Building Solutions with ServiceNow

matt-millerOften time, companies choose the ServiceNow application because they think it will provide a quick fix to a business problem. This approach results in an application deployment that may resolve a piece of the larger problem but can back your business unit into a corner in the long run. The right approach is to leverage the SN platform, to not only fix the immediate problem but to set yourself up for success in future enhancements to the process. Yes, sometimes you can take advantage of the pre-built applications that ServiceNow has provided, but this is not a comprehensive solution. The business leaders I work with usually have an idea of what success looks like. Instead of capturing the requirements for the solution they have come up with, I take a different approach.

In my role as research and development manager at Virteva, I know and understand the ServiceNow platform very well. Yet the manager, director or executive I work with has a better understanding of the business problem and process. So, the first step in building a solution is to have a discovery session with the business leader. During this conversation, I learn the scope of the issue at all levels, from the financial impact to the business, employee satisfaction, process deficiencies, reporting and auditing. The challenge is to keep the conversation focused on the business unit process and the problem. People, myself included, tend to lead the discussion back to how ServiceNow can resolve this problem. The platform should never be a part of the discovery session. Trust me, this is hard for me, too.

Once we have discussed and captured all of the challenges, I then meet with our ServiceNow development team to compile potential solutions. We evaluate the use of existing applications in the platform or the need for a brand new application. The final solution is then reviewed with the business leader. We also review any risks, rewards and timing. Larger solutions are built in stages. This allows the business to start using a solution quickly but allows time for the complete solution to be built. One common piece of the build process people tend to forget is user testing, yet this is the most critical piece. If the solution is not tested before deployment, it almost always results in a fire drill the day of go live. What people don’t realize is testing serves two purposes: it tests the application against the business process AND allows the process users to become familiar with the platform. We often find that the testing phase turns into training of the new process.

Keeping the broader goal of the business unit in mind allows us to build solutions that can be expanded in the future. Putting in a quick fix for a problem typically results in short term benefits. I have seen multiple occasions where businesses implemented ServiceNow in order to solve an immediate issue and, as a result, they have required more time and resources to rebuild a solution within a year. With an approach that includes a business discussion, planning phase, testing and training, the business unit is set up for success with their ServiceNow application now and in the future.

If you’d like to discuss more about how Virteva builds solutions for specific client needs, stop by our booth (#625) at Knowledge15. Better yet, schedule an appointment with us.