What is a Runbook: Create it Step by Step

What is a Runbook: Create it Step by Step

Runbooks are an essential tool for any organization that wants to streamline their operations and minimize downtime. They provide a comprehensive guide for completing complex tasks or processes, ensuring consistency and accuracy. With a well-crafted runbook, businesses can reduce the time it takes to complete tasks, increase efficiency, and reduce the risk of errors. The guidelines provided in this article will completely aid readers with the creation process of their runbook, so their team has access to clear instructions for completing any kind of workflow.

What is a runbook?

First of all, a runbook is a document that contains step-by-step instructions on how to perform a particular task or process. It can be used for anything from setting up a new server to troubleshooting a software issue.

Runbooks are an essential tool for organizations of all sizes, as they help to ensure that tasks and processes are completed properly and in an efficient way. In essence, a runbook serves as a kind of "playbook" that outlines the steps required to perform a particular task or process, from start to finish.

The content of a runbook can vary widely depending on the nature of the task or workflow in question. For instance, a runbook for a software application might include detailed instructions on how to install and configure the software, whereas for a customer service process it might include procedure for interacting with customers and addressing common concerns.

Regardless of its specific content, this particular manual should always be designed to provide precise and comprehensive directions that can be easily followed by anyone tasked with completing the relevant task or process. Furthermore, organizations can guarantee that their operations are streamlined and their employees have the necessary resources to perform their duties proficiently by establishing and preserving a carefully crafted runbook.It is necessary that you have knowledge in how to create a training manual on the operations to be performed.

Main features

Typically, a runbook includes the following features:

1. Clear and concise instructions

Straightforward procedures are perhaps the most critical feature of a runbook, as they ensure that users can easily understand the steps required to complete a task or process. By providing straightforward and unambiguous language, a runbook can help minimize confusion and reduce errors.

2. Detailed steps for completing tasks

Well-defined steps are, undoubtedly, another important feature of a runbook, as they provide a roadmap for completing a task or process from start to finish. These distinct playbooks are an effective way to simplify complex tasks by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps, allowing users to follow along with ease and ensuring that all necessary actions are taken.

3. Visual aids

Illustrations such as diagrams, flowcharts, or screenshots are extremely useful for specific instructions. These can help depict complex processes, make the protocols more accessible to employees, increase productivity and reduce the likelihood of errors.

4. Troubleshooting tips to resolve common issues

Troubleshooting tips are also a valuable addition to a runbook, as they can enable staff to resolve common issues that may arise while completing a task or process. A runbook can assist users in saving time and avoiding frustration by offering guidance on how to overcome obstacles or resolve issues.

5. Definitions of key terms or concepts

It may also include definitions of key terms or concepts that are relevant to the task or process in question. By clarifying any unfamiliar terminology, this operations technical manuals can help ensure that all users are on the same page and have a common understanding of what is required.

For organizations seeking to streamline their operations, a runbook that offers clear and concise instructions can be invaluable. The detailed steps and visual aids provide a step-by-step roadmap, whereas troubleshooting tips and definitions can guarantee that users can overcome challenges and comprehend complex concepts.


Using a runbook can provide a several number of benefits, including:

1. Consistency

Reliability and standardization in tasks and processes can be achieved throughout the corporation by providing a clear and consistent set of instructions with the help of runbooks.

2. Efficiency

These Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) can definitely assure that the time and effort required to perform certain tasks and processes is reduced thanks to its well-defined steps.

3. Reduced mistakes

Runbooks that offer detailed instructions and troubleshooting tips can help firms minimize the risks of errors and flaws during complex tasks or processes, enabling them to operate more efficiently and effectively. On the other hand, if you are interested into learning how to transform mistakes into valuable learning opportunities, you should not miss our article: Making Mistakes at Work: What to Do.

4. Knowledge management

Workflow documentation can provide a centralized location for knowledge management, making it easier to share information and best practices across the enterprise. I also recommend that you learn more about the best project management softwares.

Tips for writing the best runbook

1. Defining the scope

It is extremely relevant that the runbook is clear about what it covers and what it does not cover. This will help ensure that everyone understands the purpose of the runbook and what tasks or processes it is intended to cover.

2. Identifying the steps

Ensuring that the instructions are clear and concise can be achieved by distinctly identifying the steps necessary to complete a task or process.

3. Organizing the steps

The logical and easy-to-follow organization of steps can totally contribute for the instructions to be easy to understand and follow.

4. Including visuals

As aforementioned, visual aids such as screenshots or infographics can help clarify the instructions and make them easier to follow.

5. Reviewing and editing

It should not be forgotten to carefully review the runbook to ensure accuracy and up-to-date information. Any necessary edits or revisions should be made to ascertain that the guidelines are unambiguous and easy to understand.

6. Including troubleshooting tips

To avoid delays or errors, it is recommended to anticipate common issues or errors that may arise during the task or process and provide troubleshooting tips and guidance accordingly.

7. Being specific

Specific protocols with concise language can aid in a clear understanding of the expectations during the task or process.

8. Getting feedback

Naturally, feedback from those with prior experience with the task or process can aid in the development of more accurate and useful instructions.

9. Obtain approval

Prior to being implemented, it is important that the runbook undergoes a thorough review and approval process by relevant stakeholders to secure the accuracy and completeness of the instructions.

10. Maintain the runbook

Regularly reviewing and updating the runbook can help maintain its accuracy and usefulness as a tool for the organization.

Extra tip: Write it automatically

While creating a runbook manually can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, there is a way to automate the process and save yourself some valuable time. Uphint is a solution tool that creates step by step guide template of any process that you perform on your computer, making it an excellent solution for creating a comprehensive runbook quickly and easily.

Uphint works by tracking every mouse click and keystroke that you do on your computer and turning that data into an easy-to-follow screenshot guide. Once the guide is complete, you can edit it and even export it as a PDF or share with team members and stakeholders. Besides, you can embed it to your favorite tools such as ClickUp or Notion or turn it into an HTML code.If you do not know how to write a how to guide you must read the article.

How to do it? Very easily!

a. Sign in to Uphint.

b. Create a new guide by executing the workflow that you desire to document.

c. After generating it, edit it as you like! Add extra steps, write text into the screenshot, blur the confidential information, and much more!

d. Once your tutorial is done, as previously mentioned, you can share it with whoever you want to! And that is it! You just have saved 93% of your precious time with Uphint.

By using Uphint to create a runbook, you can streamline the process and ensure that your documentation is comprehensive and accurate. With its user-friendly interface and automatic recording capabilities, Uphint is an excellent tool for any organization looking to create a runbook quickly and easily.

Finally, in case you want to learn more about documenting internal workflows, you may be interested in our article "What is Internal Documentation: Create it Automatically".


To conclude, a meticulously prepared runbook is an indispensable asset to any organization that values consistency, efficiency, and accuracy. By following the step-by-step guidelines provided in this article, users will be able to create a comprehensive runbook that provides their team with clear and concise instructions, visuals, and troubleshooting tips. This will completely help reduce errors, improve productivity, and ensure that operations in organizations run smoothly.

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