Over the years, ServiceNow has developed a reputation for being easy to configure and use. And it’s true that even an out-of-the-box implementation of many of ServiceNow’s applications can bring incredible functionality and efficiency to an organization. However, businesses implementing ServiceNow should be careful to avoid letting these characteristics tempt them into cutting corners when it comes to building out a quality solution.


With that in mind, here’s a ServiceNow implementation guide for the five pitfalls to avoid when implementing:


1. Skipping the “Analysis Phase”

While many organizations have moved to agile or hybrid-agile development, spending time up front to gain a clear understanding of business problems, document requirements, and design a solution is still critical for project success. And this step is just as important with planning a ServiceNow implementation roadmap as any other software. Whether you call it a JAD session, a business process workshop, or something else (Infocenter provides a strategic planning ServiceNow roadmap for this called RADIUS™), don’t let yourself be tempted into skipping the analysis phase of your ServiceNow implementation. 


2. Not Knowing your Stakeholders

Understanding all stakeholders who will be impacted by your planned ServiceNow implementation is not just a cultural consideration but a technical one. Configuration of ServiceNow is heavily based on groups and roles, which define what a given user can access and accomplish in the tool. Taking the time to identify and document all stakeholders will help your IT organization to avoid an influx of access-related requests post-deployment and will ensure that all users can do their work efficiently from day one.


3. Over-Customizing to Match a Legacy Process

When implementing ServiceNow to support a business process (e.g., IT Architecture Reviews or Project Phase Gate Approvals), it might feel easier to configure the tool to align exactly with your legacy process. In some cases this may be true, but in others this could lead to costly over-customization when an out-of-box functionality would do the trick. Extensively customized solutions cost more to support, increase the cost and complexity of upgrades, and should be weighed against the value they’ll provide to the organization.  A good way to avoid this is to remain open to technical alternatives for achieving a particular objective and to enlist the support of a proven ServiceNow implementation specialist to help you in identifying such opportunities.


4. Failing to Consider the Bigger Picture

Whether your organization is already an enterprise user of ServiceNow or a new adopter, it’s important to consider the bigger picture when planning for an implementation. In organizations that already utilize ServiceNow, be sure to vet your designs with other Product Owners, Admins, or Enterprise Architects to ensure that none of the changes you’re planning will wreak havoc on existing infrastructure.  For new adopters, take the time to think through future uses of the tool to avoid coding yourself into a corner in terms of functionality and transferability.  


5. Ignoring the Need for Warranty Support

While we’d all like to think our implementations will go flawlessly, the reality is that things can happen post-deployment that require the project team’s attention and resources. Defects, performance problems, and user errors can all arise, and assuming that your existing support organization or Help Desk can effectively handle this influx is a mistake.

Remember to incorporate ample time for warranty support into your project plans and make sure that estimates from your ServiceNow implementation Partner take this into account as well. We hope this ServiceNow implementation guide helped, although, just avoiding these common pitfalls alone will not guarantee your success; however, it will get you started on the path toward realizing value for your organization through ServiceNow.


If you’re looking for a ServiceNow partner, look no further! As a ServiceNow Elite Partner, Infocenter can help you plan, build and manage your ServiceNow platform. Speak with an expert today to learn more about our strategic planning engagement (RADIUS™) and DEVSHOP™, our highly-flexible managed services offering. We can help you leverage the power of the NOW platform!