Who writes work instructions?

What makes a work instruction good is determined by how well your workers use it. Every step in the preceding list is geared towards making your work instructions valuable and accessible for the worker on the shop floor. Strengthening their process and knowledge leads to strengthening the whole organization. It is crucial that you pick the right person to write the work instructions.

A person who is writing work instructions on their computer

So who should be writing the work instructions?

Technical writing for work instructions is often done by engineers and tends to be focusing on the device or machine and its specific parts. In order to improve the user experience, instructions should be task-focused and written from the user’s perspective – not the product-perspective.  

The person who is the most experienced in how to do the task should be the one to write the work instruction. Do not give the task of writing your work instructions to an individual who is not 100% familiar with the job. You can not expect an operator or an engineer to know how to write work instructions to their full potential when they are not yet completely intimate with the role.

This means that it can never be one person to write your company’s work instructions unless it’s small. On the plant floor, Quality, Manufacturing Engineering, and product specialists tend to write the work instructions as they work with the personnel who perform the operations.


Work instructions are meant to help workers perform their jobs. However, all too often we encounter instructions that don’t focus on that goal at all. They are designed to show compliance with standards. They are made for safety auditors. Created by engineers showing off their technical understanding. Of course, it is important to be compliant, but if you really want your work instructions to be effective you need to start with the employee.