followed to to accomplish a goal.  A procedure is a smaller part of that program.  It is how you execute certain steps.  If step three calls for hiring a human resource director, than there will be a procedure which outlines how to get that done. Method is even smaller.  It is the step-by-step plan that you will follow to accomplish the procedure, which you are following to accomplish a subgoal of the whole plan.  Look at this definition from the business glossary:
Procedure:  a subroutine ; a smaller program that is part of a main program. The procedure is executed when the main program calls it.

Procedures eliminate the need to program the same thing more than once. If you know that one task will be performed more than once in your program, it is better to write a procedure to handle the task rather than duplicate the program code when the task is needed again. Also, a large program is easier to understand if it consists of procedures, each with a well-defined purpose. 

Here is the definition for method:

A process by which a task is completed; a way of doing something; The implementation of an operation.

 

droxonian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The difference between a method and a procedure is similar to the difference between strategy and tactics, in that the two are often confused, and understandably so. Perhaps the easiest way to think about it is to stipulate that procedure outlines the "what" of what needs to be done in order to accomplish a certain task, while the method explains exactly "how" it will be done.

Imagine that you are writing a procedure for announcing a new product launch. The procedure will include all the various different tasks that need to be undertaken as part of this launch. The first task might be, for example, "upload the press release to the website." This assumes that you know how to do such a thing; the procedure is an overview of the steps that need to be taken in order to accomplish the product launch announcement. The method by which a press release is uploaded to the website is a separate thing which would require a separate document, or would be taught to you in training. This is a much more detailed and practical area of business than the overarching procedure, which structures the plan.