At today’s production sites, linguistic and cultural barriers can make work instructions difficult to understand. Work instructions (WI) that rely on text, pictures and verbal information may not accurately convey the original intent to audiences with different backgrounds and experiences. As a result, production errors and rework can increase the cost production. It’s very important to deliver easy to understand work instructions to you assembly department.
How to write good work instructions for assembly?
Knowing how to write work instructions, or SOPs, clearly and concisely for your colleagues ensures they know exactly how their various tasks should be performed. It reduces risk because the likelihood of things going wrong is lessened. It also improves efficiency; work instructions ensure the very best way of doing a job is clear and known to the people doing it.
Work instructions should make crystal clear how employees perform their tasks. There should be no room for interpretation. They should not be vague. You want to minimise the chance of them confusing your workers. This means your instructions should be as brief and simple as possible. The Internet is littered with amusing examples of poorly written instructions, and others that having hilarious double meanings. Work instructions should be:
- Clear – your work instructions in a way that makes them easy to understand for every employee who does the task.
- Accessible – the people performing the job should have easy access to its works instruction when and where they need it.
- Credible – consult the most experienced employee performing a task and ask him or her to explain how the job is done.
- Consistent – follow a single style.
- Short and simple – if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
- Visual – people are more comfortable with visual media than with reading books and newspapers.
Why are WI important?
Work instructions are a crucial focal point for both management and workers. They help to understand what the organisations minimum management expectations are and to provide instruction and guidance for work tasks for day-to-day operations, non-standard tasks and for emergency situations. When the assembly department is supported with good work instructions, the company will save tons of money and time and in the end make customers happy with high quality products.