In developing a manual for a piece of large capital equipment, the outcome of the manual is that training of users of the equipment would be effective, that ultimately the user organization would achieve its purpose for the equipment purchase.
If a manual is the equivalent of an operating procedure, then its sole purpose would be to teach individuals how to perform every task or activity necessary for success with the equipment.
And if the manual is the equivalent of a procedure, then it follows that the manual should be structured in the manner of an equipment procedure of the sort an engineer, trainer or technical writer would write on the inside for a company.
So how should the manual be structured? The structure I use and teach when teaching procedure development I liken to “walking into progressively deeper water.” This could also be characterized as “layered learning,” where basic concepts are introduced and used as stepping stones toward a more detailed explanation of the equipment and the activities performed on the equipment.
In my next post, I will outline the structure for procedures, which has become the structure for manuals I now develop in my current employment.