Are repair techs actually using your procedures for the repair of critical equipment (e.g., bottleneck motors)? If not, try using those procedures yourself in a mockup repair situation to see why.

Don’t let your written procedures provide a torturous path for returning the equipment to service. Look for these deficiencies:

  • Boilerplate and bloated text. People faced with wading through long passages tend to reject the entire document. If in doubt, leave it out.
  • Overdone warnings and cautions. You won’t improve safety by inserting every safety warning that you can think of. You’ll cause people to ignore those warnings and skip important information. Consider using just a caution symbol at caution stop points.
  • Accuracy errors. Compare the text to current revisions of the manufacturers’ manuals and other authoritative documentation.
  • Perceived accuracy errors. Review against actual practices and note any discrepancies. You may need to address training deficiencies, rather than procedure deficiencies.
  • Detail creep. This is what starts document bloat. A little more detail here, a special note there, and pretty soon you have a document that time-pressed repair techs can’t use.