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Mastering ServiceNow ITSM best practices


Vijendra Sainy

June 03, 2024

Let me paint a picture in your mind. Imagine that your IT service desk is a symphony of efficiency. Incident and change management happen seamlessly and swiftly, and users rave about the experience. Sounds like a fantasy? Not necessarily. With ServiceNow ITSM, this can turn into reality. 

However, before you implement the suite, you should know how to do it right. This blog post will dive deep into ServiceNow ITSM, equipping you with practical tips and best practices to optimize your incident and change management. We will also explore a true story from InfoBeans to show you these practices in action.

Building a rock-solid ServiceNow foundation: Essential best practices

Before implementation, let us establish a strong foundation for your ServiceNow ITSM journey. Here are some of the best practices to consider:

1. Create a roadmap

Crystallize your vision for ServiceNow. Make sure that you have an answer to the following questions:

  • What problems are you trying to solve? 
  • How will it fit into your existing workflows?

Remember, understanding your objectives ensures a focused and successful implementation.

Develop a comprehensive roadmap for your ITSM initiatives, considering implementation phases, user responses, and future improvements. This roadmap should have a systematic approach that measures progress, identifies success factors, and defines KPIs, metrics, and a guiding framework. You can measure the effectiveness of a well-crafted roadmap through efficient execution of service management processes, including incident management, change management, and problem management.

2. Data quality is crucial

Ensure your data is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date before migrating it to ServiceNow. Clean data is the backbone of efficient processes. It will ensure that your processes and workflows run smoothly.

3. Start small, scale smart!

Begin with a manageable project to learn the platform and identify the challenges. Once you have identified the risks, scale up for a broader impact.

4. Stakeholder collaboration

Involve key stakeholders – end-users, IT staff, and business leaders – throughout the process. This fosters a sense of ownership and ensures everyone is aligned with the goals. This buy-in is crucial for the success of your ITSM initiative.

5. Leverage out-of-the-box functionality

ServiceNow offers a range of out-of-the-box (OOTB) functionality, which can be used to achieve your goals without building everything from scratch. Focus on ensuring that teams maximize the value of these built-in functionalities. Establish policies and processes that limit customization and keep your ServiceNow instance close to its original configuration.  This approach allows for faster upgrades and taking advantage of new capabilities with each ServiceNow release.

However, strike a balance. Consider customizations vs. off-the-shelf. While “out-of-the-box” solutions offer quicker implementation, they may not always deliver the specific value you need. Carefully consider the trade-offs between customization (which can introduce complexity) and achieving your desired business outcomes.

6. Embrace a gradual rollout

Instead of a system-wide switchover, consider a phased implementation. This allows for fine-tuning and adjustments to address any challenges before full deployment. Also, it gives users time to familiarize themselves with the platform before integrating it into their daily workflows.

7. Continuous monitoring and optimization

Once ServiceNow is up and running, keep a watchful eye. Monitor usage by tracking user adoption and identifying areas for improvement. Be prepared to adjust configurations, add new features, or even modify user access based on evolving needs.

8. Stay updated

ServiceNow releases regular updates. Make sure that you stay up-to-date to benefit from new features and functionalities that can further optimize your ITSM processes. Also, ensure that your platform is protected against vulnerabilities and leverages the latest bug fixes for a smoother user experience.

9. Identify a network of support

Throughout your ServiceNow journey, you’re not alone. When challenges arise, tap into valuable resources such as ServiceNow implementation partners like InfoBeans. Monitor the ServiceNow Community for opportunities to engage with a worldwide network of ServiceNow users and experts, offering peer-to-peer support.

ServiceNow also provides comprehensive online documentation to answer your questions and guide your implementation. And as for any specific issues you encounter, don’t hesitate to leverage the official ServiceNow customer support.

A true story of ServiceNow ITSM implementation success

Let’s see these best practices in action with a case study. A global security solutions provider was using an ITSM tool (developed in SAP), which suffered from a lot of challenges. These challenges included ineffective notifications, dysfunctional approval workflows, and manual processes for CI (Configuration Items) and SLA (Service Level Agreement) management.

They initially partnered with another company to implement ServiceNow, but the solution wasn’t what they envisioned. That’s where InfoBeans came in. We listened to their needs and delivered a ServiceNow solution that perfectly met their requirements.

Here’s how we addressed their challenges:

  • Incident Management: Designed a service portal, created a service contract module, automated incident classification and assignment, and implemented escalation management.
  • Problem Management: Established workflows for investigating root causes, tracking solutions, and analyzing trends to predict future issues.
  • Change Management: Provided capabilities for creating, assessing, approving, and implementing changes. We also automated report generation and established a dedicated support team for change releases.
Project manager dashboard

By closely listening to the organization’s needs, we were able to deliver a smooth ServiceNow migration that eliminated wasted time and delays. This successful ServiceNow implementation transformed the provider’s ITSM processes, boosting efficiency and empowering them to deliver exceptional service.

Final thoughts

Remember, the key to success lies in careful planning, ongoing optimization, and leveraging the expertise available. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance from the ServiceNow community. By implementing ServiceNow ITSM, you can transform your IT service desk into a symphony of efficiency. You can  empower your team to deliver exceptional service and keep your users raving. 

If you’re looking for an implementation partner to help you orchestrate this transformation, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to guide you every step of the way!

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