In this article, we'll cover the different modes of a runbook and the options available to you once you have created your runbook and are ready to execute it
Before executing your runbook, the pill label located on the right-hand side of your runbook name (as shown in the images below) indicates what mode your runbook is in:
There are three different runbook types:
Planning means the runbook creation, planning, and editing is taking place currently by the administrator.
Rehearsal can be executed as many times as you wish. This helps administrators identify any changes needed prior to the live event and enables all participants to familiarize themselves with the runbook.
Live mode puts the runbook in live execution, which means you can no longer change any task details once the task has been completed.
Start a run
Once planning is complete and the runbook is ready to start, a runbook administrator can initiate the runbook using the Play icon located on the top right of the runbook.
A pop up window then requires the user to set the parameters for the run.
A warning box highlights any issues with the completeness of the plan, at which point the run can be cancelled in order to correct the errors if required. You are also required to define the type of run you wish to execute; Rehearsal or Live.
Communication settings can also be turned on or off for the sending of email and SMS messages on runbook start, end or pause. If Test is selected, the messages are sent to the runbook admins only.
If the current time for starting the run is different to the planned start time, the runbook can be re-baselined, displaying the start time as the current time. Re-baselining, however does not change tasks that have a Fixed Start time defined.
Features during a run
Once a run has started, an icon appears at the top of the runbook, and the play button changes to a pause button. The timer starts, and if any forecast deviation from the planned completion time exists, this will be shown in brackets.
Any tasks that are startable will have a visible play icon within the task. This will be greyed out unless the user has permission to start and complete the task, in which case it will be blue.
Once a task has started, the icon changes to a dashed tick to show the task is in progress. At the point a task starts, its actual start time is captured, and the start times of subsequent tasks are re-forecast. An in-progress task can be selected to complete the task.
Once completed, a bold tick is shown, and at the point of completion, the actual completion time is captured, and the start times of subsequent tasks are re-forecast. Any subsequent tasks then become startable.
A runbook administrator can override users to start and complete tasks if required.
Pause or cancel a run
When a run has begun, the play button changes to a pause button enabling the user to pause or cancel a run, should the need arise to adjust any part of the plan during a run. A message will display to give the option to either pause or cancel the run.
When a run is paused, it returns to planning mode, completed tasks are locked and the timings are retained. Any tasks that have not yet been run can be edited and new tasks added to the runbook as required.
When a run is paused, the pause button changes back to a play button ready for when the user wants to resume the run. The run can be resumed at any point by selecting this icon.
A message will display to prompt the user to confirm and then the runbook is returned to Run mode. Users can be notified if communications have been set to ON or TEST.
When a runbook is canceled, a red notification appears at the bottom of the runbook. Should the user want to use the runbook again, they must duplicate the runbook.
Complete a run
If the run is a Live run, once all the tasks in a runbook are complete, the runbook status indicator shows complete, and a blue notification appears at the bottom of the window notifying the user of completion.
If the run is a Rehearsal, once all the tasks in a runbook are complete, a grey notification appears at the bottom of the window notifying the user of completion.
A runbook admin has the ability to skip a task that is no longer required, even when it is in progress or has not yet started. This action can also be performed as a bulk action.
The admin will be required to enter a comment as part of this action.
This comment will then appear against the relevant task in the task listing. This icon, however, is only made visible to runbook admins.
In the task listing, the task is marked as skipped and any subsequent tasks are able to start.