How to use a simple writer application

Work instruction

A work instruction is a detailed specification to the employee on how a work should be carried out properly. The work is presented in detail and in an understandable way, this can be done through text or images.

It is a help for the employee, whereby he should be able to carry out the work alone.

The representation of a work instruction is not specified and therefore different forms can be used. It is important that it is always understandable and adapted to the employee.

Table of Contents

What is a work instruction?

A work instruction is therefore a specification in which the employee is informed who, What, by which and how makes. These four W-questions already answer the most important questions in connection with this instruction. It is ideal if the 10 key questions are answered, which are presented in detail here, because that way no questions remain unanswered.

Why do you need work instructions in the workplace? What are the advantages?

Instructions at the workplace describe specific work processes and help to make the work and the process more efficient. They enable the work to be carried out in a uniform manner and make it understandable.

Work can be carried out more efficiently. New employees can follow the instructions and use it as a guide.

During the creation, the individual work steps can be checked for their usefulness. In the event of errors, the employee can be relieved, provided he has adhered to the instructions.

Procedure for creating and improving work instructions

First step: An instruction can be discussed in a meeting or team meeting. The framework should be very clearly defined and the workplace or work system clearly outlined. The first step is to push the process and to exchange ideas about the work process.

Second step: Now the information is compiled and an analysis of the current situation is carried out. How is the situation? What happens in the selected area? This step only serves to see what is happening there and to collect this information.

Third step: The information gathered is now evaluated. The information from the as-is analysis is now evaluated and you can now see whether existing processes are still useful. In this step the processes are developed or improved.

Fourth step: With the help of the 10 key questions, a work instruction can now be created.

10 key questions for creating work instructions

The 10 key questions for creating work instructions are shown in the following overview and assigned to the respective content. Here the W questions are taken into account in the context of the work implementation.

The 10 key questions can help with the creation of a work instruction and therefore they are listed again here and dealt with in detail.

  1. Who is doing the job?
  2. What needs to be done?
  3. How do you work?
  4. What should be worked with?
  5. What do you work for?
  6. Where do you work?
  7. How much is needed?
  8. How long should it take
  9. How well do you have to work?
  10. How safe do you have to work?

Short questions, short answers:

Who is doing the job?

The employee is meant here.

What needs to be done?

The activity is described here as specifically as possible.

How do you work?

The workflow itself is described here and there are often many optimization options in this area.

What should be worked with?

This refers to tools, devices and machines.

What do you work for?

The aim or purpose of the work.

Where do you work?

Which workplace or which work system is meant? This should be clearly stated in the instructions, since, for example, very similar work systems often exist in production and these can be mixed up.

How much is needed?

The amount is derived from the specifications and these are determined jointly by sales and production. It is important for the employee that he knows how much is needed and can thus meet the goals.

How long should it take

The processing time can be determined using appropriate methods.

How well do you have to work?

The quality of the work and the product depends on the requirements of the customer. These are partly also dependent on the properties of the material and the intended use.

How safe do you have to work?

You always have to work safely, but higher standards apply to certain areas and you always have to look at them individually.

Work instruction example

The example shows a simple work instruction. It is not a prime example and is therefore not to be seen as a pattern. It is a way of showing a work instruction. You could also insert pictures or use multilingualism. Because people who speak different languages ​​often work in the production area.


Instructions not only make work easier for long-term employees, but also for new employees. This is because they can familiarize themselves with work instructions much faster and use these instructions as a reference work.

The use not only makes sense, but should also be introduced as a standard. In the production area, work instructions are often a standard and for many also a quality feature. A good production can also be recognized by good instructions.

Erkan Dogan is a graduate engineer (FH) in production technology and founder of

Here he writes about industrial engineering, process optimization, work preparation, management and project management.