I’ve spent a bit of the last year writing process documents and training guides for work, and I seem to be headed that direction again this month. Part of the problem is that there are so many components to one of my jobs that trying to capture it all in a guide designed to help someone do my job when I’m not there is something like trying to catch a raindrop on your tongue.
I’m trying to keep everything well-organized and simple, but I suspect it’s going to take a round or three of editing to get everything laid out well.
In order to be truly useful, instructions must be thorough and should try to cover unusual situations. More importantly, they must be clear, or the person reading them will never be able to understand them. Let’s face it: the point of instructions is to help someone else how to understand how to do something.
I rather like this ironically long-winded post from Lifehack because it does a god job of covering the most important sections to address in creating instructions.
Just remember to keep instructions complete and simple.