It seems obvious that troubleshooting guides and repair procedures can shorten the downtime of critical equipment (including bottleneck motors). Maintenance departments typically produce such guides and procedures for this reason. Two other reasons include:
- ISO9001/9002/9003 certification. This is about standardization, not reducing downtime.
- Reducing the required skill level. This usually produces unintended negative consequences.
What has dominated is a tendency to overdo the documentation. Guides and procedures become so bloated that people either don’t understand them or refuse to read them in the first place. Simply limiting the page count means the same information gets crammed into the page in tiny type that’s hard to read even with a magnifying glass. The problem is the content, not the number of pages. These documents are often so dense with boilerplate, explanations, and minutiae that maintenance techs find them useless.
Ensure your documents are:
- Summarizing. Provide an "outline" of what needs to be done. Qualified personnel need the major steps identified, not described in great detail.
- Focused. Don’t include anything that doesn’t directly serve getting the job done. Less is more.
- Clear. Use short sentences. Express steps in the verb-noun format (e.g., "Disconnect power"). Excess wording tends to confuse instead of clarify.
- Precise. Use few words, chosen carefully — not more words to explain what you meant.