Difference between Procedures and Work Instructions

There is an argument in the office right now about the difference between Procedures and Work Instructions. I’ll give you my take later but wanted to run one definition by you first.

Definition of Work Instruction

One definition is as follows:

  • Procedures – tell you Who does What When.
  • Work Instructions – tell you how to do something at a more granular level.

For me, that’s part of it but there’s more. For example,

What goes into a Work Instruction that doesn’t go into the Procedure Manual and
What goes into the Procedure Manual that is different than the Work Instruction.

The Hierarchy of Procedures

One way I see this is as a pyramid.

You have:

  1. Core Procedures that apply to all employees, e.g. Timekeeping, Security, Confidentiality, across all business units.
  2. System Procedures that cover procedures across a business function, eg how to install server
  3. Work Instructions that are the most granular set of instructions, eg how to apply a patch to a server, how to attach a wing mirror to a car.

Over to you.

When you’re writing Work Instructions, how do you present the information so that it works by itself? I assume many WIs are ripped out and use on-site and literally in the field.

I’m new to this area of documentation, so please jump in.

Download these templates to start

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan