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Why this is important

Strong governance can give you the assurance that you’re using ServiceNow in ways that achieves your business objectives. Start by involving the right people to set up governance authorities, processes, activities, and policies. Then, define how key decisions will be made based on your ServiceNow roadmap, platform management, and management of your portfolio of ServiceNow capabilities. Then plan to continually improve your governance over time.

Steps covered

Step 1: Prepare to set up ServiceNow governance

1a: Assign someone to design your governance program and coordinate its implementation

1b: Understand the technology governance requirements at your organization

1c: Build a project plan for how you’ll implement ServiceNow governance at your organization, defining your governance vision, intended scope, and a setup timeline

1d: Gain executive sponsorship for governance, using your project plan and a business case

1e: Engage stakeholders that should be involved in implementing governance

Step 2: Build your governance model

2a: Set up an executive steering board to support strategic decision-making

2b: Set up a technical governance board to support technical decision-making needs

2c: Set up a demand board to make portfolio management decisions

2d: Define how information flows to and across governance boards to inform decision-making

2e: Define how decision-making needs are identified and can escalate, from front-line, "hands-on-keyboards" teams to governance boards

Step 3: Define your governance policies

3a: Define a set of principles or golden rules, to inform early decision-making and policies across different governance groups

3b: Define a minimum viable set of technical governance policies that define how the Now Platform should be managed

Step 4: Build a plan for continuously improving governance

4a: Set metrics to measure the effectiveness of governance at your organization

4b: Continually assess and improve governance performance

Key takeaways

The most important things to know
Governance is the set of policies, processes and organizational capabilities that define how decisions are made and who is responsible for outcomes. You need good governance to realize value and transform your vision with ServiceNow. The problem is that many organizations under invest in getting governance right. To avoid limiting what you can achieve with ServiceNow:

  • Take the time to involve the right people in governance decisions.
  • Define value-adding process and policies so you have the direction and guidelines you need to get work done.

The payoff of getting this right
Governance provides the foundational guidelines and operating structure you need to:

  • Maintain the integrity of your ServiceNow implementation
  • Expand the value you can deliver using ServiceNow
  • Support business objectives and transformation in how work gets done at your organization
  • Delegate development and administration across multiple parts of the organization and its partners, which helps you evolve faster and see more value

What you need to get started

A leader to define the scope, direction, and goals or your governance program, designing a plan or roadmap for how you’ll set up ServiceNow governance, and identifying who will need to be involved in the setup process
An understanding of why ServiceNow governance is needed in your organization and what you hope to achieve with it
A list of people and groups who should be involved in building and managing ServiceNow governance

When you should start this activity

  • Start considering governance requirements when you build your business case for ServiceNow.
  • Develop your governance plan in parallel with your ServiceNow roadmap and implementation plan to make sure you can support your vision and roadmap and that the end-state governance framework can be in place to guide work on the platform.

More resources to check out

Success Workbook

Get started with ServiceNow governance

Learn about the steps you should take to get started with ServiceNow governance.

Success Video

Establish ServiceNow Governance

Watch our five-minute video about establishing ServiceNow governance at your organization.

Executive Briefing Deck

Establish ServiceNow Governance

Get a quick overview of how to establish ServiceNow governance at your organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Establish ServiceNow Governance

Get answers to common questions about establishing ServiceNow governance at your organization.

Success Toolkit

ServiceNow governance implementation

Use these templates to jumpstart your ServiceNow governance design and implementation.

Success Insight

Define ServiceNow data governance

Learn how to define standards that govern how you manage and use data on the Now Platform.

Success Playbook

Stand up a ServiceNow Center of Excellence and Innovation

Learn how to create a COEI that will help you reach your vision for digitizing workflows with ServiceNow.

Success Video

Stand up a ServiceNow Center of Excellence and Innovation

Watch our six-minute video about standing up a ServiceNow Center of Excellence and Innovation.

Executive Briefing Deck

Stand up a ServiceNow Center of Excellence and Innovation

Get a quick overview of how to stand up a ServiceNow Center of Excellence and Innovation.

Success Insight

Define your ServiceNow operating model

Learn how to define and build your operating model for ServiceNow.