A Brief Comparison Between Tasks and Processes

At ParadigmRPA we rely heavily on the concepts of Tasks, and Processes. When we are developing "Robotic Systems" we consider Tasks and Processes as two distinct things. Since many of our future posts rely on this distinction, we thought we should write a short post explaining what we consider a Task, and what we consider a Process.

Task

Tasks can be measured by Quantity

A task can be any activity that has a measurable completion; ie a Task can be completed because there is a point at which that task could be considered "finished".  Tasks would include items on a Todo list, or daily responsibilities, such as checking your email or writing an email.

Tasks are also "compounding" and can be large concepts or minute details. For example, "build a skyscraper" would be a Task in the same manner as "drink coffee".

A Task may often have smaller "Micro" Tasks within it that must be performed, so that the overall task can be completed.

Process

Processes can be measured by Quality

A Process is the procedure by which a task is completed. A Process encapsulates the minute "micro" tasks that must be performed in order to complete a larger or overall "macro" task. A Macro-Task could be "build a skyscraper", but the Process is the organized systematic task by task procedure by which building a skyscraper progresses.

A Process can be inefficient/poor but a task cannot be anything except a task

If you are building a skyscraper, the Micro-Task "Order Concrete" may require that you perform either of the following tasks:

  • Pick up the phone and order
  • Visit a website and order

However your Process may be inefficient if you are visiting the website to find the phone number to perform the phone call to place your order if it is just as easy to visit the website and simply place your order. Your tasks are fine, but the process is not.

While all of this may seem like common sense many small business owners do not pay attention to how efficient their office is at completing the most minute Tasks. While it may also sound trivial, inefficient processes and the costs associated with inefficiency are compounding.

Aaron McKeehan

Founder of Paradigm. Passionate about simplifying business processes so businesses can become more productive, and save time.