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NOC Challenge Poor Documentation and Runbooks

The Problem

Failure to build runbooks, document workflow processes, create structured databases for storage and retrieval of information, and record business results for later analysis and optimization will severely impede the ability of a NOC to function well over the long term. Too often, services are added and changes are made without proper documentation. This limits the ability of the NOC to resolve an issue when it arises.

Poor documentation often stems from a lack of resources and the expertise required to map out processes and create work instructions and documents. Instead, key people simply “know what to do” and new staff learn by “seeing and doing” alongside an experienced mentor.

In addition, performance metrics that can be obtained from network and monitoring systems, ticketing systems and back office tools are often overlooked. These metrics are critical for analyzing performance, predicting failure and laying the groundwork for ongoing quality control and process improvement. Without an understanding of alarm activity, ticket activity, and common causes for outages and trends, management is limited to responses that are reactive and tactical, rather than proactive and strategic.

Beginning with the service catalog, it is necessary to document the tools and procedures needed to deliver NOC services successfully. Technical writers can often be invaluable in this process.

How We Solve It

Our NOC runbooks thoroughly document and guide you through operational support processes. You get all the information you need to make NOC service effective and efficient, whether we’re handling support for you, or you’re taking it on in-house.

Our runbooks lay out the critical inputs that drive NOC service and provide step-by-step procedures for handling them, whether it’s a phone call, email, or an event-based notification. Our runbooks also describe the outcomes of these actions, both successful and unsuccessful, with clear escalation paths to other levels of support. These paths can direct action internally or to external third parties. In short, we ensure everything is fully documented and presented for clear, consistent action.

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Contact us to see how we can help you improve your documentation and runbooks or download our white paper further down to learn about more common challenges—and solutions.

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Free White Paper Top 10 Challenges to Running a Successful NOC—and How to Solve Them

Download our free white paper and learn how to overcome the top challenges in running a successful NOC.