Writing IT SOPs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shreelekha Singh
April 4, 2023
min read
March 15, 2024
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Learn how to write effective IT SOPs with our step-by-step guide & template. Maximize efficiency, reduce errors, and improve compliance. Start optimizing your IT processes!
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Let me set the stage for you. You have dozens of IT processes to document for your team, and you’re falling behind the original deadlines every day. Creating SOPs takes time and effort; we get it. 

But to make matters worse, the few SOPs you rolled out so far are collecting dust (virtually) in some corner of a Google Drive folder because nobody uses them. They’re jargon-heavy, painstakingly lengthy, and challenging to locate. 

All your efforts seem pointless at this point. You’re ready to call it quits and shut down your documentation campaign.  

But we have the silver bullet to make documentation more seamless than ever—no exaggeration. 

Read our quick and easy guide on designing IT SOPs and stick with us till the end to find the easiest solution for creating intuitive how-to guides and standard operating procedures in minutes. 

Automate IT SOP creation for free ➜


  • IT SOPs are step-by-step instructions for IT processes in an organization.
  • They maximize efficiency, ensure compliance and maintain continuity in the team.
  • SOPs improve efficiency, streamline employee training and drive consistency in outputs.
  • Tips for building effective IT SOPs include creating a list of processes, choosing the right format, and establishing a review process.
  • Scribe's intuitive AI-powered documentation tool simplifies the process of creating IT SOPs.

Wh‎at are IT SOPs? 

An IT standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step process instructions explaining a repeatable process or task related to the IT system in an organization. These SOPs specifically cover performing an action or completing a task within the IT infrastructure. 

IT SOPs record all the information employees need to implement routine processes. By documenting these processes, you can maximize efficiency and reduce the scope of error within your team. Not just that, IT SOPs can help you achieve higher quality benchmarks.


Wh‎at is an example of an IT SOP?

Here are some examples of common IT SOPs:

  • Password resets.
  • New user account creation.
  • Software installation procedure.
  • System backup and restore procedures.
  • Incident response procedures.
  • Security patch management.
  • Virus and malware removal.
  • Network troubleshooting procedures.
  • Hardware troubleshooting procedures.
  • Data security procedures.
  • Data loss prevention procedures.
  • Disaster recovery procedures.

Here's an example of an IT Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Template:

Scribe's free IT SOP Template

‎IT SOPs can be used to document a wide range of tasks, such as:

  • Installing and configuring software.
  • Troubleshooting hardware and network problems.
  • Managing user accounts and permissions.
  • Performing backups and restores.
  • Implementing security measures.
  • Responding to incidents.

Create AI-powered SOPs in seconds with Scribe ➜

The fastest way to create IT SOPs - Scribe

‎5 ‎steps for building effective IT SOPs

  1. Develop a list of IT processes that need SOPs
  2. Decide where you’ll publish the SOPs
  3. Choose a format and design a template 
  4. Write the content and fine-tune your SOP
  5. Establish a process for review, editing & approval 

One thing is clear: well-documented IT SOPs can be a massive differentiator for your business and get the best out of your team. So, let’s look at five actionable best practices to tackle your pain points and make documentation a breeze. 

1. Develop a list of processes that need SOPs

First order of business: create a list of all the processes you want to document. Think of this step as preparing the itinerary for a trip—you’ll be lost without it and won’t have as much fun. 

Here are a few common IT processes you can turn into standard operating procedures:

  • Security: Document your policies, controls, and procedures for maintaining your IT infrastructure’s security. These SOPs will cover access controls, data protection, incident response, and security incident reporting. You can also create runbooks for handling security threats or network issues.
  • Network operations: Outline the exact processes for maintaining and managing the company’s primary network. These SOPs will cover network monitoring, network troubleshooting, and network configuration management tasks.
  • Change management: Lay down the change management processes for managing changes and upgrades in your IT systems. This will mainly include change request procedures, approval, and implementation procedures.
  • Backup and recovery: Explain the steps and protocols for backing up and restoring data in case of an outage or disruption. These SOPs will convey the data backup, storage, and recovery instructions, including backup schedules, backup testing, and disaster recovery procedures.
  • Incident management: Define the processes for detecting and resolving incidents in your infrastructure. Create SOPs to follow a standard incident reporting, escalation, and communication approach.


2. Decide where you’ll publish the SOP

Most people create a Google Doc and call it a day. The result? Your SOPs get lost among tens of other documents and never see the light of day. 

How you present your SOPs can make a huge difference in adoption rates. If the end-users find your SOPs boring and hard to comprehend, you must rethink how you give this information. 

Wondering if there’s an IT documentation software that can help you design user-friendly and intuitive documents? The good news: there is

Capture any process for your IT SOPs

Scribe is an intuitive documentation tool designed to simplify your process documentation. You can generate SOPs with annotated screenshots, text, videos, and more in a few minutes. Customize the entire document, share it with a link, embed it on a website—the possibilities are endless. 

Not convinced how Scribe can help your documentation efforts? Here’s what user Jack Herrington says about Scribe’s functionality to create developer documentation:

‎Try Scribe's ‎‎ChatGPT SOP generator for free to get started!

3. Choose a format and design a template 

SOPs come in various shapes and forms. A surefire way to accelerate your documentation process is determining the ideal format for your SOPs and creating a template for it. 

You can choose from these three common SOP formats:

You can create templates for each format or design one for the most preferred format. In either case, a template will give you a pre-made structure to begin every SOP and save time spent on creating a good layout. 

Here's an IT SOP template that you can use today.

‎And other IT documentation templates designed on Scribe can help you start right away:

4. Write the content and fine-tune your SOP

An SOP fulfills many purposes—training new employees, acting as a job aid, preventing errors, transferring knowledge, etc. With so much at stake, it’s essential that the information in an SOP has to be as accurate and reliable as possible. 

The most important step of creating a meaningful SOP is collecting insights from subject matter experts to source correct insights for any process. If you’re not the expert yourself, interview the right people and collect their input before writing your draft. 

Once you’ve done this legwork, create a new Scribe and record your screen performing the task to create a written guide in less than 2 minutes.

‎Review this guide for errors and edit the steps wherever necessary. You can also add more steps and visuals to present information nicely. 

Here's a Scribe in action created by Tyler Harz on how to see commit history in GitHub:

5. Establish a process for review, editing & approval 

While most teams will take care of all the above tips, they drop the ball when it comes to reviewing, editing and approval. You're leaving room for error without a solid workflow to complete the final check. 

So, define a standard process to review your SOPs, preferably by SMEs, and establish fixed timelines for the edits. You can also create a schedule to track performance, collect feedback, and update SOPs. It is important to ensure your documents continue to serve the purpose they were created and guide your team well. 

Wh‎y do you need IT SOPs?

If documentation feels tedious and never-ending to you, you’re not alone. With so much on your plate already, making SOPs naturally takes a backseat at the slightest hurdle. But stalling your documentation efforts comes with a price. 

Here’s everything you’re missing out on without good IT documentation:

1. Better compliance

IT teams consider compliance a do-or-die mission. Violating any regulations or legal requirements is a ticking bomb waiting to damage your operations. 

SOPs empower teams to maximize compliance by clarifying different checks and audits to conduct. They also inform employees about necessary regulations and reiterate the importance of complying with these rules. 

📌 ‎Related resource: IT Operations Management: Maximize Operational Efficiency

2. Maintain continuity

A common pain point for almost every successful IT team is the centralization of knowledge with critical talent. What happens if a senior engineer leaves the team tomorrow? Mayhem

That’s a crucial reason for transferring all their knowledge into SOPs that help your team function smoothly even when key members leave. With an SOP library in place, you’re protecting your business against turnover crises, sudden layoffs, and long-term absences. 

3. High degree of efficiency

A well-known benefit of creating SOPs is the boost in efficiency among teams. Since IT teams rely heavily on collective contributions rather than individual efforts, building operational efficiency can be challenging, especially if your team includes many rookies, new hires or remote workers. 

This is where SOPs can turn things around by giving your team just-in-time information for any task or process. SOPs empower process optimization, knowledge transfer and operational improvement for reliable outcomes.

4. Seamless employee training

High-growth companies are always onboarding new talent. But training these employees can be a huge headache. Employee training takes up a lot of time from your existing team’s schedule, leading to project delays. 

Instead of going through this hassle of onboarding every new hire, SOPs can streamline training without disturbing your team’s schedule. 

5. Greater consistency in outputs

Have you ever felt that your IT could produce better outputs at a higher quality if employees were more consistent? Probably at some point. 

SOPs can streamline the work for every member of your team to drive consistency in outputs. This means you can say goodbye to discrepancies and errors in your overall work.

‎De‎sign & deliver IT SOPs effortlessly with Scribe 

That’s a wrap on our quick guide on creating IT SOPs. Without a good process and platform to design SOPs, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’ll likely create long documents filled with technical blabber that nobody wants to read. 

Don’t be that person. Give all stakeholders a clear insight into your processes and prepare your IT team to achieve operational excellence with Scribe. Create IT SOPs in a few minutes and document processes effortlessly. Try Scribe today to see the difference yourself!

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