Runbook best practices

Runbooks are the key to process automation at FireHydrant.  They support execution of steps driven by sequencing or conditional logic.  

Runbook best practices

Do your homework

Runbooks are a powerful tool for ensuring process consistency and efficiency.  As you begin planning your runbook strategy, it helps to understand the details of the processes you are attempting to automate, such as under what conditions each step should trigger.  Consider the following sources as input:

  • Existing customer SLAs around incident management, including incident and maintenance window communications
  • Incident management playbooks, including role definition and communications protocols
  • Severity-based protocols and policies
  • Service, app, and team-specific protocols and policies

Keep it simple

Try to keep runbooks trim, generally single-purpose and descriptive, similar to writing a function in a programming language. These steps can make maintenance, diagnosing issues, and the upkeep of your runbooks simpler over the long run.

Conditions are key

Runbooks are additive, and any number of runbooks can be added to an incident to "compose" the desired response. In the example below, the default runbook can be set to Always attach and the severity-based runbooks can be set to only attach when the given severity is set. Similarly, the advanced runbooks can be set to conditionally attach based on services or functionality.

Note: Runbook conditions are only available to users on FireHydrant paid plans. For more information on plan options, please visit our pricing page.

Runbook organization

Outlined below is a common pattern we encourage to help customers get started. This structure should allow a high degree of flexibility while keeping things simple. As you use the tool, don’t feel beholden to continue to use these patterns, one of the best things about our tool is the ability to quickly test and deploy runbook changes.


Preview Your Runbook

It's simple to test your newly created runbook with the Test option, which spins up a test incident using your new runbook.


Get started

Now that you're ready to build your runbooks, have a look through our runbook recipes for recommendations on what to include in default, severity-based, and service-based runbooks.

Last updated on 2/9/2024