5 elements for successful ServiceNow platform governance

This blog was originally published by Fruition Partners. Since then, Fruition Partners has become the ServiceNow practice within DXC Technology.

Your ServiceNow platform implementation project has been closed, the deliverables and benefits expected have been realized, and things have been running smoothly operationally for a while. However, lately some of the original enthusiasm has dampened and somewhat less positive comments, or concerns, about the platform are even occasionally being voiced.

Stakeholders who raised requirements during the project that were put out of scope, or on hold, are repeatedly asking about the status of these; people who gladly adopted new ways of working are slowly reverting to old ways of “getting stuff done”; and, perhaps most worryingly, in more recent projects, steering committee members have been heard asking where the ServiceNow platform fits into the organization anyway.

You know that you and your team are doing fantastic work and you know about the amazing potential the ServiceNow platform has but how can you better demonstrate its value? How can you manage all different requests piling up on your desk? How can you ensure a healthy evolution protecting investment and increasing return? How can you nurture a culture of continual improvement? How can you improve customer satisfaction?

If some of these, or similar, questions sound familiar then it might be a sign that you need to examine your governance. Governance of your ServiceNow platform is vital, especially when it expands and new requirements continue being raised. Effective platform governance ensures your optimal direction is set and maintained, ultimately satisfying your users’ needs and improving your organization’s performance. But where do you start?

Here are the 5 elements that are required to successfully setup a comprehensive platform governance.

1. Goals & Objectives
Ultimately all things are done as a response to triggering drivers and to address needs coming out of these. A goal is a higher-level purpose to be fulfilled, while an objective is an outcome required to ensure the goal is fulfilled. What are the goals and objectives of your ServiceNow platform? Are they clearly defined? Are they aligned with your organization’s goals and objectives?

2. People
Things do not just happen: everything happens through people and how the people work together to produce outcomes. A role is a set of responsibilities, activities, and authorities, while a function is a group of role holders. Who are the people involved and what are their roles? What functions are established? Are they clearly defined?

3. Service
A service is “a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes […]” (ITIL). In the context here, service refers to the ServiceNow platform and its key components. Defining the components help defining the outcomes and finally the value of the ServiceNow platform. Who are your Customers? What functionality are they using? Are these and other service components clearly defined?

4. Process
A process is a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. Generally, processes help producing consistent pre-defined outcomes with as little resources as possible. In the context here, these are the key enabling processes that underpin the service delivery and support. What enabling processes are defined? Who are the process owners? To what extent are the processes documented?

5. Continual Service/Process Improvement
Anything created is condemned to become obsolete and deteriorate over time. Periodic refurbishment plans or improvement triggers should therefore be built-in from the outset. Continual improvement depends on a culture of defining, measuring, analyzing, and taking action as required. Are the practices in place to ensure continual improvement? What are the process indicators? What are the service level targets?

Examining, and adjusting/complementing where necessary, how these 5 elements are set-up and play together in your organization will allow you and your team to pursue delivering with the assurance that you are doing the things right, where it matters most for your stakeholders, and that you will continue to do so over time, even better and better.

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