Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor should any smart ServiceNow configuration

17 October 2018

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” Abraham Lincoln

Despite the numerous well known quotes and proverbs, many firms, across all industries, rush in to set up a system to find the end result is far removed from what they initially set out to achieve. ServiceNow is a fully functioning, multi-faceted platform which has been well-built so that users can configure it themselves and have better control over service delivery capabilities for years to come. It’s a great strategy so that long-term, firms can continuously adjust in response to changing needs and requirements. But in the early stages, organisations must not be short-sighted and assume that as soon as they have purchased the license they can start configuring and implementing change immediately.

Rome was not built in a day and nor should any wholesale platform which is designed to enable smarter organisational collaboration capabilities.

Once you have committed to ServiceNow, the first steps are to:

  • Understand what outcomes are needed to support the organisation.
  • Stakeholders buy in across the business is essential – they must be fully engaged in the set up process and their requirements need to be documented and understood from the outset.
  • Host whiteboard sessions and workshops to capture the requirements systematically.
  • Establish a continual review policy.
  • Implement professional project management and governance, including ownership with defined roles and responsibilities.

The actual ServiceNow platform is not important at this stage! It’s all about defining what it needs to deliver.

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Even so, we continue to see a disjointed approach in the way organisations address this increasingly important business critical function. Just because you can go into the development instance and start to configure for new functionality, doesn’t mean that you should approach the work any differently to how you would a formal project. Many who will read this will identify with the challenges this represents and will be able to provide additional insights. For me, one of the major issues is the lengthy procurement cycles which result in many firms becoming time pressured to deliver something, which ultimately may end up not being fit for purpose.

The impact of rushing this first stage will be costly and not only cause issues to the instances and the functionality already in use but they will suffer lengthy implementation times, extended scope and again most importantly – not gaining what they originally set out to achieve. Of course, the administration and development team should all have basic level ServiceNow/Development knowledge, ideally, they will have attended the ServiceNow administration courses, and hopefully passed the certification exams. The new administrators and developers need time to learn from, and be supported by the existing ones while they build out their skills and knowledge, until such time as they, and those around them, have complete confidence in their ability to deliver. As with all things the planning and preparation is important, getting it right at the outset makes for a smoother delivery and an easier life. – It’s ServiceNow, but smarter!

The firms who really gain maximum efficiencies and fully optimise the power of ServiceNow are the ones who invest in expert resources and allow adequate time to ensure the platform is configured to support the precise needs of the business. At every step of the process ask yourself the same question – what does success look like and are you still on the right path to achieve that goal?

Anyone can configure ServiceNow but not everyone has the experience and foresight to execute it in order to gain maximum ROI for years to come.

“Patience you must have my young Padawan” Master Yoda