7 Key Steps to Successful ITSM Modernization

Getty Images

So, you’re ready to modernize your ITSM platform and processes. You know the value – and can’t wait to start. However, here’s the question – how do you get there? How do you make ITSM modernization a success, delivering on time, on budget – and crucially – on benefit?

At ServiceNow, we’ve helped hundreds of organizations modernize ITSM. Based on this experience, here are seven key best practices that deliver success.

  1. Build Champions and Evangelists

As with any strategic change, ITSM modernization needs organizational buy-in. Successful change isn’t dictated from the top – it’s built on a groundswell of enthusiasm across the business. Identify influential people who can take your message out to individual teams and locations, keeping in mind that champions and evangelists are found at every level. Secure their support, focusing on the specific benefits for their stakeholder community. Make sure they have your full backing – and reward their contribution.

  1. Communicate Regularly and Widely

Strong communication is the bedrock of effective change. When change initiatives fail, poor communication is often the culprit. Constant communication keeps employees informed and engaged – reducing objections and helping them to prepare for change. It’s equally important to communicate your goals, status and outcomes regularly to executive sponsors and business stakeholders – this ensures continued support and feedback, and means that help is there when you need it.

  1. Configure, Don’t Customize

ITSM modernization is an opportunity to do things better. If you just replicate your legacy processes, you’ll lose that opportunity. Wherever possible, stick to out-of-the-box ITIL proven practices – and carefully evaluate any customizations to see if they have a valid business justification. Don’t just be different for the sake of being different. In most cases, you’ll be able to achieve your goals by configuring ServiceNow. By avoiding customizations, you’ll save on maintenance costs, and you’ll be able to easily upgrade in future to leverage new ServiceNow capabilities.

  1. Agree Success Criteria and Demonstrate Progress

Work with stakeholders up front to understand their needs and pain points, so you can agree on success criteria. Not only is this critical for gaining stakeholder support, it also ensures that what you deliver is aligned with their expectations. Then, actively engage stakeholders throughout the design process, regularly validating your approach and results. As well as keeping you on track, this will also let you demonstrate fast progress and tangible outcomes – which is exactly what stakeholders want to see.

  1. Implement Effective Change Control

Modernizing your ITSM systems and processes takes discipline. You have to start with clear objectives and a well-defined plan. Then, you need to execute this plan consistently and efficiently – making sure that any changes are assessed, approved and documented. Avoid unnecessary scope creep – this creates delays and rework, which ultimately leads to a loss of business confidence. Above all, take steps to prevent ad hoc “under the radar” changes, since these typically show up late and are extremely disruptive.

  1. Train Locally

To ensure a smooth transition, you need to train IT staff and end-users on your new ITSM platform and processes. The best way to do this is to train locally, rather than running centralized training sessions. This increases participation rates and creates a more interactive environment – allowing employees to ask questions and get hands-on experience. Set up early awareness roadshows, and then follow up with more detailed local training as you get closer to your launch dates. If you need to scale your local training capabilities, consider adopting a train-the-trainer approach.

  1. Go Live!

Now, the big day is here and you’re ready to go live. If you’ve followed all of these steps, you’re likely to have a successful launch. However, it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Consider setting up a war room for a few weeks post-launch – when everything goes smoothly, you can shut this down sooner. Also, make sure that you define, measure and manage your success metrics – for example, end-user adoption, better deflection rates, increased first-time fix rates, or faster fulfillment times.

Modernize your IT now: https://www.servicenow.com/solutions/improve-it-service-delivery.html

Check out successful ITSM Modernization stories from Knowledge17:  https://community.servicenow.com/community/on-demand-library