The operating manual for a software product, SaaS web application or app contains all relevant information and procedures to install, maintain and support it.
An operating manual contains all necessary information and tasks to operate and manage a product or object. For software products, the operating manual is mostly relevant for IT operations to install, integrate, manage and upgrade the product.
Operating Manual is mostly used in relation for a product, device or other “thing.” It describes how to set up, use, maintain and interact with this item.
Operation Manual and Operations Manual are used to document how to operate a company or organization. It contains business processes and standard operating procedure (SOP) and departments. Employees are described with role, job description and specific position along their activities and responsibilities.
The System Administration Guide normally describes the duties and practices to maintain a (software) system and is written for a system administrator (also known as sysadmin or admin). It is similar to System Manual or Operating Manual, but might only contain IT-related content.
The System Manual describes – according to LawInsider Dictionary – the operative and instruction guide supplied to Buyer by Seller with the shipment of the System. So it is similar to the Operating Manual, with focus on technology and equipment.
The difference between a user manual and a operating manual is the audience of the document:
An operating manual or system manual should contain all relevant information, features, knowledge, procedures and task to install, update, maintain and remove the product or software. It should also describe the main tasks and solutions to typical problems or questions in detail for the involved stakeholder.
For a software product, business-related app or SaaS/web application, the following topics and procedure might be relevant and should be included in the documents:
The information is relevant for the IT department to stay in compliance with the vendors procedures. It might also contain additional regulatory and privacy related rules and requirements. At the end, the CIO or Operations manager of the customers organization is part of the purchaser team – and a great system manual will be very helpful during the sales process.
The Swiss project management method HERMES is not known outside of the small European country. It contains a specific item “Operating manual” (German: Betriebshandbuch) that describes how to operate and integrate an (IT) product into the organization.
It also contains a free template as Word doc file that can be converted to an operation manual pdf file.
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