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  • Writer's pictureMarco

5 Steps to Bringing Electronic Work Instructions to Your Facility

The following article outlines how best to bring electronic work instructions to your facility. Here is a quick overview:

  1. Ensure Leadership Buy-In

  2. Communicate with Staff

  3. Train

  4. Listen, Evolve: Collect and Implement Feedback

  5. Measure Performance

Here's the full article:

Bring your work instructions online, with ease

Change isn’t easy, especially in manufacturing. Moving your paper-based work instructions online? Could be a real doozy. But, it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re ready to embrace Industry 4.0 and modernize your shop floor, here are 5 steps to help you chart a course for digitizing your work instructions:


If you aren’t in a position of leadership, you will find it helpful to have an ally in the VP- or C-Suite (or whatever the equivalent is in your company!). Why? These folks provide an extra boost to resource requests and, beyond all else, their participation immediately elevates the importance of your project across the company.


"98% of manufacturers say 'efficiency gains' are the main reason for investing in digital transformation." - PwC Digital Factories 2020 Report



If your shop floor is like just about any other, people worry about job security when change is afoot. This complicates change and may cause friction when you’re looking to roll out your electronic work instruction initiative.

Eliminate their fear. Communicate with your team and peers early and often the benefits of digitizing critical information (like, reducing training time, eliminating rework, making it easier to find information, helping folks spend more time doing what they like, etc.).

It might be helpful to reference case studies from other companies who have successfully completed their own implementations, or, to provide clear examples of how you are intending the company to use the electronic work instructions on a day-to-day basis.

(We’ve got a few examples we can share with you. We can also simplify your rollout—contact us to learn more.)


Aside from communication, training is arguably the most important aspect of getting your electronic work instruction project off the ground.

It is critical that those responsible for creating and maintaining your instructions are trained well in how to use the new software tool. In fact, it is recommended that they are tasked with becoming “product champions”—a go-to group for anyone needing information or guidance. This speeds adoption and drives collaboration.

We recommend your training plan consists of:

  • In-person sessions (with the software tool at their fingertips)

  • Digital sessions (i.e. recurring product refreshers)

  • Ongoing collateral sharing (i.e. email notices of new features, or how-to reminders)


"90% of industrial company leaders believe digitization offers more opportunities than risks" - PwC Digital Factories 2020 Report



Once you’ve got your team trained, and the digital work instructions have been implemented, it is important to listen to feedback.

Your front-line staff is going to be using this tool daily. (And perhaps you too!) Meaning whatever insights they give into how the tool is actually being used should be noted and discussed. There could be an optimization you didn’t think of that makes your electronic work instruction tool even more valuable.

A great way to collect real-time, non-biased feedback is to set up a generic email address for your team to send their input to. (But, hey, make sure you’re acknowledging feedback provided. People like that!)


Naturally, you need to make sure any new tool is pulling its weight. Digital work instruction software is no different.

You know your shop best, and so ahead of implementation make sure you (or someone from your team) have measured key performance indicators (KPIs) over a period of time (i.e. average training time for new hires). Once you roll out the online work instruction solution, measure the KPIs regularly to see how they’ve been positively impacted.


Ready to get started? Narrative, our electronic information collection and sharing tool, can help you. Contact us to learn how we can help improve your operations by 40%.

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