Ingredients for a Work Instruction
Pay close attention on this one….
Congratulations! – You have just made tomato soup.
It seems like I'm asked at least every other day for a work instruction template. The example above, while typically referred to above as a “recipe”, is a basic form of a work instruction. As for a “work instruction template”, there’s no hard-and-fast rules to follow on what a work instruction should or shouldn’t look like; there’s no ISO 9001 requirement; there’s no standardized format or template that everyone is supposed to follow.
Communication in written form requires a sender, a receiver, a message and an action / result. In the above example, the sender is the author; the receiver is the cook; the message is the recipe; and the result is tomato soup.
What content is required? Work instructions should be developed with the user in mind, and should convey information as necessary to achieve desired outcomes (in the above case, “making soup”). How simple or how complicated this instruction needs to be is a matter between the author and their intended audience (the user), with adequate consideration given to the complexity of the task at hand (or lack of).
What a work instruction looks like, the information contained within, is up to the individual preparing. Some work instructions include sections on “materials”, “equipment”, “personnel”, “related procedures”, etc. Some work instructions don’t. Some companies even have specific rules (i.e., a company style guide) and how these documents should be formatted.
In any case, the Written Instruction Template can be, and definitely should be, whatever works best for you, your organization and the outcomes your trying to accomplish.
It’s cold today and now I’m going to have my soup.
Our ISO 9001 Blog
Information, thoughts and periodic updates from MAS Solutions' QMS Consulting Group.
Please Like or Share this page if you find the content useful, so we'll know to keep posting. Enjoy!