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Minimum Viable Runbook: A Day Late & A Runbook Short

Will La October 27, 2015

DevOps Monitoring & Alerting


A little background…

In product development, the minimum viable product (MVP) is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk. The term was coined and defined by Frank Robinson, and popularized by Steve Blank, and Eric Ries. An MVP is not a minimal product - it is a strategy and process directed toward making and selling a product to customers. It is an iterative process of idea generation, prototyping, presentation, data collection, analysis and learning.


What is an MVR?

In IT Process development, the minimum viable runbook (MVR) is the runbook with the highest return on valuable information versus time spent creating it. It is a strategy and process directed toward making and implementing runbooks for your IT team. It is an iterative process of idea generation, prototyping, automation, presentation, information capturing, analysis and learning.

Why do you need a MVR?

  1. Your teams are busy. There is little value in carving out time to have a dedicated team member build runbooks, design processes and gather information from previous successes when you have 24x7 operations that need their attention.

  2. Incidents are inevitable, outages are unforeseeable, and frustration can quickly become an internal IT cultural norm. Thus, runbooks are important in providing your teams with contextual documents to support their efforts.


Other questions your MVR should help answer…

– How do we help these teams to be successful in this very important, but not urgent, task of creating runbooks? – How do we ensure that our teams are prepared for the next incident? – How do we ensure consistency in our recovery processes? – What actions are we taking to truly lower downtime?

Intrigued by the concept of  a MVR? Don’t worry, we have more resources planned for your education. In part 2 of this series, we’ll be telling you how to create a MVR of your very own!

[You can find all the resources to help you create a Minimum Viable Runbook in one place HERE.]

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