Over-Worked Instruction - Quality Technician for a direct mail printing company

D

Dingo

#1
Over-Worked Instruction

I guess a little background first...

I recently landed a job as a Quality Technician for a direct mail printing company. My last exposure to writing quality documents was early 95 back in Oz (Australia) when the registrars wouldn't even let you know what time it was - even if your life depended on it.

So, I really think of myself as a novice in the field and have to admit that most of what I read here in the forums seems pretty high level stuff to me. :bonk: Therefore I am seeking some guidance on work instructions...

Thankfully, we are not seeking ISO Certification (yet - and I'm keeping my fingers crossed) although I have been asked to model our system on ISO 9K2K of which I know Zip. Our current system really consists of a dozen procedures that are simply thrown together. Now that I am expanding things a little I see the need for work instructions but am a little confused about the level of detail required. Everyone seems to advocate that less is more, which I would like to agree with but for some reason I just don't believe and need to be "shown the light". To make matters just a little more interesting we are implementing a new software system that is just terrible. User unfriendly to the point that none of the icons or buttons remotely reflect the function they access and there are no training manuals. But because the company paid a fortune for it we have to prove that some manager didn't screw up and make it work....

So I am trying to write a work instruction on how to generate an estimate in this neanderthal system. My Estimator (who has the patience of Job) has written a detailed instruction on how to complete an RFQ. It took him 3 hours to write the instruction which is 3 pages long and 62 bullets of detail. Or should I be just writing "The relevent quote information shall be entered in the appropriate fields in the Estimate Screen" and do the detail as on the job training....?

This is just one item of approx. 20-30 items that would require these sorts of work instructions - all of them would be this complicated.

Am I overthinking it...?
:frust:

Cheers...!
 
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RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Think of the User

Hi, Dingo. My advice is to think about who will be using this document. If it's people who will receive sufficient training that a 3 page, 62 bullet document isn't necessary, then make it simple. This is usually good for people who do RFQ's so frequently, that they'll soon be able to use the software in their sleep.

If, however, people who don't follow the RFQ process that often, are required to enter in their own date, then perhaps the longer document is better (but written in a language that everyone will understand).

The reason I suggest this is that personnel at my organization are responsible for entering their own purchase orders into the system. I don't order materials that often, so when I do, I always need to refer to the work instruction which tells me exactly which fields to complete and how to complete them. It's a long, detailed, and perhaps cumbersome document, but for people like me, it's needed. I've been "trained" on the system, but I don't use it frequently enough to maintain my trained status in my opinion.

Always think about who will be using the document, Dingo. That is usually key in determining how to write it.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Dingo,

I like RCB's advice -- think of the user(s), talk it over with them. If a variety of users might be involved I write a doc aimed at both. For the frequent user who may just need a few reminders or little detail, I use "main" headings or sentences. For those who might not do the task too often or may need more detail, I use "subheadings" or support sentences to provide details. Seems to work for me.

For example:

4.0 MEASURE DENSITY ON THE SAMPLE AND IF IT MEETS THE SPEC. ON THE DRAWING, GO TO STEP 5.0

4.1 Clean the sample by wiping with a clean towel. Measure the length, width, and thickness of the sample, using calibrated calipers, to the nearest .05 mm.

4.2 Weigh the sample on the ABC 123 lab balance to the nearest 0.1 gram.

4.3 Use the program "DENSCAL Ver 1.4" on the lab computer to calculate the density in g/cc.

JMO
 

gpainter

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
First make any form as simple as possible. If you can read you should be able to fill out a form (most cases). Provide training on the form. The person who originated the form should do the training and record it.
 
D

Dingo

#6
Thanks for the advice.

Here's something that I think could fly - let me know what you think.

I could write long, blow by blow instructions as part of a software user's guide (for reference only). I can abbreviate the actual work instruction to about 10 bullets by segmenting the task into logical steps. The user's guide is not auditable but the work instruction is. My chances of failing a 62 point process is greater than for a 10 point process. By still having access to the detail I am increasing my chances of obtaining the desired result.

If the user's guide is for reference only could I still use it as a training tool?

Dingo...
 
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