Article

The How and Why of a ServiceNow® Roadmap

By Chris O’Neill

Less than half of ServiceNow customers report having a strategic roadmap. They are not sure where to begin. Problem is, without one, you are not doing your company justice, because you will have nothing to measure against for success. I have written this quick article to help you get started.

This may sound trite, but…a roadmap is a journey, not a destination. It is an understanding of where your organization could go and an understanding of what you could get out of it, including a set of directions on how to get there. Use the 3 Es: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Experience to get you started.

Why do you need a strategic roadmap?

The point of creating a roadmap is to understand where you are going--defining clear outcomes and measurements in the process. To strategize on where you could go and keep track of where you are going. If you want to improve your IT and enterprise service management with a powerful range of capabilities, you need to have a plan of action to execute against. 

In a small organization, everyone is asked to wear multiple “hats”. Road-mapping becomes even more important in a lean organization -- so you can track the value of your current ServiceNow instance and build a business case to obtain additional resources for the future. If you can’t add resources but need to increase efficiency because you have a small team, having a roadmap that includes building automation and self-serve forms will help you work smarter. 

When determining where to start, knowing the release cycle is half the battle. To take optimal advantage of the most updated ServiceNow securities and features, automatically update to the new release. Learn the new modules and features when they are released. Your roadmap can change periodically, so staying current on your release knowledge is super important- you won’t have time to backtrack. Also, ask for help – call in an experienced advisor who understands your needs, has knowledge of what is coming in the new release, and how it can benefit your current environment. 

Roughly 50% of all ServiceNow customers only implement two product suites, with less than 12% implementing more than three product suites. If you are thinking to yourself, “hmmm I only have one thing.” Trust me, you are not alone. Typically, once organizations hit their original goal, they don’t have the forethought to continually extend into the environment. What your organization can do is continually educate, inform, and communicate the latest features and benefits available so you can get the most out of the platform.

Where does Organizational Change Management (OCM) fit in on roadmaps?

OCM is key when it comes to defining your stakeholders and knowing how your organization handles change management internally. Do you have a formal process? If you do, it needs to be built into your feedback process. At the end of the day, changes to your roadmap will have to be implemented into your OCM process. At the same time, the output of road mapping activities is a project – with resulting OCM activity, so you must understand what the repercussions are. When CAI does an implementation, a section of our statement of work asks about how we will interact with your Organizational Change Management and if you have a formalized process. If you don’t, we have add-ons that we can perform to help control that. A formalized process is central to success, yes still many mid-sized organizations don’t have anything formalized.

How has Covid-19 impacted an organization’s existing roadmaps?

Here in the US, the after-effect of Covid-19 is a much higher need and reliance on remote workforces. There is an increased drive to platforms like ServiceNow that can be used anywhere, anytime.  Specifically, ServiceNow’s own mobile capabilities are on the rise. There are many lessons learned and questions about how companies can be more prepared the next time this type of situation arises.  

Just like the IT world went through a business continuity experience about 20 years ago post 9-11, they need to be formally ready for extraordinary circumstances – prepared with need a formal response and an operationally mobile response. The time is now to look at your current roadmap and make the necessary adjustments to increase your readiness factor in preparation.

Who should be part of the road mapping team?

To get this answer, you will have to ask the right questions. Who owns the platform? Who are the executive sponsors (financial authority)? Who are the key stakeholders (end-user community, HR, etc.)? Who are the process owners, meaning who will adopt the processes and be accountable for using it)? Once you have the answers to those questions, you can move forward to assemble the appropriate members of your team. Again, if you are not sure, ask an advisor for help in defining the right questions to set yourself up for success.

How often do you upgrade?

Most organizations upgrade once a year, although ServiceNow recommends every six months. As an organization, you need to think about how you make a change in your environment (specialized testing requirements, government regulations). Every organization is different and will have a different response. 

The current policy of ServiceNow is to support the most recent and the immediately previous release families. Because ServiceNow generally makes release two new release families per year, you will need to upgrade approximately once per year to stay on a supported release family. Staying ahead of the game is becoming more and more important.

Remember it is about transforming the way you work.

In closing, remember to have a vision for your ServiceNow roadmap and how your solution will transform the way your team works. The challenge is to turn that vision into a reality, given the constraints and deadlines you face. A strategic roadmap can help you realize your plans for making your world of work, work better.

                           
                                

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Chris O'Neill

Sr. Solutions Consultant, CAI