RE: Do we need separate training guides?

Subject: RE: Do we need separate training guides?
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 09:37:38 -0400

Odd that this topic should come up (again) right now.

Yesterday one of my managers sent me a "tweaked" copy of a last-minute
presentation I did for him last winter. The original was to show a
cleaning chemical sales rep how we use cleaning products. He asked me
to "clean it up".

The manager took this powerpoint presentation and has been using it with
minor changes to train new people in our cleaning procedures. Never
occurred to him that it should be reviewed, approved, recorded in the
document control database. Or, heaven forbid, rewritten for _training_
instead of simple expository presentation.

This guy is a great guy, wonderful to work with, a fabulous supervisor
and manager, insanely overworked. Some days he understands the concepts
of document control and quality system management, other days he just
doesn't have time to include those new ideas in his brain waves.

He wants it cleaned up so he can burn the Powerpoint presentation onto a
VHS and play it on the training TV. Our new people receive four hours
of training (all at once, including all safety and operational
instructions needed to get them started -- and where the bathrooms are,
and how to fill out their time sheets). It's kinda nuts to try to add
details about how to wash parts in this overview when they will also
receive hands-on training for the next ten weeks, but there it is. I
don't even know if it's technically possible to convert the presentation
to a videotape. It'll be interesting to find out!

I am being very gentle about "cleaning up" and reworking the
presentation for use as a training presentation. His idea was that we
would print the handouts and use that as the associated reference
document. Well, no, each individual task will be properly recorded as a
work instruction to be posted at the point of use, and the bundle of
work instructions will be collected within a "List of Cleaning
Instructions and Guidelines" support document that will be referenced in
the Packaging Process Overview.

We take our information management successes where we can create them.
This is one of those examples of meeting the customer's needs, not just
their orders.

Short answer: a training guide is not the same as a detailed work
instruction. And the better and more specific the work instruction, the
more likely it is that some brilliant tech writer went home with a dull
headache and a body that felt like a wrung-out dishrag. This stuff is
fun, but it's also hard work!

Dori Green


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Do we need separate training guides?: From: Daniel Ng
RE: Do we need separate training guides?: From: John Rosberg

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