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Build foundational management capabilities


  • Ensure your implementation roadmap includes developing management capabilities that get you the most from your Now Platform.

Developing success domains that align people, process, and technology can maximize the value you get from your Now Platform implementation. Figure 8 shows the management capabilities that should be developed in each success domain.

Figure 8: ServiceNow Pillars of Success

Vision and Defined Business Outcomes

Executive sponsors and platform owners should define a clear vision and plan of action for transforming services based on the Now Platform. This vision should be tied to a clear statement of enterprise value and articulated to stakeholders with an outline of actions and milestones.

How to build vision and strategy upfront

Sponsorship and Governance

Executive sponsors and platform owners should, from the outset of implementation, define clear and efficient policies and decision‑making authorities for the Now Platform. These should include definitions of standards for usage, development, and customization. They should also be communicated clearly across the organization and accompanied by a process to regularly review policies, authorities, and standards for business value.

Failure to implement this structure can result in unwanted technical and business risk. Poor governance can also contribute to poor user experience, hindering adoption.

How to build sponsorship and governance upfront

Process Innovation

The processes and workflows you configure in the Now Platform should be clear and well understood, and they should have assigned owners. Make sure your executive sponsors and platform owners build expertise and incentives to help improve process maturity and capture new opportunities for automation.

Having a clear grasp of your existing and desired processes before implementation is vital to avoiding Now Platform configuration errors. Especially as the Now Platform capabilities evolve, you’ll need process improvement oversight to spot, implement, and realize value from the opportunities that automation offers.

How to build process innovation upfront

Organizational Adoption

Make user experience for service consumers, developers, and fulfillers central to your service strategy and Now Platform implementation. Develop clear, prioritized service experience requirements and support adoption with training as well as organizational change management.

Organizations often under‑invest in experience. Don’t fall into this trap—experience can strongly influence adoption and, consequently, the success or failure of your Now Platform implementation. Initial business cases and project plans should prioritize this investment, even if it requires tradeoffs in other areas.

How to build organizational adoption upfront

Foundational Technology Architecture

Prior to deployment, help technology teams understand the Now Platform implementation, security, and performance requirements. Accompany implementation with architectural guidelines and management policies that optimize performance, as well as data modeling and management capabilities that support Now Platform reporting. Guide development with a well‑defined and consistent solution delivery lifecycle (SDLC) model to encourage platform capability growth. Doing these things can foster delivery of a scalable, extensible platform for enterprise service management within IT and across the enterprise.

How to build technology and data management upfront

Maturing these areas is an ongoing activity. Some activities are prerequisites. You can develop others in parallel with your Now Platform implementation and mature as platform use increases. Table 3 separates the recommended activities into a prerequisite phase, a phase that should run in parallel with the initial implementation, and a phase that runs in parallel with Now Platform growth and expansion.

How to build service vision and strategy upfront
  1. Define an enterprise-wide vision for service transformation that cascades into a strategy with measurable objectives and defines an initial set of services with clear value-for-cost outcomes.
  2. Communicate the vision for service transformation in business-friendly language, and connect this vision to your business stakeholders’ perceptions of value.
  3. Use IT and business capability roadmaps to provide clear guidance on where and how to sequence Now Platform implementation to realize service strategy objectives.
How to build governance upfront
  1. Define governance roles, responsibilities, and authorities, and ensure that roles are staffed by individuals with the skills to make decisions regarding Now Platform standards and management. This should include publishing a RACI that’s inclusive of all governance roles to identify any potential conflicts or points of redundancy.
  2. Define, document, and communicate governance policies and processes.
  3. Develop a business engagement model to promote effective demand management and help make critical risk/value tradeoff decisions.
  4. Establish a common framework to evaluate and prioritize demands for Now Platform capabilities (including customization).
  5. Define and track key metrics that align to value realization from Now Platform capabilities.

When you take these steps, look beyond technical governance. An effective governance operating model includes oversight of Now Platform alignment with enterprise service management strategy, oversight of the ideation-to-demand pipeline, and data governance, in addition to governance of the platform itself. A failure to appreciate these needs—and the roles required to support them—can limit your ability to realize value quickly from the Now Platform.

How to build process and automation upfront
  1. Establish a standard framework or method for defining processes and process improvement targets.
  2. Assign process owners with formally defined responsibilities and authorities for process definition and improvement.
  3. Use process mapping and capability maps to identify automation opportunities.
How to build service experience upfront
  1. Establish a standard method for defining user experience requirements for service consumers, developers, and fulfillers. Prioritize these requirements appropriately in implementation.
  2. Build targeted organizational change management plans and communications based on an analysis of the change impact that implementation will have on service consumers, developers, and fulfillers.
  3. Establish and resource a program to train users on the Now Platform.
  4. Identify and provide support to adoption champions who can influence peers.
How to build technology and data management upfront
  1. Establish a standard method for defining and prioritizing technology, integration, and data requirements that reflect value and level of effort.
  2. Define and communicate architectural guidelines (or a reference architecture) for technology, data, and integration.
  3. Define and communicate clear, specific SLAs for Now Platform performance, operations, and security.
  4. Define and communicate standards and processes for data modeling, quality, and lifecycle management.
  5. Establish and promote a consistent SDLC model for Now Platform development.
How to build service vision and strategy upfront
  1. Define an enterprise-wide vision for service transformation that cascades into a strategy with measurable objectives and defines an initial set of services with clear value-for-cost outcomes.
  2. Communicate the vision for service transformation in business-friendly language, and connect this vision to your business stakeholders’ perceptions of value.
  3. Use IT and business capability roadmaps to provide clear guidance on where and how to sequence Now Platform implementation to realize service strategy objectives.
How to build governance upfront
  1. Define governance roles, responsibilities, and authorities, and ensure that roles are staffed by individuals with the skills to make decisions regarding Now Platform standards and management. This should include publishing a RACI that’s inclusive of all governance roles to identify any potential conflicts or points of redundancy.
  2. Define, document, and communicate governance policies and processes.
  3. Develop a business engagement model to promote effective demand management and help make critical risk/value tradeoff decisions.
  4. Establish a common framework to evaluate and prioritize demands for Now Platform capabilities (including customization).
  5. Define and track key metrics that align to value realization from Now Platform capabilities.

When you take these steps, look beyond technical governance. An effective governance operating model includes oversight of Now Platform alignment with enterprise service management strategy, oversight of the ideation-to-demand pipeline, and data governance, in addition to governance of the platform itself. A failure to appreciate these needs—and the roles required to support them—can limit your ability to realize value quickly from the Now Platform.

How to build process and automation upfront
  1. Establish a standard framework or method for defining processes and process improvement targets.
  2. Assign process owners with formally defined responsibilities and authorities for process definition and improvement.
  3. Use process mapping and capability maps to identify automation opportunities.
How to build service experience upfront
  1. Establish a standard method for defining user experience requirements for service consumers, developers, and fulfillers. Prioritize these requirements appropriately in implementation.
  2. Build targeted organizational change management plans and communications based on an analysis of the change impact that implementation will have on service consumers, developers, and fulfillers.
  3. Establish and resource a program to train users on the Now Platform.
  4. Identify and provide support to adoption champions who can influence peers.
How to build technology and data management upfront
  1. Establish a standard method for defining and prioritizing technology, integration, and data requirements that reflect value and level of effort.
  2. Define and communicate architectural guidelines (or a reference architecture) for technology, data, and integration.
  3. Define and communicate clear, specific SLAs for Now Platform performance, operations, and security.
  4. Define and communicate standards and processes for data modeling, quality, and lifecycle management.
  5. Establish and promote a consistent SDLC model for Now Platform development.

Implementation phase

Recommended success domain activities

Plan

  • Define an enterprise-wide vision for your services, and cascade your vision into a service strategy with measurable outcomes.
  • Use IT and business capability roadmaps to provide clear guidance on where and how to sequence Now Platform implementation to realize service strategy objectives.
  • Use process mapping and capability maps to identify automation opportunities.
  • Establish an architectural review board to define guidelines and standards for implementation.
  • Define and communicate architectural guidelines (or a reference architecture) for technology, data, and integration for ServiceNow.
  • Define the scope of CMDB required to support ServiceNow implementation.

Deploy

  • Communicate the vision for service transformation in business-friendly language, and connect this vision to your business stakeholders’ perceptions of value.
  • Define an initial set of services with clear value-for-cost outcomes.
  • Define governance roles, responsibilities, and authorities, and ensure that roles are staffed by individuals with the skills to make decisions regarding Now Platform standards and management.
  • Establish a configuration control board to oversee CMDB population and maintenance.
  • Define, document, and communicate governance policies and processes.
  • Define and track key metrics that align with value realization from Now Platform capabilities.
  • Establish a standard framework or method for defining processes, and process improvement targets.
  • Assign process owners with formally defined responsibilities and authorities for process definition and improvement.
  • Establish a standard method for defining user experience requirements for service consumers, developers, and fulfillers; prioritize these requirements appropriately in implementation.
  • Build targeted organizational change management plans and communications based on an analysis of the change impact that implementation will have on service consumers, developers, and fulfillers.
  • Establish a resource a program to train users on the Now Platform.
  • Identify and provide support to “adoption champions” who can influence peers.
  • Establish a standard method for defining and prioritizing technology, integration, and data requirements (ideally reflecting both value and level of effort).
  • Define and communicate clear, specific SLAs for Now Platform performance, operations, and security.
  • Communicate standards and processes for data modeling, quality, and lifecycle management.

Optimize and expand

  • Define additional services with clear value-for-cost outcomes.
  • Connect services to the enterprise resourcing and operating model.
  • Promote a culture of enterprise service management.
  • Review governance roles, policies, and processes for business value realization as demands change.
  • Develop a business engagement model to promote effective demand management and help make critical risk/value tradeoff decisions.
  • Establish a common framework to evaluate and prioritize demands for Now Platform capabilities (include customization).
  • Establish mechanisms for continuous process improvement, and define targets for automation.
  • Invest in remediating user experiences that are not meeting expectations.
  • Involve user groups in updating change management plans.
  • Create resource follow-up on training and support programs for ServiceNow users.
  • Establish and promote a consistent SDLC model for ServiceNow development.

Table 3: Recommended Pillars of Success activities by ServiceNow implementation phase

The takeaway

The Now Platform gives you the opportunity to deliver enterprise services with a fast, simple, pleasant user experience. Designing that platform was our job. Realizing the potential of our platform in your environment will require a bit of work on your part. You’ll need to identify and prioritize your business goals, and align those assessments with Now Platform capabilities. Look at how to best drive platform adoption and use. Make sure that transforming your service delivery capability is an ongoing priority with value expectations based on achievable milestones. Support your efforts with appropriate resources.

This best practice outlines proven methods for all of these efforts. Take advantage of them to continue improving your service delivery environment as business demands and Now Platform capabilities evolve.

Explore additional phases

Plan

You want to be sure everything is in place for a smooth, successful deployment.

Deploy

You want to be sure you’re following best practices during implementation.

Optimize

You’re up and running and want to get the most from your investment.

Extend

You’re ready to extend ServiceNow into other areas of your enterprise.

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