I'm currently working on the definitions-section of a paper. Therefore I have to define the term "Guideline" and how its relationship to other terms (Standards, Policies, Procedures) looks like.
However, all I can find are some definitions that somehow contradict each other.
Guidelines usually provide a general overview, and may be used in situations where no specific policy or standard applies.
A guideline is a statement in a procedure or policy that determines a specific route or course of action.
Sometimes security cannot be described as a standard or set as a baseline, but some guidance is necessary. These are areas where recommendations are created as guidelines to the user community as a reference to proper security.
Guidelines are more general statements about things that should be done to realize the policy. They are designed to support standards or serve as a reference for policies
Still, guidelines are an important part of business processes. They help employees know how to act in situations where they’re not sure how a standard or policy applies.
On one hand it is stated that they take action when no policies or standards are in place (1 & 3 & 5). On the other hand they are used to guide policies and standards (2 & 4). So I don't really get the main idea of guidelines.
Could anyone clarify how guidelines are used in practice?