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Five examples of real-life procedures

A procedure is a series of steps taken to complete a task. Procedures help you complete a task correctly and consistently. That’s simple enough, but what about some real-life, practical examples of procedures? Check out our suggestions below – including some mini-procedures for most of the examples:

1. Brushing your teeth

When you brush your teeth you follow a series of predetermined steps in order to ensure that your teeth remain clean and health:

  1. Get out your toothbrush.
  2. Put on some toothpaste.
  3. Brush all of your teeth.
  4. Once your teeth are all brushed, rinse toothbrush and mouth.
  5. Put the toothbrush back.

The steps must be completed in the correct order for you to finish the task with success. Therefore, this is a good examples of a procedure.

2. Putting clothes on

When you dress yourself, you usually follow a specific sequence for adding pieces of clothes to your body.

This sequence of steps (i.e. first you put underwear on, then a shirt) is your personal procedure on how to put clothes on.

3. Mowing the lawn

Some of us have a lawn to maintain. That can be a lot of work, but it’s not too bad if you follow this general procedure:

  1. Take out the lawnmower on the lawn.
  2. If the lawnmower is engine powered: Start the lawnmower.
  3. Mow the lawn in a predetermined (or preferred) pattern.
  4. Once all the grass has been cut, turn off the lawnmower.
  5. Return the lawnmower to storage.

4. Driving to work

You have been taught how to drive. Training is an important prerequisite when designing a procedure. If the people performing the procedure are well-training, then generally the procedure can be less detailed or more flexible.

When you drive a car, you generally do not read a written procedure before every trip. But you may sometimes refer to your car owner’s manual for instructions (procedures) on how to change a light in a headlamp.

Let’s get to work:

  1. Find car keys.
  2. Perform pre-driving checks (as required by your national regulations).
  3. Unlock car and sit on drivers seat.
  4. Fasten seat belt.
  5. Determine route to work.
  6. Start car.
  7. Check warning lights (extinguished?)
  8. Check your surroundings: Do you have a clear path for driving?
  9. Start driving.
  10. (The rest of the procedure will depend on your route to work etc.)

5. Making dinner

Another excellent example of following a procedure is when you use a recipe for cooking dinner.

A recipe is a list of simple instructions in a specific order which will, if performed correctly, provide you with a tasty dish once complete.

Do you need a written procedure?

Only some of tasks mentioned above have written procedures. That’s because not all tasks need written procedures. But how do you know if your task needs a written procedure?

Check out The Procedure Quiz to find out in three easy steps if your task needs a written procedure.


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