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In BPM (business process management) "process" means a definition of process, a model and a specific process (created using that definition) is called "process instance". Eg. "Sending Invoice to Customer" is a process, "Sending Feb 2017 invoice to ACME Inc." is a process instance.

What could be better and simpler terms, so that people non experienced with BPM can quickly understand that one is basically "used as a template" to create another?

  • I think you’re better off educating your audience; they’ll be better off in the long run. And for educating them you don’t need a single word. “We have a defined process for sending invoices. We follow that process every time we send one. For example we need to send to Acme Inc and Spacely Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs. In each of those instances we follow the process... – Jim Feb 25 '17 at 19:25
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Procedure: (dictionary.com)

1. an act or a manner of proceeding in any action or process; conduct.

2.a particular course or mode of action.

Procedure

A fixed, step-by-step sequence of activities or course of action (with definite start and end points) that must be followed in the same order to correctly perform a task. Repetitive procedures are called routines.

  • I think “procedure” is more closely related to the template than the instantiation- one follows the procedure in order to send the Feb 2017 invoice to ACME Inc. – Jim Feb 25 '17 at 19:16
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In layman's terms, an instance of a process could be called an action (at least in the given example).

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Instead of "process instance," you could say

a particular process

particular:

special or single, or this and not any other: Is there a particular restaurant you’d like to eat at?

(Cambridge)

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