What is the main difference between process and procedure?

Mr. J.   Thursday, August 26, 2004, 06:10 GMT
What is the best and easiest way to explain the difference? I usually say procedure is the steps you take to reach a goal. Its a little difficult to explain process. Please help. Thanks.
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, August 26, 2004, 06:51 GMT
It's a fine line. You'll have to find some phrases with each one to determine the nuances.
Mxsmanic   Thursday, August 26, 2004, 07:50 GMT
Mr. J's perception is correct. A process is any series of actions or operations viewed as a whole, with a start and a finish. A procedure is a series of actions or operations viewed as discrete steps. A process may not even have steps but may simply be a continuum (the process of fermentation, etc.). Additionally, a process is often something one observes, whereas a procedure is something one executes.
Mr. J.   Thursday, August 26, 2004, 08:29 GMT
Mi5 Mick thanks for the insight. Mixsmanic you are my personal god. That is the exact answer I was looking for. Thank you both so very much.
nic   Thursday, August 26, 2004, 10:56 GMT
I am not sure :

To a cop : Respect the administrative procedure when you must deliver a passport.

About biology : Human process reproduction are divided in several steps

D   Friday, August 27, 2004, 00:59 GMT
The distinction is quite subtle.

In some cases they are the same:
What is the process to get a license?
What is the procedure to get a license?
mean exactly the same thing.

However, in a "progressive" or "continuous" setting
only process will do:
I am in the process of getting a license
is correct but
I am in the procedure of getting a license
is incorrect.

Biological things are always processes:
The process of cell division
The process of photosynthesis

Only 'process' is a verb (it's a transitive verb).
Procedure cannot be a verb.
The clerk processed 20 license applications today.

Certain other things are always procedures. Medical procedures
such as heart transplants are alway procedures, never processes.