Work Specifications: Home

Pitt Pharmacy Work Specifications

This resource is a space where PittPharmacy folks can place work specifications in a format that can be read via a web browser, from any computer. The work spec “saves” changes so that you can revert back to a previous version of the work spec if you need to, similar to the way a Wiki works.

There is no table of contents for the work specs in this system. Use the search feature to find a work spec.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Never put passwords into a work spec
  • Never put confidential information into a work spec.
  • Write the work spec as if it is for a co-worker to be able to follow. Be cognizant of steps that you may do without thinking- are they accurately captured in the work spec?
  • A work spec is only as good as it is authored and tested. After writing a work spec, it is useful to have someone else try to follow it, and see if it is clear and if it is complete.
  • Remember to revise your work spec whenever the work process changes. Out of date work specs don’t benefit anyone.

Why have a work spec?

  • Work specs are handy for tasks where making sure to follow a set of steps exactly, is critical. There is less for you to remember, because you have a set of instructions to follow.
  • Work specs are especially helpful for tasks that you don’t do very regularly. It saves you from the “now, how did I do this last time” kind of thinking.
  • Work specs help minimize errors and omissions in work.
  • Work specs allow a co-worker to fill in for you if you are out of work or on vacation, because there is a clear and easy to follow set of instructions handy.
  • A work spec is also a tool you can you to help make your work as efficient as possible. Sometimes seeing the steps it takes to do something in front of you, allows you to see ways to change your work flow or process to be better.
  • Lastly, a work spec helps maintain institutional memory, so that if you retire or move to a new job, your replacement can step in  and know what to do quickly and easily. Both your supervisor and your replacement will be very grateful.

Any task can be specified

Every task you do, can be put down in a work spec, and most every work process can be improved or made more efficient through the use of a work spec. Hard tasks to fully specify are ones that require decision making, evaluation, or trouble shooting. But even these types of tasks follow a basic flow of steps that you can follow. If one step is to problem solve or make a decision, specify the criteria used in the decision making, and the order of things you consider when making the decision.

Remember the value of thew work spec is for the person or persons who will follow them. There is no one ideal way a work spec ought to be written. Any wok spec is better than no work spec, and every work spec can be improved over time.  The goal is to make work easier, quicker, more accurate, or efficient. The work spec is a tool to use, not the end goal in and of itself.