What Is Version Control and 3 Ways It Improves Digital Work Instructions

Written By: Cam Habib
  • 2/16/2021
  • Read Time : 3 min

Version control is a method to track and manage changes to documents to help ensure the quality and accuracy of your work. It enables authors to view and access all changes and understand who made them, when they were made, and what was done throughout the development of a document.

As the practice has become somewhat ubiquitous over the years, its importance can often be overlooked or underutilized as organizations grapple with best practices of knowledge management. It has become especially important in the manufacturing space as companies navigate through the digital transformation shift to gain any productivity advantage that they can.

One neglected area where industrial manufactures can take advantage of the benefits of version control is through the creation of work instructions. We’ve recently introduced this capability to Vuforia Expert Capture, PTC’s SaaS-based augmented reality (AR) work instructions solution, to help customers maintain greater transparency when creating and updating their library of procedures.

To better understand why we’ve developed this new feature and how it benefits manufacturing companies creating work instructions, we’re sharing three important ways version control improves digital work instructions.

3 Ways Version Control Improve Your Digital Work Instructions

1. It enhances your knowledge management process.

When building work instructions for frontline workers, it’s critical to be able to create procedures quickly and accurately. Whether it’s developing brand new procedures for frontline workers or altering existing ones – having the ability to be nimble is crucial to success. Version control empowers authors to refine their procedures quickly, with access to previous revisions and never losing any work. Updating procedures quickly and getting that information into the hands of a frontline worker not only increases the efficiency of those tasks but  also can mitigate any safety or compliance risk. As you look to make improvements in your knowledge management process – version control can be a key part in making your team more productive.

2. It ensures your frontline workers are working off the most up-to-date procedures.

Version control is an important tool for authors to create and maintain procedures, but it also helps safeguard your team from using outdated instructions. Not only does this boost productivity and output through the reduction of scrap and rework but it also increases safety measures, which can be incredibly important in many industries. Having the confidence that your frontline operators are working off the most recent documentation - and the ability to confirm this - helps keep your operations steady.

3. It drives collaboration and creation of work instructions.

A common challenge that organizations often run into when creating their work instructions is the ability to create a library at scale. There are often several approval, safety, and regulatory requirements that need to be met. These can often slow the process of creating work instruction procedures. Version control helps remove some of those barriers by enabling multiple people to work through procedures in a co-authoring environment. An example could be an author creating procedures while a safety specialist reviews and makes changes, on-the-fly, to ensure compliance standards are met as they build together. Work instruction procedures can be edited without the need for authors to continuously check that they are working from the most updated document and can see when other contributors have made changes to a document. By simplifying collaboration between stakeholders, work instruction can be maintained more efficiently, ultimately helping the business run more effectively.

Importance of version control

Version control is an important capability when developing work instructions for organizations in the manufacturing space. Adopting and leveraging best practices will accelerate the procedure creation process and ensure that they are accurate, the first time. If you’re looking to take your work instructions to the next level with augmented reality-based content, reach out to our team today to learn more about Vuforia Expert Capture.

Learn More About Vuforia Expert Capture

Discover the fastest, easiest way to create powerful step-by-step augmented reality (AR) instructions to help frontline workers get their jobs done quickly and accurately.

  • Augmented Reality
  • Expert Capture
  • Digital Transformation
  • AR Workforce Efficiency
  • Improve Service Efficiency
  • SaaS Workforce Efficiency
  • Digital Transformation
  • SaaS

About the Author

Cam Habib

Cam is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager on the Vuforia team at PTC. He's passionate about the value AR can bring to the manufacturing industry and enjoys conveying that to anyone interested. Prior to joining PTC, he’s held various marketing and sales roles at several different Boston tech companies. In his free time, you’ll probably find him skiing in Vermont or looking for a new adventure.