“A user manual can reduce your maintenance cost and time on the phone – if it’s a good one”. Peter Vogel

The importance of an IT Operations manual is exceptional as it proves that your business is actual and exists not just in the head of the owner – it is available to all! This tool shows a real value of your business! So if you want your business to grow and become more profitable – this blog post is aimed at you!

3 following steps will help you create a truly effective IT Operations manual and make your intellectual property tangible:

1. Look through user’s eyes

While creating your manual make sure you consider your “audience”. Try to find things which users may face on their daily basis.
Don’t forget about all kinds of emergencies. How not to forget anything? Just sit and write it all down. As Napoleon Hill said: “Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire”. In order to ensure you included everything answer to the following questions:

– What do we exactly need for the working process? ( list of servers and their functions, all information about software you use)
– How do we contact needed people? ( PBX Systems, All phone numbers for each location, Telephone Service provider(s))
– Whom do we work with? ( include vendors the company cooperates with)
– What and how do we backup?
– What if we don’t need it anymore? ( how the data should be deleted, recycling procedures)
– What do we do if something goes wrong? ( how IT Support System works)
It is just some idea, though. Operation manual is very specific for each company, so just be creative and try to develop it further.

2. Create a visual effect

Remember, successful IT Operations manual doesn’t mean comprehensive and huge. It simply has to be handy and useful. What can make the things more understandable if not visual aids? Make your complicated process look easy and prevent difficulties which will arise in the process of imagining what was meant by this or that statement. Be precise! Create a visual effect – show it! Graphs, diagrams and charts will do here!
Set of graphs, charts and diagrams. Puzzles in the shape of a human head. World Map and Information Graphics. Detail infographic vector illustration. File is saved in AI10 EPS version.

What is more, your manual should be readable and searchable. Divide all the data into smaller categories and provide a well-organized table of contents. Keep it in mind – nobody wants to read your instructions – they simply want to find questions and get back to their job!

3. Stay up to date

Don’t forget that all kinds of changes are unavoidable, so make sure the manual is timely updated.
Progress Development Growth Innovation Advancement Concept
Choose time for regular updates. It is managers’ and administrative support members’ job to take care of reports of the manual’s condition, adding some new information and removing out-dated one. A special system of updates distribution should be made as well.
I hope my tips were useful for you and now you feel inspired enough to start creating your own IT Operations manual. So all the best!