Emergency Change Playbook



Start Here

The Emergency Change Playbook uses the xMatters communications platform to simulate toolchain integrations. This allows administrators and developers to quickly get a feel for the power of xMatters without spending the time to deploy 3 or more integrations. 

This is one of a series. The others are:

This playbook will simulate the generation of a new Emergency Change Request from your favorite IT Service Management application (for a full list of our ITSM integrations, check here!). This emergency request will be to apply a patch to resolve a major incident. The response options on the notification allow for the usual Approve and Reject, but what if you need more information before making a decision? Then starting a conference bridge might not be a bad idea to quickly and easily get some collaboration going. Using the Inform Stakeholders response option, you could update the stakeholders and executives with some detailed information. 


Navigate to the Developer tab and click the Import Plan button. 


Navigate to the Integration Builder and expand the Inbound Integrations:


... and click on "Inbound for Conference Bridge", scroll down and copy the URL. 



Click the breadcrumbs to go back to the Integration Builder and click Edit Constants. Select the "Conference Bridge Endpoint" and paste in the path (or the full url, either will work) and click Save. Repeat for "Inbound for Inform Stakeholders" and "Inform Stakeholders Endpoint".



Following the Playbook

Think of the playbook as a Choose Your Own Adventure, where you start at point A, but then get a choice to go to point B, C, or D. Or even all of the above! This allows you to quickly experience all the sweet toolchaining xMatters has to offer without touching any production (or non-production) systems. Of course if you want to dive right in and experience all the magic in your environments, head over to the integrations page to get started!

Navigate to the Messaging tab and in the Emergency Change Playbook, make sure you're on the Emergency Change Request form. Default information has been entered for you, except for the recipient. Enter your username into the recipient box and click on the user entry. Once you are satisfied, click the Send Message button. 

 All enabled devices will be targeted with the notification content appropriate for that device. The response options are all the same and do all the same actions across each device type. 

Here is what the notifications will look like on the various devices:






We'll discuss each response and what it does individually

Start Conference Bridge

Does a voice to voice collaboration fit the style of your team? Or do upper management types like to drop in to get updates and don't bother to read email? This is a good one for you then. This will actually generate an xMatters hosted conference bridge and invite the responder, guess who? you!, to the bridge with a follow up phone call. For this particular playbook we aren't inviting anyone else so you will just hear music.

The form that launches this bridge is enabled for the Web and Mobile UI, so if you'd like to try it out with your teammates, check out the section below

Inform Stakeholders

Would your upper management types or other interested parties rather just get passive updates, this is the go-to response option. When selecting this from a mobile device or email, make sure to enter some comments as entering the comments is what kicks off the event with the updates you enter.

The response has been sent, but the comments still need to be entered and submitted:


Here is another look on mobile:


These comments, turned update, will be included in the outgoing notification, in this case, to the responder, but in a real life scenario can be targeted to a group or users. Alternatively, a subscription panel could be created to allow for users to decide what criteria they'd like to be updated on. 

Approve & Reject

These are the "normal" change request response options and they would simulate approving or rejecting a change from your device. After selecting one of these, xMatters would reach out to the integrated Change ticketing system and make the approve or reject request. For this playbook, no further action is taken and no further responses will be allowed. The idea is you've completed any collaboration or informing and you've decided to take action.  



Troubleshooting tips

I didn't receive any notifications

Uh oh! That's not good. First, check the Reports tab to make sure the event was created. If the event was created, then you'll see a nice happy entry in there, like so:

Clicking on the link will display a dashboard breaking down the recipients:

.. and clicking on each one will show more information. Make sure there are no errors and that the Delivered shows at least 1. 


I didn't receive an email/phone call/SMS/push notification

Ok, so you got the notification on some devices, but not all the ones you expected. First, check out your devices by clicking the profile icon in the upper right and select Devices. 

Well, here's a problem, I have a 10004 minute delay after my email! Yea, that's not going to work:


If the delays are in good order, click on the Options drop down for each and make sure the device is enabled and the schedule is as expected:


You can also see pertinent information in the Event Tracking Report on the Reports tab. This will show any system errors encountered delivering to the device. 



Choosing a response didn't send me another notification

Well, so not ALL of the responses will send a notification. The Approve, Reject, Escalate and End response options won't trigger an additional notification. Further, the Inform Stakeholders only fires after you enter comments in the dialog box or the text field in the mobile app. 

Outside of those, you should have received a new notification. So we might need to do a little more digging. First, review the Setup section and make sure the constants are set properly. If those look ok, we'll have to dig even deeper. 

Head over to the Developer tab and click Edit > Integration Builder next to the MIM Playbook Comm Plan.


Then, expand the Outbound integrations and click the gear icon next to the response option you chose and click the Activity Stream.

If it is blank and logging is turned off, then flip the slider and try your response option again, otherwise inspect for any errors. 

If you're still not sure, reply in the comments below or open up a ticket with our cheerful support peeps. 


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