Templates in Cutover allow you to work more efficiently. With template workflow, you now have the ability to select a user to approve or reject templates that have been created after a set review period. With Cutover, you can ensure compliance and be notified of expired recovery plans. In this article, we'll cover the template workflow process in its entirety, as well as how to edit and manage templates with this workflow enabled.
Templates allow you to create runbooks based on settings you've previously defined, making your workflow more efficient. To learn more about creating runbook templates, refer to our Create a Template help center article.
Template workflow allows you to select a user to approve or reject templates that have been created after a set review period. While this workflow can be applied to any runbook type, the Recovery Plan runbook type includes the template workflow by default.
To make changes to a template or runbook in the template workflow and to submit templates for approval, you will need to have the Runbook Admin role type. You also have the ability to make other users an admin of the template too.
Submit a template for approval
Once you've created a template for your runbook, you can select a user to approve the template—be sure that the user is in the same workspace as the template requiring approval.
To select an approver, follow the steps below:
Create a runbook template.
Click Request approval in the template approval banner.
Select a user to approve the template.
Once you confirm, the user you've selected will be notified via email. A banner at the bottom of the screen will indicate that approval is pending—you can cancel your approval request at any time by clicking Cancel approval.
Approve or reject a template
When a template has been submitted for approval, an email will be sent to the user who was selected as the approver. The email subject will read, "Your review has been requested for [Template name]"
To approve or reject the template, click Open template in Cutover in the email and follow the steps below:
Click Approve/Reject in the review banner at the bottom of the screen.
Select either Approve or Reject.
Commenting: Leaving a comment is optional when approving a template. When a template is rejected, you will need to leave a comment.
Once a template has been approved or rejected, the approval status of the template will appear next to the template name, as indicated in the two examples below.
Additionally, the creator of the template will be notified via email of the template's approval or rejection.
A template that has previously been approved can be requested for re-approval. To note, requesting re-approval can be made in the event that you do not want to make changes to the currently approved version of a template but would rather have a teammate take a second look at the template.
This is because a template cannot be edited further once it has already been approved and becomes read-only. If the template is rejected after an approval request, you can create a new template with the necessary changes.
To request re-approval for a template, click the cog icon next to the template title > Request re-approval now. Next, select a user to review and approve the template.
Expiring and expired templates
When a template is approaching expiration, you will be notified of the upcoming expiration in order to review the template. Email notifications are sent to runbook admins 90, 60, 30, and 7 days before expiration.
Once a template has expired, email notifications are sent to runbook admins on the day of expiry, as well as 7, 14, and 30 days past expiration.
To note, a template that is approved or approved pending reapproval is checked for any upcoming expirations—runbook admins are notified accordingly. On the other hand, pending and rejected templates are not checked for upcoming expiration as they are deemed “out of policy” due to their status.
The default review cycle for templates is 12 months and begins the moment a template has been approved. For example, if a template was approved on January 3, 2023, it will be up for review on January 3, 2024.
To add this review cycle to other runbook types outside of the Recovery Plan, you will need to have the Workspace Manager role type. Click the Settings icon > Runbook Types.
Next, follow the steps below:
Select a runbook type.
Click Approval Flow in the Edit Type menu.
Select Single Review- 12 Months.
When creating and managing templates, email notifications will be sent during the following circumstances:
The selected approver will receive a notification when a template requires approval.
The template admin will receive notifications when a template has been rejected, approved, approaching expiration, or has expired.
Template Details menu
Once a template has been through the approval process, you are able to view more information about the template via the Template Details menu. To view, click the "i" icon on the right-hand side of the template.
In this menu, you are able to view the approval settings, next review date, display settings, and other details.
Template version history
When a new version of a template is created, the previous version becomes invalid. This means that you will no longer be able to edit a previous version of a template, and it can only be viewed in read mode. Though that is the case, it may be helpful to view previous versions of a template for reference purposes.
You may want to create a new version of a template in the following scenarios:
The current version of the template was rejected and needs to be amended before it is submitted for approval.
The current version of a template is approved but needs to be resubmitted for review (or needs to be amended before resubmission for review).
You are able to view the version history of a template at any time by clicking the cog icon next to the template title > View version history.
The Template Version History modal will appear, as illustrated below:
Click on a previous template version to view it in read-only mode. You can return to the current version of the template or create a new template by clicking the options available in the banner at the bottom of the screen:
Edit a template
All users of templates will need to create a new version of a template if edits need to be made after the template has already been approved. This is because approved templates cannot be edited once they have been approved, no matter if the template has been self-approved, approved through template workflow, or has no workflow assigned.
To create a new template version, click the cog icon next to the template title > Create new template version. A new template version will be created immediately after, deprecating the current template to a previous version.
When viewing a template’s version history, you are also able to view the template’s approval state as follows:
Awaiting Review: The template has been submitted for review and is awaiting approval.
Alternatively, a template can be marked as Awaiting Review if it is a draft and has yet to be submitted for review.
Approved: The template has been approved.
Approved - Pending Reapproval: The template has been submitted for re-approval after previously being approved and may be expiring soon.
Pending: An approval decision has not been made. Therefore, the template approval is pending.
Rejected: The template has not been approved.