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Good Repair Procedures, Part 6

The meat of your repair procedure is the section that provides the step by step instructions for completely and correctly performing the repair. Keep these tips in mind when creating your steps:

  • Write simply and clearly. Try to follow the dictum, "Use fewer words." Use shorter words, too.
  • Number each step.
  • Don't explain theory. Write repair instructions, only. This isn't a training manual.
  • Don't add preventive maintenance tasks or other work that isn't required for the repair.
  • Look for step eliminations. Sometimes, the repair process can be shortened by skipping steps that are necessary only if a measurement indicates they are. For example, "If you read 5V here, skip to step 34."
  • Consider adding an overview flowchart.
  • Consider assembling a book of drawings, photos, and sketches pertaining to this repair (or this equipment). Refer to individual ones wherever that would be helpful.

When you're done writing the procedure, have a repair technician do a dry run with it. Observe the tech at each step. If the tech has to stop and think about something the procedure says, rewrite the unclear part so that isn't necessary.

In our next issue, we'll look at how to make very helpful repair procedure videos.

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