Your ServiceNow Roadmap Starter-Pack: Get on the Right Road to Success [Downloadable Planning Bundle]

After reading our first 12 Days of Giving blog, you now understand the power of ServiceNow and its ability to transform how work gets done – in HR, Finance, IT, and more. But how do you start the process of that transformation?

For our second day of giving, you’ll find out the strategies to implementing ServiceNow right (the first time), plus a ServiceNow Roadmap Starter-Pack, which includes: Acorio’s ServiceNow Business Case Pitch Deck, Acorio’s Guide to Creating and Scoring your ServiceNow Roadmap, a ServiceNow’s Sample Roadmap, and ServiceNow’s whitepaper, “Where to start the implementation journey with ServiceNow.” 

If you’re looking to implement ServiceNow at your organization, you probably already feel the pressure to ensure the rollout is a success, but how do you make that a reality? 

Between convincing your stakeholders, building a strategic 2-year roadmap, achieving quick wins that boost adoption momentum and captures early ROI, you may be wondering, “where do I start?”  

Even reading that list now, you may be feeling overwhelmed. But before you go full-on panic mode, understand that, like any big undertaking, it is a process. Remind yourself to go one step at a time and be thoughtful in your execution. The following four guidelines will help you to achieve success in your ServiceNow journey, from inception to expansion. 

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Get Executive Buy-In with a Thoughtful ServiceNow Vision

The first step to getting ServiceNow is building a business case that your stakeholders can’t say no to. So how do you do that?  

Your sponsor, who is going to be making the final decision, will most likely be your COO, CIO, or CEO and they represent the functions of your business: IT, Security, Customer Service, HR, etc. You need to think high-level. When you’re starting your pitch, don’t get over-excited about the technical processes and advancements; rather, focus on specific outcomes that matter to your stakeholders. 

For example, defining a problem like your organization’s customer retention rate is down 10% over the last year and how ServiceNow can help fix that, addresses more critical business concerns, which your executive team will care most about. 

In addition, the outcomes your promising should align with your executive goals and strategies whether that be productivity, modern experiences, improved employee or customer satisfaction, increased revenue, etc. 

Now that you understand who you are speaking to, let’s break down how you go about your pitch in four easy steps: 

  • Promote the ROI of ServiceNow. Get the research to back up your business case with ServiceNow’s commissioned Total Economic Impact Studies from Forrester research (available in our downloadable TEI Bundle). These studies include analyses of benefits, costs, and risks associated with your ServiceNow investment, plus case studies, which can help you back up your own argument for ServiceNow. 
  • Address your current business problem(s) and do your homework. Talk to your employees and get the data you need to understand why ServiceNow matters for your organization. Be specific, if it’s something you can calculate, calculate it! Check out the ServiceNow ROI calculators for assistance. Never pick more than 5 (preferably 3) business problems. 
  • Define your vision for the platform. Aim to inspire, and be confident! Nothing helps more than defining a vision. What can the organization gain by leveraging ServiceNow? Spell it out for your audience. Hint: Our CEO loves a good PowerPoint presentation. 
  • Promise a small pilot or project to start. In three months, show a quick win (which we’ll talk about more, for other reasons, later in the blog post). Always make sure it’s something you can realistically achieve. By showing you are willing to start small, prove as you go, manage expectations, and show results with some licensing, you will get that 6 months to focus on a bigger project. 

Build a Strategic Roadmap to Set Yourself up for Success  

Once you’ve defined your vision for ServiceNow, you need to build your roadmap. It’s a simple concept, but makes the world of a difference when executed correctly – as we said in one of our most recent roadmap strategy webinars “just because it isn’t novel, doesn’t mean it’s not important.”  

If you’re working with a ServiceNow partner, it’s helpful to sit down together and conceptualize a “checklist” of what you can accomplish: in the first month, next few quarters, and ultimately until you at least have a solid 2-year (if not 3-year) plan.

Building this roadmap will help you with improvements in the organization and, further, get you measurable results – which will stand as proof for your future ServiceNow budget planning.

So, in the end, your roadmap should be a value proposition for every item on your checklist and you should have them in an order of execution, weighing the impact and complexity of each. Here are three steps we suggest: 

  • Work with a checklist. If you couldn’t tell by now, we’re big fans of the lists and it’s the first rule for your roadmap. It gives your team a clear idea of what you are doing with ServiceNow (i.e. Asset Implementation, Orchestration of IT Changes, or Service Watch POV) and when you are doing it. 
  • Get everyone on the same page. Get adoption and buy in and let your employees and customers have a sense of ownership with the direction your platform is going 
  • Prioritize and identify gaps. Once you’ve identified what your checklist is, you’ll want to measure the impact and complexity of each – figure out what can be a quick win versus what might be a longer-term project. You can see an example of what an Impact vs. Complexity matrix looks like below.

ServiceNow Impact vs. Complexity Chart

Find Quick Wins (And Boost Company Morale around ServiceNow) 

Looking at your Impact vs. Complexity map, your quick wins (30 to 45-day projects) will exist in that upper-left of the matrix. These will be unique to your company based on the level of effort it requires, its importance, and its overall urgency. 

 ServiceNow suggests to:

  • Focus on capabilities that touch the most consumers to encourage adoption 
  • Implement incident and request management, service catalog, service portal, and knowledge base early to build adoption momentum 

 Important for the overall organization change management of your ServiceNow adoption, you need to advertise your wins and find your “champions” of the platform. Time and time again, we hear clients telling us the most difficult part is changing old habits or familiar processes. 

One of our own Pre-Sales Solution Architects, Michelle Bautista, wrote a whole blog post dedicated to getting OCM right, which you can read here. In it, she writes,  

 “Organizational change management (OCM) is the people side of change management. It is a framework for managing the effect of new business processes, technological processes and changes in your organizational structure or even cultural changes within an enterprise. OCM and OCM strategies set expectations and provide the tools needed to learn the new behaviors.” 

So how do you make this transition easier on your team so you can recognize the true ROI of the platform through more projects? 

  • Start with a vision. As mentioned early in this post, this is your first step. Before ground breaks, signs go up with pictures and models of what is being built. This helps people see the future by imagining what the world looks like when the old structures are taken down and the new one built up. 
  • Communicate early and often. Create regular reminders to prepare for the change, provide them with dates when their usual work paths will be interrupted and restored. Help people plan their work in advance and develop an alternative way of getting work done during the interruptions. This will make them more receptive to the changes down the road. 
  • Expect delays. Make sure you have local coaches to guide people through the expected bumps and hiccups of learning a new system to keep frustration to a minimum.  
  • Think globally, act locally. Articulate your vision at every level of the organization so you can inspire your staff to help drive the change. 
  • Monitor the change. Not only should you measure the technology side or a project but also the people – how are your training sessions going? Are you asking for feedback? In order to find what works best with your team, you need to be asking and watching. 

For an example of a 6-month OCM plan and execution strategy, see below. 

Sample ServiceNow OCM Plan

With these tips in your back pocket (along with our ServiceNow Planning Bundle including Acorio’s ServiceNow Business Case Pitch Deck, Acorio’s Guide to Creating and Scoring your ServiceNow Roadmap, a ServiceNow’s Sample Roadmap, and ServiceNow’s whitepaper, “Where to start the implementation journey with ServiceNow.”) you’re ready to take on your first (or next) ServiceNow project.

ServiceNow Roadmap Starter Pack

Matt Buchner

Matt Buchner is the Lead Solution Architect at NTT DATA. He brings 14 years of international experience delivering technology solutions to solve complex business challenges in a rapidly evolving business and technology landscape.

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