Run a playbook

Available in Mattermost Free and Starter subscription plans. Available for Mattermost Cloud deployments. Available for Mattermost Self-Hosted deployments.

You can start a playbook run using the Toggle Playbook List icon in a channel header. Then, select the Run icon next to a playbook name. You will be assigned as the run owner, and taken to a new channel created for your run.

Lastly, if you’ve configured a broadcast channel and enabled it, when the playbook run is created it’s announced in the associated channel by the Playbook Bot.

View and track playbook information.

Join a playbook run

Open Playbooks to see a list of runs, to which you have access. If the channel is public, you can join it without permission.

If the run is private, an existing member must invite you to the corresponding channel.

Work with checklists

Checklists contain tasks - they can be pre-configured task templates and they can also be added, edited, and removed as needed during an active run. Any member of the playbook run can work with tasks. Note that if you edit, add, or delete a task during an active run it applies only to that run. The change isn’t applied to the playbook. If you decide to retain that change, edit the playbook’s checklist for use with subsequent runs.

If you aren’t able to open the checklists to see completed tasks, hover over any area of the checklist. Then in the top right corner, select the filter icon. Under the Task State section, select Show checked tasks.

  • To mark a task as completed, select the unchecked checkbox next to the task. To undo this, clear the checkbox.

  • To assign a task to a member of the incident channel, select No Assignee (or the existing assignee’s username), then select a user.

  • To view any description associated with a task, select the information icon to the right of the task name.

  • To execute a slash command associated with a task, select Run next to the listed slash command. Configured slash commands may be run as often as necessary.

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Change owners

To change playbook owners you can run the /playbook owner @username slash command from within the run’s channel. To change the owner to a user who is not in the channel, first add the user to the channel.

Status updates

Status updates ensure that stakeholders remain informed about the playbook run’s progress. To post a status update:

  1. Select Toggle Playbook List from the channel header.

  2. Open the run you want to update and select Go to channel.

  3. Select Post update.

  • If this is the first status update and the playbook has a defined template, that template will be pre-populated here.

  • If this is a subsequent status update, the message from the last status update will be pre-populated here.

  1. Select a status and add a Markdown-formatted message.

  2. Optionally set a reminder to prompt for the next status update.

  • If this is the first status update and the playbook has a defined default reminder timer, that timer will be pre-selected here.

  • If this is a subsequent status update, the last reminder timer will be pre-populated here.

  1. Select Post to post your status update.

  • Status updates are posted to the run channel as a message from the person posting it.

  • If the playbook has a defined broadcast channel, status updates are copied to the broadcast channel as a message from the Playbooks bot.

The most recent status post will also appear in the right-hand sidebar of the run channel. To correct or remove a status post, edit or delete the post as needed. Note that status updates that are broadcast to another channel won’t be updated or removed if the original post is edited or deleted.

End a playbook run

To end a playbook run, navigate to the run’s channel.

  1. Select Toggle Run Details in the channel header to open the right-hand sidebar.

  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

  3. Select Finish run and confirm.

  4. Next, complete the retrospective.

Ending a playbook run signals to all members of the channel that the playbook run is complete. Team members can continue to post in the channel but no changes can be made.

Slash commands

Slash commands are available for playbooks. The /playbook slash command allows interaction with incidents via the post textbox on desktop, browser, and mobile. To run a playbook use the /playbook start slash command from any channel.

Available slash commands include:

  • /playbook start - Start a playbook run.

  • /playbook end - End a playbook run.

  • /playbook update - Update the current playbook run’s status.

  • /playbook restart - Restart an ended playbook run.

  • /playbook check [checklist item] - Check/uncheck the specified task.

  • /playbook announce ~[channels] - Announce the current playbook run in other channels.

  • /playbook list - List all your ongoing playbook runs.

  • /playbook owner [@username] - Show or change the current playbook run owner.

  • /playbook info - Show a summary of the current playbook’s activities.