Summary and Scope
This document is primarily designed as
template for an Operations Manual / Systems-Handbook
The resulting Operations Manual / Systems-Handbook is an important deliverable of the
overall system for
- to help that nothing is
- a common handbook structure
is used throughout all systems. This will support easy cross-system
troubleshooting and documentation.
and it is an essential
source of information to support
- compliance with documentation-requirements
for systems and processes required by internal QA-department or
internal auditing department or external auditors or other organizations
- daily operations
by clearly description of all active and proactive tasks to keep
the system running and prevent unplanned outages and by providing
all information required
- special operations
outage planning and all special tasks from shutdown to startup
by ensuring that all required information is immediately available.
Especially in case of problems this document should contain all
information required by internal staff or especially by external
experts to analyze the problem
- all other active and
proactive tasks (e.g. Hardware / Software / License upgrades
/ extensions to cover increasing usage) required to keep the system
running within the expected performance limits and prevent unplanned
outages (e.g. because of an expired license key or exceeding the
This template supports the efficient creation of an Operations Manual which is an important part of the delivery.
The operations manager should customize this template according to the requirements of his team and afterwards communicate those customized document to the Development Manager.
This template allows the QA Manager to check the Operations Manuals delivered for completeness.
If you think that you don't need this template,
because ...... you have already Operations
Handbooks for your Systems ?
Use this comprehensive template to cross-check if your current
Operations Handbooks are complete !...
you store all information in an comprehensive Configuration Management
Database (CMDB) ?
Use this comprehensive template to cross-check if your CMDB
covers all types of information! ...
you outsourced development and you expect the operations and system
handbook as part of the delivery
Use this template in the contract specifications to clearly
express what you expect thus to avoid “misunderstanding”
between vendor and you about the content of the operations handbook. Using
this template for this purpose is much cheaper than solving a single
dispute with the vendor. ...it's
much work to write the handbook and your systems are running without
because ...... the system runs even without Operations Manual. One member of your staff has that in his head.
But the second person (who shares on-call duty with the
main person) might know the most important details how to re-start
after a crash but might not be aware of all e.g. monthly tasks.
And latest at the first hand-over to a new main responsible person,
the new person will have to write down everything the former person
tells. If the person just knowing it leaves unexpected then all
the information must be re-engineered - definitely much more work
than the initial documentation. Huge money was spent in the area
of “Knowledge Management” - not writing a Systems and
Operations Handbook means not even documenting required knowledge,
making “Knowledge Management” impossible.
A comprehensive System- and Operations Handbook is an important
part of the Operations / Production Managers “Job Insurance”.
Without such a documentation he can in case of an audit not proof
that all tasks are assigned and checked for execution.
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