For as long as we have operated our consultancy, we have developed our own training material. Most companies use us for so called 'soft skills' training - supervisor, communication, health and safety (would that be 'semi-hard'?) and the like. Some use us to write machine operator training manuals - these fall squarely in the 'hard skills' category. We tend not to advertise this too loudly, it's 'hard' work and we don't have the capacity to do too much of it. But we have developed a competency in this area and perhaps now is the time to share it.
So we are thinking of coaching in-company manual writers. There would be an initial three to five days of training followed by several months of coaching. We would take people through all aspects of the process - planning, observing, exploring sources of information; taking and editing digital photos; using our template for capturing the data; developing a reader-friendly manual and so on. Manual writing is not for the fainthearted. It involves diverse skills such as breaking processes down to easily followed steps; an ability to observe and understand mechanical things; asking relevant questions; note taking, and computer skills. Our course will focus on all of these and our ongoing coaching will be in areas that the manual writers particularly need.
We would love to hear from Human Resource or Operations Departments who are thinking of developing operator manuals as an integral part of their employee development process. Perhaps you are already doing so, and would like to up-skill your writers, make the manuals more reader-friendly and inclusive of all important safety issues.