What does a good work instruction entail?

A work instruction contains instructions to perform work independently. But how do you do this? You can read more about standardized work instructions in this article.

A work instruction should meet the following conditions:

  • it is described in such a way that a person can perform the work, even if they are doing it for the first time;
  • the level of detail should not exceed the skill level of the person carrying out the work, i.e. the person with the level of knowledge required for their job/role can understand the work instruction.

A work instruction can contain all common activities that apply to a function or department.  In that case, it is a manual. A work instruction can also be part of a procedure in which specific procedural steps are elaborated in separate work instructions.Visit here:  life2news

The foundation

Work instructions are indispensable in continuous improvement. In the work instructions, we lay the foundation for the house to be continuously improved.

The work instructions are the starting point and also the means to secure. Many organizations do not see the connection between continuous improvement and work instructions. The work instructions themselves and the making of the instructions are seen separately and treated as a bureaucratic hassle.

“We still have someone somewhere who does that on the side”. If the above attitude is alive in the organization, then the organization has a big problem. Tackle this at the source and set up a good production process (for the instructions) and create instructions that people appreciate and use.

The requirements

What does that making process have to meet and what requirements do we have for the instructions themselves. Below is a list of the most important requirements.


The content of the instructions is drawn up by the people who carry out the process.

If there are external requirements, then they are supplied and included by the same people.

This also applies to specialist knowledge.

Additional Ownership 

The team leader (first line manager) assesses whether the work instruction is good and ensures that the work instruction is authenticated. The team leader also ensures that other teams are informed and that people in their own team are trained in the new instruction.

Where to store the work instruction?

The work instruction is always present in the place where the described work is performed.

So people can consult the instructions without searching and walking.

No delving into a thick book or many computer files

Sometimes instructions are extensive and spread over more documents and/or computer files. In that case, make sure there is a simple search structure. Think about how people search. Make it easy.

Speed to customize

A work instruction must be able to be adapted extremely quickly, and adapting it should not take much effort. A change procedure should never slow down continuous improvement.

If it does, then the organization definitely does not have its priorities in order.

Easy management

The storage, authentication, and guarantee of uniformity, should be very simple.

Look for the simplest system and then don’t shy away from creativity. Complexity leads to errors and that is precisely what we want to avoid with instructions, among other things.

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Clear and simple

The sentences and words in the instruction are clear, simple, and understandable.

So, no long sentences, no abbreviations, no foreign words. The moment people make the instruction themselves, then it automatically becomes clear and simple.

A picture is worth 1000 words

Far too often, instructions are built only with words and sentences. Abstract symbols, such as those used in flowcharts, fall into the same category. Very often the writer is apathetic.

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Completely legally watertight and absolutely ISO-resistant. The fact that nobody understands it doesn’t matter. Use photos and pictures or draw the process by hand. For example, if you have to explain operations on the computer, make screenshots or even better a video recording.

Interested? Click on the link to learn more about work instructions.