Lean Tools for process improvement


Work Instructions

 also known as Job Instructions, Operation Instructions, or Visual Work

A work instruction template makes it easy to train people better and faster

Often called Job Instructions,
this same tool is also known by the name Visual Work Instructions —
which more vividly describes what makes this so effective as a training tool:

People learn better and faster when they can see both written operation instructions and pictures.

A work instruction template is ideal for
  1. Training someone who is new to a job
  2. Training temporaries and/or cross-trained workers

    so that the person who regularly does the job can take a vacation every now and again
    without the rest of the work team suffering costly downturns in both quality and efficiency

  3. A written supplement to TWI Training Within Industry Job Instructions training

Sample Work Instruction template


work instructions

Sample Work Instruction example

Note: In June 2014, the JobInstructions.xls template (illustrated above)
was replaced by the new WorkInstr.xls template — which has more document header fields.
Download your free trial to see what's new.

For long work instructions

you can make an instruction box bigger, or refer to Comments at the bottom
and you can add hyperlinks to related documents
and you can even make active hyperlinks in your ISO 9000 controlled PDF's

Job Instructions example

ISO work instruction template

Step numbers are auto-regenerated

every time that you generate a printable Job Instructions report
and all of your pictures and instructions are automatically re-shuffled in proper sequence

And you can change the word(s) for the Step Label that appears before the number,
and even skip step numbering — (perhaps for additional explanation of complex sub-steps). Learn more.

Easily understood operation instructions

A typical page displays 8 steps of work instructions — thereby saving paper and making it easier for users to see the big picture of how the steps fit together.

Notice that you can use fonts and colors and icons to make your standardized work instructions stand out.

To insert an image, you simply click the Add Image button and then scroll to select your image —
and your image is automatically sized and placed perfectly.

Then you can easily resize an image to make it bigger...
add shapes and arrows to make your visual work instructions more clear...
inset a picture within a picture...


work instructions template Work Instructions template

Sample Work Instructions

Bookmark = icons

Safety icons

Examples of icons that can be
purchased separately, and then
used with your Systems2win templates

Link to your own palette of icons

because pictures are better than words

Studies have proven that our brains read and interpret the meaning of pictures and symbols much more quickly and accurately than words.

This is especially true when instructions are being communicated to people that speak different languages.

safety symbols

Examples of icons that can be
purchased separately, and then
used with your Systems2win templates

Systems2win provides a few safety icons to get you started, but many of our customers purchase or create their own set of symbols for things like safety icons, hazardous materials, tool requirements, and anything else that is better communicated through symbols rather than words.

Once you have purchased or created your own set of icons that are appropriate for your unique industry and needs, then you can easily copy & paste them into any Systems2win template.

A quick Internet search for "safety icons" will lead you to several web sites
where you can choose from a wide variety of symbols to meet your unique icon needs for safety, tools, equipment, materials, supplies, and anything else
that is better communicated with pictures rather than words.

Personalize your templates to link your own palette of icons

Your Systems2win templates come with features to make it easy to personalize your templates
to make it easy for your users to quickly find and open your personalized palette of icons. Learn how.

User-defined shapes

Standard Work Analysis

Although the Systems2win Work Instruction template comes with unlimited user-defined fields, and it is possible to use all of the calculation powers of Excel...
why would you want to waste your valuable time re-inventing formulas when there is already a template that has all Standard Work Analysis formulas pre-programmed?

It is more common to use the Standard Work Combination Sheet for process analysis and improvement — (to analyze lead time, cycle time, value add time, etc.)
and to use these (far more detailed) Visual Instructions as a powerful training aid
for training temporaries, new-hires, and cross-training for people who need to fill in when the primary worker goes on vacation (or retires).

Standard Work sheet



for how to use your
Work Instructions template

Work Instruction Training Videos

Additional relevant training

The Sample and Help worksheets of every template
always contain training relevant to THAT template

Also see the rest of the Training Program Design templates that come with your Work Instructions template







Make sure your sound is on
Video Help

Work Instructions video work instructions video


Job Instructions — Shapes work instructions video




  1. There are many Tips on the Sample worksheet of your template.
  2. If you get the error: Permission denied (bFillArrayWithImageData())
    then you probably forgot to Group some of your shapes.
  3. International paper sizes: Just like any other Excel document,
    simply use Page Setup to select your paper size, and Landscape vs. Portrait.

    If you are personalizing your master template,
    be sure to configure Page Setup the way you want it to be for your default settings on your master template.

Bookmark = New

New features for Work Instructions template

June 2014

The old JobInstructions.xls template was replaced with the new WorkInst.xls template —
which has more header fields, and better handling of international paper sizes.

September 2013

Free update to fix the way Microsoft changed the way Excel handles numbered arrays.

March 2013

Major upgrade to support Excel 2013.

March 2012

Improved features for using symbols and icons to supplement words.

July 2011

All Systems2win Excel templates are now available in multiple languages

July 2010

Improved header fields are less likely to require personalization.

Some header fields now have dropdown lists.

March 2010

This template required more programming than any other to overcome new bugs introduced in Microsoft Excel 2010.

Step numbering can now skip cells containing:

  • sub-steps
  • additional clarification
  • alternate ways of doing something
  • conditional processing

See Advanced Tips

job intructions image Group Shapes — You can now group shapes so that they are treated as a single shape. Grouping shapes is particularly useful for:
  • Insetting a picture within a picture
  • Ensuring that arrows and other shapes stay exactly where you place them

Revision Log — With the click of a button, a Revision Log worksheet can now be added to any Systems2win template. And you don't even need to do anything to add a Revision Log to the Work Instructions template — because it is already there.

See more of What's New


"Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can't get it wrong."


This Work Instructions template comes with
all of the other Training Program Design templates
and Lean tools




Call us toll free to get answers to your questions

International +615-553-2336



Your purchase price is usually justified with the 1-5 templates that you use most

The others are a really nice
"gift with purchase"

menu bottom













Excel templates are available
in ANY language


Languages available for immediate delivery include:

  • French:
    Instructions de tâches
  • Spanish:
    Instrucciones de trabajo
  • Portuguese:
    Instruções de Trabalho
  • Chinese:




Link Icons

Use your Systems2win
Link Icons
to link to related documents









Download a dozen
free trial templates

or try them all
with a money back guarantee

















Tied upside down

No, we're not going to buy you any tools...

but we don't want any excuses
when those
are due











Systems2win Twitter YouTube

And bookmark your Favorite pages