How Can Organizations Ensure Successful ServiceNow Implementation? – 5 Must-do Actions

Organizations are increasingly replacing siloed systems with end-to-end workflow automation solutions like ServiceNow to overcome the inefficiencies arising out of multiple disparate processes across the service delivery value chain. ServiceNow is a customizable, easy-to-use, low-code/no-code (LCNC) platform that automates workflows and maximizes efficiencies to fast-track organizational growth. It replaces redundant and manual processes to streamline service delivery and can be seamlessly integrated with existing systems or third-party tools.
Gartner’s 2022 accreditation of ServiceNow as the market leader in the LCNC space has enhanced its popularity, with far-sighted organizations readily adopting the ServiceNow platform.
The ServiceNow platform can be an incredibly efficient solution when implemented appropriately, but that needs deep expertise, and this is where many organizations cannot keep pace with. Often enterprises are not clear about their end objectives in implementing ServiceNow solutions and are also uncertain about where to begin and how to proceed with the process. This lack of a strategic roadmap to ServiceNow implementation becomes one of the main roadblocks in an enterprise’s ServiceNow journey.
This article delves into some of the most common mistakes that organizations make while implementing the ServiceNow platform and uncovers the right ways to ensure a successful ServiceNow implementation.

5 Common ServiceNow Implementation Mistakes

When ServiceNow solutions fail to deliver the desired outcomes, it is almost always due to poor implementation. And implementations often go wrong due to the lack of focus on the crucial elements in the process. Here are some of the most common reasons why ServiceNow implementations fail –
1. Ignoring Organizational Assessment
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to ServiceNow implementation. An organization’s failure in assessing the unique challenges and readiness of its existing processes for the implementation of ServiceNow is one of the biggest gaps. This leads to an inconclusive understanding of what ServiceNow solutions and implementation approach would really meet the organization’s requirements.
2. Executing the Process without an Expert Team
Setting up an expert team to handle the implementation process, right from planning the implementation to post-implementation support, is crucial. The lack of skilled resources is one of the main reasons why organizations find it difficult to ensure smooth ServiceNow implementation. Without an expert team, ServiceNow implementation can be time-consuming, expensive, and ineffective.
3. Neglecting System Compatibility Review
Another reason why ServiceNow implementations fail is that organizations avoid checking the compatibility of the ServiceNow solutions with their existing IT environment, leading to broken workflows and unintended consequences. Additionally, less focus is placed on the platform’s usability, which frustrates the users and reduces the user adoption rate.
4. Choosing the Wrong Implementation Approach
A big bang or an all-at-once approach may not provide the value that organizations expect from ServiceNow implementation. When organizations attempt to implement the solutions all at once, the outcome of the implementation remains unknown until the completion of the entire process. As a result, it can be difficult to fix any platform issues that are identified by users after the implementation.
5. Making Excessive Customizations
Complex customizations of the ServiceNow solutions to fit into the existing processes or systems can delay and hinder the ServiceNow implementation. The system becomes difficult to maintain, leading to inefficient processes and ineffective platform utilization.

5 Things To-do to Ensure a Successful ServiceNow Implementation

Organizations need to have clear objectives, the right expertise, and a comprehensive plan while implementing ServiceNow. It is not just about implementing a tool but a holistic process that will impact all business operations. Here are 5 essential tasks that organizations must consider for a successful ServiceNow implementation:
ServiceNow Implementation
1. Aligning Organizational Problems with the Implementation
An organization must conduct comprehensive assessments to gather a clear understanding from its departments and employees about the challenges they are facing. This can help in arriving at the problems that require fixing and then mapping these gaps to the right ServiceNow solutions.
2. Creating an Organizational Change Management (OCM) Strategy
An organization should ensure it has an OCM strategy in place so that everyone in the organization is aware of the ServiceNow implementation and prepared for its impact on the existing workflows. Employees may have gotten used to a set of processes, and to empower them to adopt the ServiceNow platform without any hesitation, training sessions or walkthroughs should be actively conducted.
3. Adopting a Phase-wise Implementation Process
Adopting a phase-wise approach (module-based, business unit-based, priority-based, etc.) to ServiceNow implementation is a good idea as it allows the organization to monitor the solutions/outcomes at each phase of the implementation process rather than waiting till the end for the results. Indeed, this approach is a slightly lengthy one, however, the close monitoring and familiarizing the users with the new solution at every stage of the process greatly benefits organizations in minimizing related risks. Organizations can cautiously replace legacy systems without disrupting usual business workflows and fix any platform- and process-related issues faster.
4. Ensuring Data Quality with a Proper Data Architecture Plan & CSDM
Poor data quality can hamper the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation process. Therefore, ensuring data authenticity and quality while migrating existing organizational data to the ServiceNow platform during the implementation process is essential. A well-designed data architecture, which serves as the blueprint for how the data will be organized and used, can help minimize data errors. Additionally, by adopting the Common Service Data Model (CSDM), a set of rules that helps companies structure data in a way that aligns with ServiceNow setup, organizations can effectively ensure data accuracy and achieve seamless ServiceNow implementation.
5. Focusing on Out-of-the-Box Functionality
ServiceNow is a highly customizable platform allowing organizations to tailor the solution to their needs. However, over-customizing the platform may at times complicate the implementation process, causing platform performance degradation. To get the maximum value from ServiceNow implementation and investment, organizations should leverage the in-built functionalities of the platform, keeping customizations to a minimum through scoped applications so that it doesn’t affect the main system.

ServiceNow Implementation Path: Getting Started

Successful implementation of ServiceNow requires an expert team. Organizations can either build an in-house team or outsource the implementation process to ServiceNow experts. There are 3 ways organizations can get started with their ServiceNow implementation process. These include:
Work with ServiceNow's In-house Experts Work jointly with ServiceNow's In-house Experts & a ServiceNow Partner Work with a ServiceNow Partner
Organizations can directly work with ServiceNow's in-house experts to execute their ServiceNow implementation. Organizations can collaborate with both ServiceNow's in-house experts and a ServiceNow-certified partner to carry out the implementation. Organizations can work with a ServiceNow-certified partner to implement and manage the ServiceNow solutions.

The Way Forward

ServiceNow implementation is not always a quick or an easy process. However, with the right approach and expertise, the implementation becomes a lot more seamless. Furthermore, keeping in mind the dos and don’ts of implementing the ServiceNow platform, ensuring it is regularly updated through a continuous monitoring, and refining process is essential to get a maximum ROI.
If you are looking for a ServiceNow partner to assist you in your ServiceNow implementation process, KANINI can help. As a ServiceNow Premier Partner and Managed Service Provider (MSP), we efficiently implement, manage, and update your ServiceNow platform, integrating the latest ServiceNow solutions into your workflows as and when they get rolled out. Contact us to know more about how our in-depth expertise and experience in digitally enabling enterprises can transform your ServiceNow implementation journey for a positive outcome.

Joshua Smith

Joshua is the ServiceNow Practice Director at KANINI. He is a process improvement thought leader and digital transformation expert. Over the past 15 years, Josh’s focus has always been on achieving organizational maturity and enhancing business processes through implementing tools and workflows to drive transformation initiatives. With experience in multiple verticals from – manufacturing to healthcare, Joshua brings a practitioner’s perspective when working on business solutions and goals to allow him to advise and guide on industry and process best practices.

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