Five Ways To Create ServiceNow Success

Josh Upton

by Josh Upton

Recently we’ve been defining what ServiceNow success looks like from a client perspective. I’ve learned that painting a picture of what success looks like, and how it will be achieved is critical.

The process below is something that has taken shape over many ServiceNow implementations. If you follow this general guideline, you will be far less likely to get stuck in ruts like many organizations have.

Roadmap Process to ServiceNow Success 

1.      A “You” Problem?

2.      Little Wins Equal Huge Value

3.      Choosing Your Owner Wisely

4.      Foundation First

5.      Customization Kills

But hey, what are roadmaps if we don’t explain their importance? With that said, and in my attempt to make this as short as humanly possible, let me explain.

A You Problem? 

We often attach pain to things that aren’t the root cause of our frustration but merely a symptom of something bigger. Taking personal frustration out of the equation and operating on fact is the only way to approach a project.

Is it that employees won’t adopt a password reset initiative or could it be the initiative wasn’t planned correctly from the very beginning. Like it or not employees won’t adopt anything if they don’t like it.

My point?

If you focus on the wrong problem the project will fail to produce your value objective. (Is ‘value objective’ a common phrase? Honestly, I would just end the sentence after fail. “If you focus on the wrong problem then the project will fail”. Your choice)

Little Wins Can Equal Huge Value

Not too long ago, Apple came out with Touch ID and I’m sure most of us understand how it works. It simply recognizes your fingerprint in order to unlock your phone so you don’t have to punch in a passcode.

Touch ID did not change my life, but what it did do is make unlocking my phone easier. It made getting into my payment apps easier. My life, on a day to day basis, got easier, and I think that’s pretty cool.

The same holds true for your organization and ServiceNow. A CEO doesn’t necessarily have to see earth shattering change to understand the benefit of what you’re providing the business.

Choosing Your Owner Wisely


This is one of the most overlooked portions of a ServiceNow project and it’s arguably the most important. If you choose a poor representative to lead your organization, then it is doomed to fail.

My advice is to put someone in charge who has the ability to be put into a situation where they have to “figure it out.” ServiceNow can create incredible change for your organization, but the business process owner must have the ability to move the needle.

Choose someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind. Doesn’t mind pushing back, and can rise to the occasion when the situation calls for it.

My point? If you want to get all you can from ServiceNow, you need to choose the right person to lead.

Foundation First 

I’ve played golf most of my life, and once I was done with collegiate golf I did what many of my counterparts did … I turned professional, played some and became a teaching professional to supplement things.

Golf lessons were always interesting. Students would come in telling me exactly what they did wrong and what they needed/wanted to do. Typically, it was hit the ball farther and reducing their slice.

Here’s the problem and some free advice. If your foundation in golf is flawed, (stance, grip, alignment, balance, posture) your body will start doing things to adjust for those flaws, literally, as soon as you take the club back. You’re doomed before you ever hit the ball.

Prioritize process and people first. The ancillary benefits will come but without the grunt work you will never get to the place you envision.

Customization Kills 

I could write another paragraph, but in all honesty, you should just watch the video clip below. All too often enterprise software customers focus on the wrong things. Don’t get stuck in a spinning wheel of frustration!

Cool Video By Steve Fox Touching On This Point

That’s really it, folks. ServiceNow should serve as a jumping-off point to add value throughout your organization. HR, Project Portfolio Management, Compliance, Security … there are so many areas where this software can help you. Think about that. You set it up and then the process is established. You don’t have to do it again.

The overall message?

If you don’t build from the ground up, you will have many unhappy users on your hands.

Take your time.