Playbooks Permissions

Get Started with Playbooks Permissions

The goal of Mattermost Playbooks is to help teams consistently orchestrate any and all recurring workflows. A Playbook is a prescribed, repeatable process that a team has agreed on and formalized as a collaborative checklist saved on their Mattermost server. We at Mattermost use Playbooks for incident collaboration, customer onboarding, and product releases, along with many other complex processes. Since having control of these workflows is important to ensure consistency and effectiveness, we’re excited to introduce the new permission schemes for Playbooks!

Control Your Workflows

Incident response teams thrive when robust, consistent processes are followed, but they often aren’t the only ones who care about an incident. We experienced this with our Sustained Engineering team’s incident playbook, a Private playbook with over 80 people tediously added one-by-one to manually control who can interact with the playbook. Stakeholders who aren’t directly involved in the incident can range from engineering and sales teams to senior management. Although incident response teams like our Sustained Engineering team might want other external stakeholders to be able to see their playbooks, they don’t necessarily want them making edits to the processes, checking off tasks out of order, or starting their own runs.

Feature development teams look for a reliable way throughout the development lifecycle to support consistent learnings and results. Within Mattermost, feature development teams use Feature Swimlane playbooks to orchestrate this workflow across uniquely complex features. We build our features publicly on our Contributors team, giving more visibility to any interested stakeholders, but giving up some control over the playbook to do so. While feature development teams may wish to keep interested parties in the loop, they still want to maintain control over who can manage or modify their playbooks. 

The Playbooks team’s Feature Swimlane playbook in action.

This doesn’t just apply to incident response or feature development. After talking to a variety of teams who use Playbooks for many unique processes, we learned that they all want to have access control on the processes they care about. From this, Playbooks’ new granular permission schemes were born.

Public and Private Playbooks

The new Playbooks permissions scheme works at a similar granularity as the Channels permissions by introducing Private and Public playbooks. Both Private and Public playbook permissions can be managed in the System Console, allowing per-team configurability.

In the case of our Sustained Engineering incident response team, they can now ensure that their playbook within the staff team can remain visible to all Mattermost staff, enabling all stakeholders to keep up-to-date, while restricting access to editing or running the playbook to only those within the incident response team.

Similarly, our feature development teams within Mattermost can now keep the community aligned with the features that we’re building by giving all Mattermost Contributors permission to view the feature swimlane playbooks. The new permissions schemes would limit running the playbook to Mattermost staff, and limit editing the playbook to the feature development team.

Having more control over recurring procedures has several benefits across all teams. Teams can focus on executing their workflows with reduced noise, decision-makers can ensure that the procedures they care about remain consistently effective, and system administrators can enjoy a familiar experience with granularity reflecting other permissions settings in the Mattermost suite.

Demo: New Playbooks Features

Try Playbooks Permissions Today

We’re excited to give teams more granular control of their playbooks. The new permission schemes will be available starting in Mattermost v6.3 for Enterprise customers. To make the most of the new permissions, descriptions of the updated granularity and recommendations for getting set up can be found in the permissions docs.

Learn more about Mattermost Playbooks and read the docs.

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Stephen Van Hemmen is a Product Management Intern at Mattermost. A Systems Design Engineering student at the University of Waterloo, he's eager to explore how technology can solve complex problems across a wide range of applications. Prior to joining Mattermost, Stephen discovered a passion for product management by facilitating software solutions in the fields of cybersecurity and wellness.

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