Documentation and Usage of Work Instructions

Manoj Mathur

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
MM

Can any one help me to understand the sanctity or rather Usage of Work Instructions?
If W.I. are required for those operators or shop floor workers who are working day in and day out and doing work since a long time what is the Use?
If W.I. are required to train the new worker than why to insist to place or paste the Work Instructions at the work place only? It could be in training hall or in H.R. or Training Dept.
What is the check on the truth of W.I.. what is the origin?
Is it not chicken and egg story. I mean who come first of work instruction or the real procedure or THE WORK WHICH HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
This is an old one, but why not...

Basically what you do is look at the situation and ask yourself - Do these people need written work instructions to do their job? If so, why? If not, why not? For example, repetitive simple one or two action jobs may not. But then again, maybe there's a critical way to do something or a critical orientation or a known un-mistake proofed failure mode - then you may want a reference drawing.

I generally look to internal and external nonconformance information, along with liability aspects (i.e. criticality) as well as internal scrap information to assess a process for the need for a work instruction. QS-9000 sorta made this an issue where you had to be ready, sometimes, to debate an auditor as to whether a work instruction was necessary at a specific station. QS-9000 said something along the lines of work instructions having to be 'available' or some such words - I forget now what section it was in. Thing is, common sense tells us not every job requires a work instruction yet something as simple as taking a telephone message (yes - outside manufacturing) is, in some companies, formalized with a work instruction for whatever reason (maybe a 911 operator?). In other companies they would laugh at you if you said you expected them to have a formal work instruction for taking telephone messages.

Other opinions or comments?
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Marc said:
This is an old one, but why not...

Basically what you do is look at the situation and ask yourself - Do these people need written work instructions to do their job? If so, why? If not, why not? For example, repetitive simple one or two action jobs may not. But then again, maybe there's a critical way to do something or a critical orientation or a known un-mistake proofed failure mode - then you may want a reference drawing.

I generally look to internal and external nonconformance information, along with liability aspects (i.e. criticality) as well as internal scrap information to assess a process for the need for a work instruction. QS-9000 sorta made this an issue where you had to be ready, sometimes, to debate an auditor as to whether a work instruction was necessary at a specific station. QS-9000 said something along the lines of work instructions having to be 'available' or some such words - I forget now what section it was in. Thing is, common sense tells us not every job requires a work instruction yet something as simple as taking a telephone message (yes - outside manufacturing) is, in some companies, formalized with a work instruction for whatever reason (maybe a 911 operator?). In other companies they would laugh at you if you said you expected them to have a formal work instruction for taking telephone messages.

Other opinions or comments?
In my opinion, a well-organized business has two kinds of documents:
  1. Plans for activities
  2. Records the activities were performed (and the results, if any)
Consider the Work Instructions in the same manner as Rules for Golf. (It seems pretty simple - hit a ball with a stick until it goes in a cup. It is a little more complicated than that. See http://www.usga.org/playing/rules/rules.asp and especially http://www.usga.org/playing/rules/rules_quizzes.asp)

The point is millions of folks play golf and don't know all the rules and for them it doesn't make much difference. If you are a professional like Tiger Woods or Greg Norman, you know most of the rules, but you can still make a mistake and get a penalty. If a duffer like me gets caught in an error by someone in his foursome, it might cost me two or three dollars or a round of drinks at the 19th hole. If Tiger errs, it could cost him a million dollars.

So when you have a business, you ask yourself:
"How important is it that my workers know and follow the Work Instruction precisely when performing an activity?" If it's pretty important, you might post the Work Instruction at the activity site. (Think of pilot checklist.) If it is something an experienced worker has no trouble remembering and performing, the Work Instruction may be used for first-time training and kept in a folder somewhere the rest of the time.

There is a reason to have the written plan (Work Instruction) for every business activity, but not an overwhelming reason to post EVERY Work Instruction at EVERY Work Station.

Note, too, that the complexity of the Work Instruction varies with the complexity of the job. A receptionist at a small company may know every other employee and be able to take casual phone messages for them on a simple stationery store form. Her written work instruction might say "Write messages on the pink note pad and give them to employee when he walks in." The example of a 911 (Emergency number in most of USA) operator is a good example of a similar task (answering phones) which may be more complicated and the operator may need a list of whom to alert in certain circumstances (HAZ MAT, child welfare, FBI, State Police, Fire Department, Ambulance, Poison Control, Animal Control, etc.)

ISO9k2k says in effect: The QMS should accommodate the business of the organization. Obviously, that goes for the extent, complexity, and display of Work Instructions.

One final thing, do not confuse general Work Instructions with a product design or specifications which should be available for reference at the work station. (A blueprint may call for a hole - it doesn't say how to set up the drill or punch.)
 
Last edited:

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Admin
#4
I think that one of the problems is what is a work instruction
I see that the standard refers to two types which because of language are merged together and cause the problems that exist.
Work instructions that describe how to actual operate equipment,perform actions etc which the operators are trained for and qualified to do.These IMO do not need to be on the machines etc as they are not used as part of the part performance control.
The second are those that are part specific and these need to be at the work station. These WI could also be called inspection instructions etc. Some could even be in the form of a form, what to check and the result, this WI becomes a record when it is completed.

To support this arguement here are two quotes from ISO/TS 16949.

1
7.5.1.2 Work instructions
The organization shall prepare documented work instructions for all employees having responsibilities for the operation of processes that impact product quality. These instructions shall be accessible for use at the work station.
These instructions shall be derived from sources such as the quality plan, the control plan and the product realization process.
2
7.5.1.3 Verification of job set-ups
Job set-ups shall be verified whenever performed, such as an initial run of a job, material changeover or job change.
Work instructions shall be available for set-up personnel. The organization shall use statistical methods of verification where applicable.
In the first it is to me obvious that the WI described is that of an instruction as to how, what and when to check parts and process. The source of the instruction is not the machine handbook etc. it is the control plan etc.

As an be seen from the second quotation again the set up operator does not need to take the handbook of the machine but rather the parameters etc for the specific product.

The IATF guidance to the standard on page 22 further supports this:
These instructions may take the form of process sheets, inspection and laboratory test instructions, shop travelers, test procedures, standard operation sheets, drawings and visual aids or other documents normally used by the organization to provide the necessary information that impacts product quality. These instructions should include or reference, as appropriate:
• current engineering level/date,
• customer and organization designated special characteristics if any,
• inspection and test instructions ,with acceptance criteria (see
7.1.2),
• material identification and disposition instructions
• operation name and number keyed to the process flow diagram,
• part name and part number, or part family,
• reaction plans,
• relevant engineering and manufacturing standards,
• required tools, gauges and other equipment,
• revision date and approvals,
• SPC and other process-monitoring requirements,
• tool-change intervals and set-up instructions,
• visual aids
The process and part control work instructions are what need to be at the work station. The problem is that the words work instruction are used in different ways.
 

sal881vw

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Hello Manoj,
In additional to the above EN ISO 9001:2000 clause 7.5.1 Control of production and service provision.
The organization shall plan and carry out production and service provision under controlled conditions. Controlled conditions shall include, as applicable
a) the availability of information that describes the characteristics of the product.
b) the availability of work instructions, as necessary.
c) the use of suitable equipment,
d) the availability and use of monitoring and measuring devices,
e) the implementation of monitoring and measuring, and
f) the implementation of release, delivery and post-delivery activities

Try thinking of work instructions as cooking recipes. We cook a lot of traditional dishes over here, just as in any other country. The recipes are passed over verbally :) ( they were not included with the food product) from one generation to the next. However in the last 50 years or so, a lot of ready prepared foods ( with cooking instructions included to the product) were introduced that have to this day proved to be beneficial in more ways then one, when it comes to the life styles that we live now a days.
Gradually the new generations :bonk: have broken the chain of communication and not passed the traditional recipes accurately or non-at all. As a result an extensive amount :mad: of recipe books have been published to safeguard this heritage.
A form of belated control of production and service provision in particular to point c).
Better late then never. :agree1:
 
A

Al Dyer

#6
I like the food analogy!

How about this thought:

We all cook hamburgers and fries at home at times, and most times they taste, feel, smell different. A fast food company thought this was unnacceptable as they wanted all their products to be equal at all locations. As a result Mickey D's has a rigid set of instructions as not only how the food is cooked and served, but how the raw materials raised/processed. Thereby leading to maximum consistancy.

I still like by burgers better!!

Al...
 

WALLACE

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
The basic premise of a standardized system:

1. Document what you do.
2. Do what you document.
3. Prove it.

Wallace
 
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