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How to Unlock Your Imagination and Win Big with ServiceNow

By: Mark Renfro, Rick Podwojski

ServiceNow can be a disruptor across a broad array of organizational processes — if you support it with the creativity it needs to flourish. 

The use of ServiceNow is growing at an incredible pace. According to the company’s latest financial results, 2021 yielded 29% year-over-year growth in subscription revenues and 135 transactions with more than $1 million in annual contract value. That represents a total of 52% year-over-year growth. 

But while leaders across sectors are increasingly turning to ServiceNow to improve their operations, many aren’t taking advantage of its full disruptive capacity. All too often, they think, “I’ve got ServiceNow, a system integrator, and a developer — I’m good to go.” 

They assume that because ServiceNow is easy to use and they have partners who know how to use it, no additional action is required. The ideation stops, and we see many executives fail to maximize their ServiceNow platform. While developers and system integrators can launch and maintain ServiceNow, they aren’t responsible for thinking strategically or creatively — specifically, about how the program will actualize business outcomes. 

The success of ServiceNow hinges on specifying what is possible, focusing on process design, and fostering organization-wide adoption. 

How a Global Company Transformed their HR Processes with ServiceNow

The experience of one global company highlights what’s possible with ServiceNow. The company’s legacy HR incident and complaint management process was confusing, inefficient, and siloed. Incidents were not centrally managed nor auditable and, in some cases, were never routed to the proper teams. The result? Delayed solutions and unresolved issues.  

They needed to codify their flows from manager to manager and between different HR specialists, standardizing their overall process to provide greater visibility to the right stakeholders at the right time. 

The leadership team decided to leverage ServiceNow, a tool they used in other departments, to create a customized HR incident reporting workflow. But while they had the tool and knew what it was capable of, their vision was marred by past experiences. This kept them focusing on incremental automations rather than a large-scale redesign. 

The company needed someone who could lead the entire process and outline what would happen once each ticket was initiated, and who was responsible for what along the way. They also needed a leader to help drive adoption once the new system was implemented, because what value can a new process offer if no one subscribes to it?

This is where SEI came into play. We partnered with the company’s leadership team to specify their goals and how to attain them with ServiceNow. That meant reimagining the incident reporting and management workflow, from initial reporting to closure. 

A particularly challenging aspect of the solution design involved outlining a role-based security approach to identify which stakeholders could access HR records in ServiceNow and which could not. The information in these files, from reports of misconduct to simple tardiness, had varying levels of sensitivity, meaning only select individuals could view it. Numerous workshops were dedicated to this topic as we guided technologists, functional area management, and frontline HR team members through exercises to develop a security scheme that protected private information while ensuring timely resolutions. 

During the implementation and development efforts, SEI directly coordinated with the company’s leadership and subject matter experts to ensure the system integrator had detailed, user-approved requirements. We also devised alternatives for these individuals to evaluate systematic options and downstream impact. We made the process easier for the company and their system integrator. 

As the workflow was being developed and implemented in ServiceNow, we prepared the organization for detailed user testing with various test cases by user group. Mock incidents were sent through the system and monitored to ensure the workflow yielded the desired outcomes, including desired visibility into incidents by user group, better tracking, and more resolutions.

While the system design was getting finalized and the solution was being developed and tested, SEI led the creation of a communications and training strategy that would generate awareness through newsletter announcements, a knowledgeable portal, team meetings, and town halls. All communications focused on the why behind the new reporting system and explained how it would benefit employees.

Finally, we delivered training sessions tailored to specific subsets of employees. HR learned how ServiceNow routed information and eliminated their existing manual processes, and managers learned how to use the platform to monitor and resolve issues. These sessions allowed employees to become better acquainted and comfortable with the new system, fostering company-wide buy-in. 

Within months of launching their new HR workflow using ServiceNow, the company reported greater visibility into incidents, faster resolutions, and happier users who felt heard. 

Getting the Most Out of ServiceNow

ServiceNow has the power to change the trajectory of your organization — if it’s implemented effectively. 

If you don’t launch the platform in a way that aligns with your objectives and follows a concrete, well-constructed plan — one that addresses the process behind the automation and the people it impacts on a daily basis — you might as well not roll it out at all. 

If you really want to make a transformational impact with ServiceNow, you need to:

  • Think creatively on the front end with all impacted stakeholder groups. That means leading workshops with stakeholders across your organization to identify KPIs and outlining a plan to achieve them. You can’t build a very good house with just a hammer, nails, and wood — you need a blueprint to guide you. 
  • Provide training and education. Without employee buy-in, transformation is impossible. A truly successful ServiceNow initiative requires workshops and communication strategies that change behaviors to drive and sustain adoption. 
  • Follow through with sound project management. There are many moving pieces and key players involved in implementing a ServiceNow workflow. To ensure developers, system integrators, leaders, and employees are all doing their part to help the initiative succeed, ongoing coordination is vital. 
  • Evaluate impact. The effectiveness of any new process hinges on how well it’s adopted by the people who use it daily. Measuring adoption rates after a new ServiceNow workflow is implemented allows you to refine your course as needed. 

As a certified ServiceNow partner, SEI empowers leaders to launch ServiceNow initiatives that accelerate transformation and achieve key business objectives. 

We treat every ServiceNow project as a creative endeavor and apply our deep knowledge of process design, human-centered design, and change management to build processes that look good on paper and yield real outcomes. 

Interested in learning more? Reach out today to discover how SEI can help you change the trajectory of your business with ServiceNow. 

Mark-Renfro

Mark Renfro

Consultant

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Rick Podwojski

Managing Director

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