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  • A guide with best practices for transforming the employee service experience.
  • Modernizing government via ITSM
  • A research doc about government agencies’ digital transformation challenges.


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  • 2018 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise High-Productivity Application PaaS.


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  • Global employee service experience shows entire corporation how it’s done.


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  • Formal collaboration helps implement new technology safely and effectively.

Use project management practices

Treating your ServiceNow upgrade like any other formal IT project makes the time, resources, and cost of testing and remediation visible to everyone in the organization.

Key insights

  • Ensure you have the right resources at the right time to deliver a higher degree of success.
  • Communicate before, during, and after the upgrade to keep everyone in sync.

Approach your ServiceNow upgrades like you would any other important project. This includes applying smart project management concepts like getting sponsorship, identifying stakeholders, assessing risk, making time estimates, allocating resources, communicating, and more. Be sure to use a project management application to track and communicate your progress. The ServiceNow® Project Portfolio Management suite, which is included in ServiceNow IT Business Management, is a great choice, but other tools will also get the job done if you have not purchased IT Business Management.

Set project phases and timelines

Use the upgrade plan from the first section to draft your project phases and timelines based on available resources. Modify the project plan as necessary depending on the number of instances, depth of testing, and other factors that may impact your schedule.

Time estimate to complete: Two to 10 hours depending on how detailed your project plan becomes.

Allocate resources

In the past, we’ve had customers tell us that they underestimated the resources required to do an effective upgrade. But upon closer inspection, it wasn’t that they needed more resources—they needed people in different or additional roles.

When you identify who you need to participate beforehand, you can allocate them to your project plan and avoid surprises (also known as delays) in your project schedule. Consider including:

  • Project manager To manage the overall project
  • ServiceNow system administrator – To execute the clone requests, perform the upgrade, and manage the update sets.
  • ServiceNow developer To remediate any issues found and to use best practices to avoid future issues
  • Test plan managers or admins – To create and maintain the test plans
  • Tester(s) To carry out functional, UAT, and other tests
  • Governance, risk, and compliance staff To ensure controls are in place that satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements

Time estimate to complete: Two or more hours depending on your resource allocation process.

Expert Tip


Use a change management process to deliver stellar results. Customers who do deliver higher‑quality results. If you don’t have have one, create one using this free ITIL guide or use the ServiceNow Change Management application documentation.


Communication is key to any project, and upgrading is no exception! If you already have processes in place to effectively communicate changes, continue using them. If you don’t have a communication process, here are a few suggestions:

  • Notify your ServiceNow stakeholders of the upgrade process, schedule, and impact in advance, such as change records and email notifications. Gather their contact information in case you encounter issues.
  • Notify your biggest audience—the end users. Let them know what to expect and why they can look forward to the upgrade. Some customers get very creative on how they communicate with their end users. You might want to try:
    • Video “commercials” on a TV monitor in the break room
    • Upgrade parties themed after the upgrade name, like a Kingston party
    • Signs posted inside the elevator, bathroom stalls, or wherever you have a captive audience!

Time estimate to complete: An email communication takes about 30 minutes. More time is required for some of the creative ideas.

Tools and resources

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