Documentation Structure - What Do You Think?

B

BWoods

#1
We are an OEM for the trucking industry, 3 sites, about 300 employees, currently ISO-9001 and moving to QS-9000 (and yes, probably later to TS and then ......?)

My contention is that if you put a several page Level 3 Work Instruction in front of an operator, they will never look at it. They can't, they don't have the time.

I am setting up our documentation this way, and welcome your comments, suggestions, etc.

Level 1 = Standard
Level 2 = Standard (very brief and generic - same level 1 and 2 for all 3 sites in 2 different countries)

Level 3 = Flow Charts not over 2 pages max with annotations on the side if needed (temp, setting, rpm, etc.) This assumes the operator, assembler, machinist, etc., knows their job and is fully qualified. They therefore don't need a detailed work instruction.

Then as a "Phase 2" of this system, we will have very detailed Training Procedures. These will assume you know nothing and will take you through the process step by step. They will not be at the work stations, only the flow charts will be.

What do you think?

Will this pass QS-9000 auditing?

More importantly, do you agree with me that it makes good quality sense?

Thanks in advance for your input.
 
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S

Spaceman Spiff

#2
It make every bit of sense. I know people typically don't read documents over 1 page! I've tried the flow chart and it works wonderfully. However, I was only successful in implementing them in a small percentage of documents... it seems that the engineers rather use text to be excessively descriptive (including a bunch of graduate level words) on operating a piece of equipment or operation. They seemed to forget who their audience is. Too bad, no one ever got to the end of the novel. Keep pushing for simplicity.
 
A

abacaxi

#3
"My contention is that if you put a several page Level 3 Work Instruction in front of an operator, they will never look at it."

True ...

"Level 3 = Flow Charts not over 2 pages max with annotations on the side if needed (temp, setting, rpm, etc.) This assumes the operator, assembler, machinist, etc., knows their job and is fully qualified. They therefore don't need a detailed work instruction."

Provided all satuff is clearly labelled with a label that matches what you call it on the flow chart. Or, the flowchart has a diagram of the tool (not knowing how big or complex your things are makes it hard) with some indication of the sequence and location of the adjustments.

"Then as a "Phase 2" of this system, we will have very detailed Training Procedures. These will assume you know nothing and will take you through the process step by step. They will not be at the work stations, only the flow charts will be."

"What do you think?"
One problem ... what if the person has been off on vacation for a couple of weeks and wants to review one or more parts in detail - how will they get the detailed procedure? And no matter how superb the training, a newbie will want the paper security blanket of a fully-illustrated step by step walkthrough for the first couple of weeks.
One way to solve this is to start the work instructions with the work summary flow chart, AND have a detailed illustrated version on the next xx pages. At the appropriate points in the condensed version, refer to the detail page by number.
This allows the training department to lift the detailed instructions for their own use.

"Will this pass QS-9000 auditing?"
As long as you explain what to do, or where to go to get further instructions IF it is impossible to set the tool as specified, it should. That's where most "cheat sheets" get nailed - not in the level of detail, because thgat is not specified in ISO 9000, but because they don't explain what to do for exceptions.

This can be as simple as a blanket statement "If any valve cannot be adjusted to the stated pressure, contact your supervisor. (or refer to the troubleshooting guide if you will have one)"

"More importantly, do you agree with me that it makes good quality sense?"

The objective of good technical writing is to provide the NECESSARY level of detail ... no more, no less.
 
B

BWoods

#4
Thanks you both for your replies.

As for the training manuals being available, I plan to eventually have them on the intranet. Every work cell has at least one computer tied in with the intranet. So in that sense, they will be available.
 
A

AJPaton

#6
Question - Is the training manual on the intranet a "controlled" document?
Does it have to be?
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
Typically your training manual will be a controlled document. It may change and you want a history of changes even if the only distribution is by your intranet.
 
B

BWoods

#8
Question - Is the training manual on the intranet a "controlled" document?
Does it have to be?

Yes, we have our intranet documents set up as controlled documents. In fact they are only controlled on the intranet, the moment you print them, they become uncontrolled and for reference only.

I believe the training manual should be controlled because it is an extension of your process documents. I have never even thought of NOT controlling them.
 
J

Jim Biz

#9
Food for thought - our auditors considered any uncontrolled hard copy printout even if it was clearly marked as an invalid obsolete document - unavailable for use
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#10
Originally posted by Jim Biz:

Food for thought - our auditors considered any uncontrolled hard copy printout even if it was clearly marked as an invalid obsolete document - unavailable for use
The key to this is Do you make any decisions based upon the document? You can have 'reference' documents, for example. When they say 'unavailable for use' there really should be a better understanding of what use is being adressed.

So - technically... Any uncontrolled hard copy printout, even if it is clearly marked as an invalid obsolete document (or marked For Reference Only, for that matter), is technically unavailable for use in decision making. It's sorta like you can rough in a design with old prints but you need the 'latest' for verification of the design you come up with.
 
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