It’s a new year and a great time to renew our approach to reaching business goals. Perhaps your team is about to embark on a ServiceNow project in 2019 and you’re looking for ways to make it the most effective and efficient process. To help you with this, here’s a look at an approach the Covestic team recommends:
‘Design with the End in Mind,’ one of those ‘old-timey’ system delivery slogans, continues to be valuable for IT Service Management project delivery even today. By considering what you need to effectively sustain and support the system at the beginning of the project, you can ease the effort and burden of creating the support collateral at the end-of-the-project lifecycle when time is inherently tight.
This approach also builds engagement with the Customer Process Owner, as you can reference the Sustainment Plan and responsibilities throughout the project. Even if your team isn’t using the full-blown ITIL IT Service Management framework, you can still reference that approach and identify Operational requirements at the beginning of the project.
To do this effectively, first start by identifying all the different needs as contextualized by your customer’s organizational structure and the system design.
- What are the key success factors for feature functionality?
- Which ServiceNow applications are in scope for the project?
- Will there be any customized tables, scripts, workflows, inbound actions, scheduled jobs, APIs, system integrations?
- If so, what are the specifics of that design and what information is needed to support the sustainability of the system design?
You can document the design in a simple architecture diagram, which will provide the context for the solution. From there, identify what artifacts, tasks and processes are needed to support this design, and build it in to your product backlog for the project.
At this point, it is helpful for the customer to identify a Product Owner, who will act as the Point of Contact for operational handoff at the end of the project. By engaging a Product Owner at the beginning of the project, you ensure expectations are identified and built-in to the delivery and can manage those expectations as you go which enhances customer satisfaction.
As the project progresses, you can establish practices for documenting the technical specifications. If you are using formal ITSM framework deliverables, this information is captured in the creation of the ITSM-specific artifacts. If you are using a more informal framework, such as stories and a product backlog, you might consider documenting the specifics of the delivered technical specifications in the stories themselves.
By documenting how the requirements were built and configured in ServiceNow, it makes it easier for the operations team to quickly understand the context of any future changes. It is helpful to consider offering or delivering ‘ease of use’ capabilities, such as Account Management automated workflows, table interfaces for dynamic variable list data, Knowledge article expiration reports or creating sub-categories in a large Service Catalog or Knowledge Base. With just a little effort, these can greatly improve the customer experience.
As you near the completion of the project, you can begin to review the Sustainability Model and related artifacts with the Process Owner. This could be a set of Knowledge articles which reference the support collateral, a formal process guide document, a team website or stored in whatever collaboration tools are used by the customer. The key success factor here is to conduct a walkthrough of the artifacts with the Process Owner to ensure they understand what information is delivered, can identify further unmet needs and can perform oversight of the artifacts to keep them current in the future.
In Summary: Assuming the project went smoothly and delivered on customer expectations, you’ve now provided an effective and complete Support model and handoff delivery package. This thorough approach to project planning and execution supports your customers for the long-term and builds a strong relationship.
Let us help you get 2019 off to a great start with a ServiceNow project approach that will help you and your customers achieve success.
- Identify key success factors for operations
- Document as you design
- Provide background context for configurations
- Deliver ‘Ease of Use’ capabilities
- Assign a Process Owner
- Review operations artifacts with Process Owner