Work Instructions - We have approx 1,000 work instructions from over the years


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We have approx 1,000 work instructions from over the years. They are deburr and/or assembly instructions. How is the best way to handle these. I was going to see about putting them all on the new work instruction template i created, but how do I handle it as far as the controlled document list. I dont want to add so many of them to it, and it will take a good part of a year to update them all. My plan is to start moving them to the new format as they come up, but right now, i dont have the man power to do that.


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Is there a requirement for you to update them?

Will the lot of them see much action or will most of them go obsolete eventually?

No need to seek extra work if you can appropriately avoid it, it makes itself.


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none of them are revision controlled, so we dont know when they were made, if any changes were made to them, etc. We probably use only about 150-200 of them on a regular basis, so that is what i want to start on first...mainly the high quantity recurring jobs

I also have the issue of someone in assembly/deburr copying the folder from the server to the desktop (instead of creating a shortcut to the folder). the times I tried to correct it, the computer would have connection issues to the server and lose the shortcuts (IT cannot figure out why).

Sidney Vianna

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To start with, there is no point in “controlling” hundreds of work instructions that will never be used. So, institute a process to review and approve the documents on-demand prior to them being used.

Once used, have a process to determine if any updates are necessary, based on feedback from the process doers. If so, process the changes and keep the documents under an appropriate control process. If no changes are suggested by the users, place the document under the appropriate control process.

But challenge the need for useless instructions. For example, deburring is typically a note in a manufacturing drawing. Most deburring operations can be effectively performed in the absence of a work instruction.

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
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I agree with Sidney. Why control documents that aren't used in the processes?

Once the review has been completed, put the "old" WIs into an obsolete folder. Just in case you will need them at a later date.

Just my humble opinion.
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That is kinda of what i was going towards,but wasnt sure if they had to be listed on the controlled documents list, etc. The last thing i want is to add all these documents to the Controlled List and having to maintain them that way.

I was going to just start moving the old wi's to the new format as we use them, and keep the old documents on the archive folder ( read only to everyone in the company(look but dont touch/print), and full to select few (Management Rep, Quality Mgr, Qty Eng, GM).


I have the same thing going on. I carefully read the standards I use and they don't say anything on being on a master list of any kind. They just have to be controlled.

What I did was start adding renamimg all the instructions with WI at the begining to show they are updated and also add the revision number in the file name.

I also added a change control block on the bottom to show the change history. The instructions for these are worded carefully to show when they need a formal change notice and when they don't. Example a change to the process would need a change notice a typo would not.

All of these instructions have an author and an approver listed on the form.

Adding the revision number on the file name each time will help with archiving obsolete documents and breaking short cuts when documents change. Yep, it's those unauthorized "copy to desk top" that drives me nuts too.


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A lot will have to do with your operation. But I think you can just keep a master file with them and print/use them as needed and dispose of them when done. Just make sure all the files are being updated if some have been copied -- that could be an issue. Ours are part of our ERP system, so it's always up to date and prints out on the work order.


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I have a footer that prints out in red "Printed Copy valid only for 24 hrs after (Date - and time printed)", see pic.


  • work instruction footer.JPG
    work instruction footer.JPG
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