Most companies focus only on creating textual manuals, with little or no attention paid to design and compliance. Read on if you want to know how to create clear work instructions.
Gather all of the data required for the work instruction.
When writing a work instruction, make certain that you have a complete understanding of the product.This is accomplished through the use and analysis of the product or work, as well as interviews with experts and the review of current standards.
You set up the product, press all of the buttons, open all of the covers, identify signals, follow experts, and so on.
Frequently, there is a wealth of material already accessible, such as manuals, risk analyses, or marketing data. You also analyse this data so that you can fully comprehend how the product functions throughout its entire life cycle, from purchase to disposal.
It’s part of your duty to be critical. As a result, you only utilize data that you completely comprehend and can verify.
Define your target group.
When writing a work instruction it is important to identify the intended audience. You accomplish this by posing queries such as:
- Who are the people who utilize it?
- What distinguishes the users?
- Can you tell me what languages they speak?
- Can you tell me about their background?
- How old are they, what gender are they, etc.?
- Do they use the product for work, business, or personal reasons?
- Can you tell me about their technical experience, credentials, education, training, and knowledge?
- What are their responsibilities?
- How frequently do they do those tasks?
- Will the product be used in a specific environment?
- Are users able to access the Internet?
- Do users feel pressure?
The more information you have about the users, the better you will be able to identify what is essential to them and, as a result, what should be included in the work instructions. This eliminates the need to describe items in the work instructions that the user already understands or that aren’t relevant.
This method allows for a step-by-step creation of a full image of the product or work, which is necessary for developing a clear work instruction. All remaining queries should be sent to the specialists in order to fully comprehend the product.
The user tasks serve as the foundation for gathering all data and conducting interviews with the client’s SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). In the following phase of the procedure, you arrange all of the data you’ve gathered.
Write clear instructions
Your main goal is to create manuals that can ensure the safe, efficient and effective use of a product.The starting point here is to create instructions that are as clear as possible. To get this done, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
If you have to create a manual, try to avoid using terminology that is not part of the reader’s vocabulary.
Consider the following example: It is safe to say, “Tighten the lower proximity switch.” The use of a lower proximity switch is a necessary use of a technical term.
You use too much jargon, however, when you say, “Apply sufficient torque to the lower proximity switch to ensure that the assembly of proximity switches is firmly attached to the ramp and will not loosen under extreme weather conditions.”
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