Office Systems

  • E. C. Eyre
Part of the Macmillan Professional Masters book series


An office system may be defined as a series of procedures designed to attain a specific objective. A procedure is a group of related tasks which, together, provide a routine. The differences between a task, a procedure and a system may be stated as follows
  • A task is a basic operation which, normally, cannot stand on its own and has meaning only when it is part of a series, and forms part of a procedure. An example is that of slitting envelopes in a mail inwards routine.

  • A procedure is a series of tasks which achieves a routine that can stand alone but which is purposeless unless associated with other related procedures to achieve an objective. Taking mail inwards again, the procedure of opening the post consists of those operations involved in opening the envelopes, abstracting the contents and sorting them for despatch to departments. Stopped at this point the procedure serves no useful function.

  • A system comprises all the procedures which go into achieving a stated goal from beginning to end. So a system for dealing with mail inwards embraces the procedures involved in the collection or receipt of the mail, opening, abstracting, date-stamping, sorting and delivering it to the various departments for attention.


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© E. C. Eyre 1989

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