Most people don’t have the most stellar of reputations when it comes to reading product and training manuals of any kind. Many see going through these documents as a waste of time, a sign of weakness, a disregard for their hands-on experience and just losing out on the fun of learning by trial and error.
While you might be lucky to get by with disregarding product and training manuals by Allied Publishing much of the time, you are actually doing yourself a great disservice in the process. Here’s why you should read manuals wherever they are available and accessible.
This is one of the most important reasons instruction manuals are written. Whether it’s an operating manual for a product you just bought or a training manual elaborating what you should do as an oil rig worker, manuals are inherently safety documents. They can make the difference between staying healthy and alive versus suffering serious injury or death.
Some safety hazards are apparent from the get-go, but certain dangers are not so obvious. Reading the instruction manuals ensures you get the most out of a product or activity while avoiding any lingering safety concerns. While it’s possible for you to understand the dangers as you go along, the cost of a misstep might be too grave to leave to chance.
Think about the last car you bought. You were perhaps only interested in the most basic features at the start, like what helps you safely operate the vehicle. Nevertheless, the modern car comes with a plethora of features meant to optimize efficiency. By failing to read the manufacturer’s manual, you’ll lose out on these aspects that could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.
Likewise, if you’ve been hired as an accountant at an organization, the job description is simply an overview of your role. You have to read the training manual to understand not just how to discharge your role but do it most efficiently.
Overall, the better you can familiarize yourself with an instruction manual, the greater the efficiency you are bound to enjoy.
Certain products, especially machinery, have multiple usage modes. Going back to the car example, this could include steering wheel adjustment and seat adjustment. And with the degree of computerization cars and other equipment have at an all-time high today, the options are much greater than before.
Inevitably, there’s a default mode that the equipment comes with off-the-shelf. But default doesn’t imply universal suitability. The mode that’s most suitable will vary from one user to the next. The fastest way to tell the customization options you have available to you is by reading the manual. This could also come in handy when equipment is used by more than one person.
No product or activity is without potential problems and bottlenecks. Some of these could be so likely that they are included in the instruction manual. These would usually fall under a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section. FAQs help you benefit from the difficult experiences others have faced before you, so you don’t have to endure the same.
Reading the FAQs and the rest of the manual ensures you don’t have to request someone’s help for every small problem you run into. That would not only waste your precious time but also might imply that you hadn’t taken the time to read the necessary material.
Not every problem you run during an activity or when using a product will be resolvable by reading the instruction manual. These instances are expected to be relatively rare but when they do occur, you need a clear path on how to resolve them fast.
At the minimum, an instruction manual will define the role, department, or organization you should get in touch with if you are stuck. If it’s a manual guiding you on your job, that would most probably be your supervisor or someone from the IT helpdesk. For a product, it would be the manufacturer’s contact details.
When understood as the valuable asset it is, an instruction manual is a document you’ll enjoy reading exhaustively and referring to every so often.