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In the second post of a Getting to Know series about the ITS Policy Office at UNC-Chapel Hill, IT Policy Facilitator Kim Stahl, who is the entire ITS Policy Office, introduces us to terminology that is key to the office and shares some of her quotes that enlighten us about her work and how she feels about it.

If you missed the Q&A with Stahl in the first post of the series, you can read it here.

What are the differences between policy, standard and procedure?

Policy: Describes a University value, principle, organizational direction or expected behavior. Example: “Walls must be painted.”

Standard: Describes a minimum expectation or a way that something must always be done. Example: “Use Carolina Blue paint, Pantone Color 278.”

Procedure: Describes a flow of operations that are required. Example: “Tape, lay drip covers, apply paint in smooth strokes from top to bottom, allow four-hour dry time, apply second coat.”

Kim Stahl of ITS Policy Office
Kim Stahl

Other documents may suggest best practices, describe services, direct people to resources, describe processes, explain how things are organized or tell who is responsible for a process or service. These other documents may be guidelines, help documents, SLAs, training or illustrative communications, but they’re probably not a policy, standard or procedure.

What Kim Stahl says

  • “I love policy. That’s why I’m here.”
  • “Not everything needs to be written down.”
  • “Policies should always be possible to comply with.”
  • “Sometimes when I open up a policy, it opens up a can of worms.”
  • “Fundamentally, it’s easier with the document than without it.”

For more information, please visit the ITS Policies web page.






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