I have been searching for a Runbook / Operations Guide example and can't seem to find a useful one for my company. The current runbook they handed me contains use cases and requirements, which I know shouldn't be in one; however, I can't find a good example to show to my managers and say, "This is what we should be using."

Any ideas where I can find one or any quick and dirty examples someone can give me in an answer here?


  • I'm not clear what you mean by "Runbook," so perhaps you could clarify that. It might help get you responses. – Terri Simon Oct 12 '16 at 20:22
  • Added the operations guide (which is really what a runbook ends up being). – Heather J Oct 13 '16 at 11:40
  • By "runbook" do you mean a procedures manual (or maybe a cookbook)? "To start the database do: (17 steps here); if you are using Kerberos do (5 more steps); etc"? Something like that? – Monica Cellio Dec 13 '16 at 17:42

In the end, every technical document should contain whatever information the users need to get their jobs done. This takes precedence over any template or convention.

To the extent that there are standard templates for a technical document it is because it is often difficult to tell what information users need. If you can't get information on what your particular users need, you can fall back on a general template that you hope is based on experience with real users (though in many cases they are based on a bunch of people sitting in a room guessing).

A Runbook, however, is an internal document. You have direct access to the audience for your company's runbook and can directly observe the work they do. What your IT staff need in your organization may be significantly different from a standard template. You can base your runbook on what they actually need and use.


I don't have a good example for this either, but my suggestion is that requirements do not go into a Runbook/Operations manual, but that the use cases would make a lot of sense, as you would be tying the steps needed to complete a function to the use case that the user is trying to accomplish from a business or technical sense. The manual then becomes a set of directions tied to the problem the user is trying to solve or the business process they are trying to complete.

  • Thanks guys! After some discussion, we decided to not use the Runbook format (thank goodness!) – Heather J Nov 3 '16 at 14:29

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