Charting a Roadmap and Reaching ServiceNow Nirvana

Change is hard. Challenges to success include navigating internal company viewpoints, juggling competing priorities, working through limited resources, managing unrealistic expectations, and combating resistance to change. Fortunately, you can manage these problems easily with ServiceNow at your side.

ServiceNow is not an instant fix, though. You must chart your ServiceNow roadmap, the path via which you’ll achieve your big-picture business vision. Here’s a sobering reality to keep in mind: “technology implementation” is one of the most anxiety-inducing terms for employees because it tends to create widespread confusion over whether adoption is mandatory or whether employees are being given the option to adopt.

A comprehensive, vision-aligned roadmap is your opportunity to help clear up this confusion. The roadmap should be more than a basic timeline of what specific tasks you’ll need to do and by when; it should address the challenges associated with integrating and unifying the many moving parts of your ServiceNow roadmap, ranging from effectively managing disparate teams to creating continuous and actionable feedback loops to effective internal communication. Here are five essential tips to keep in mind when charting your roadmap:

  1. Include these essential components of a winning roadmap.
  • Transparency.

The first essential component is outlining in detail the steps for how you will proceed from phase to phase. This leads to transparency and allows employees across the company to better understand where the plan is headed.

  • Confidence-inspiring.

In order to achieve buy-in with stakeholders, the roadmap must instill confidence. Stakeholders need to believe you know what you’re doing and that you have thoroughly planned for every possible issue or concern.

  • Early wins.

As you develop your roadmap, you want to stack the deck in your favor by consciously building early victories into your roadmap. Early victories are the incremental home runs that will motivate and inspire your team to keep going. The goal is to deliver (and then communicate) clear, frequent wins that everyone can rally around.

  • Malleability.

The roadmap also needs to be flexible and agile. Remember that you are planning three to five years out and you may find yourself taking guesses at where your organization will be. As business needs evolve over time, your roadmap should still be viable. As your roadmap adapts, be sure to communicate with your implementation team and stakeholders.

  • Forward-thinking.

Be forward-thinking with your roadmap. ServiceNow is a powerful tool and will require more and more integration as buy-in is adopted across the company.

  1. Thoroughly review business needs with a self-assessment.

ServiceNow is designed to be universally deployable—this means beyond just IT. Because ServiceNow is so versatile, it is important to get to the bottom of how business processes are being carried out. Sometimes the way things are being done don’t align with processes.

Now, this could reveal some ugly truths. Even if the reason is the employees are unmotivated or sloppy, it’s important to note every detail. Once you define problems and deficiencies, you can identify opportunities to improve during implementation.

  1. Brainstorm ideal ESM processes.

To develop your vision of what your ideal enterprise storage management (ESM) ecosystem should look like, start by learning about ServiceNow’s functionalities and features. Investigate the efficiency of the ServiceNow model and how all business services are managed end-to-end in ServiceNow. You will also want to study how other companies have used ServiceNow to achieve a total transformation of their business ecosystem. You can learn from past mistakes of companies that tried to tinker too much with features and end up lengthening the implementation time. Keep in mind that once you roll out ServiceNow, you must make a clean break from past systems and processes.

  1. Define your priorities to define the right tasks.

It is true that ServiceNow is versatile and can be many things to any organization, but to your organization it can only be a defined number of things at once. How do you set your priorities?

Begin with the high-return, low-effort items in order to score some early wins and build momentum. While early wins are important to build momentum, it is important to prioritize progress and not perfection. If your roadmap calls for perfection and error-free outcomes, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointing setbacks. ServiceNow takes time to figure out, and the individuals who perform the tasks need time, training, and continuous positive reinforcement to master new workflows. Your long-term ability to achieve the outcomes you desire is dependent on populating your roadmap with appropriate, specific tasks. Being unrealistic or vague or overloading a roadmap with tasks can demoralize your team and user base.

As was mentioned previously, individuals performing the tasks will need extensive training, education, and outreach, so be sure to include it in your roadmap. One of the best ways to engender confidence in your ServiceNow implementation plan is to think through how you will deal with problems as they arise. You want to be able to reassure skeptics and critics that you are listening to their concerns and have already anticipated some challenges and accounted for them in your implementation plan.

Finally, it is important to use an agile development model because ServiceNow is a platform that is best rolled out with an agile methodology. End users need to experience each feature and capability to truly know how it should be customized.

  1. Develop ways to measure and assess progress:

A truly effective roadmap should serve as your master ServiceNow implementation guide and keep everyone in the organization focused and on track for the next three to five years. You’ll need to be able to select any element of your roadmap and connect it to the big-picture goal. You’ll also need to be able to justify resource allocation to upper management at any given stage of the roadmap. Finally, you will want to be able to measure buy-in on the ServiceNow rollout from employees and divisions in your organization.

It is also important to define what success looks like at each stage. Developing ways to assess and measure progress will also help with transparency and buy in with stakeholders as you can use your results for quarterly and year-end reviews.

Charting a roadmap is one of the foundational elements of any successful ServiceNow journey. Too many organizations rush through this process and end up with an unworkable, irrelevant roadmap that hinders their success and jeopardizes their ability to reach their vision. Don’t let this happen to you. When you have a well-articulated roadmap that explains how you’ll achieve your vision, you’re setting up your organization for the service management transformation you desire.

If you found this post informative, you won’t want to miss Crossfuze’s upcoming webinar, “How to Achieve ServiceNow Roadmap Success,” on September 27, 2017, at 2 PM EST. During this free webinar, Steven St. Germain—VP of Business Transformation—will speak about the tactical steps that are critical to creating, executing on, and governing a winning ServiceNow roadmap that will transform your enterprise. If you joined our Organizational Change Management & ServiceNow webinar on August 30, this is one webinar you won’t want to miss!

To register for this event, which is part of Crossfuze’s Services Reimagined Webinar Series, please go to https://www.crossfuze.com/webinarseries_servicenow-roadmap/.

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