Executing a successful ServiceNow project implementation requires each member of the project team to contribute.
This article outlines the principles and the steps SPOC’s project team takes to maximise a successful implementation for ServiceNow projects.
From the experience gained working with different clients on projects that vary in size and complexity, the team strongly feels that an Agile approach best suits ServiceNow projects.
One of the main reasons for this is the frequent issue of eliciting the specific requirements from stakeholders at the start of the project.
This means it can be challenging to identify all of the main functions required during the implementation. In addition, it’s not uncommon for the requirements to adapt as the stakeholder’s knowledge of the system and the possibilities of its functionality grows.
With an Agile delivery, you can compensate for these changes throughout the sprints. By using the MoSCoW prioritisation technique with a ratio of 60/20/20, it means that the ‘Must Have’s’ can be identified but there is the necessary room for adjustment.
The Key Steps
Taking a more granular perspective, we can identify the main milestones of the project. Irrelevant of the scope, these will stay fairly consistent.
The Agreement for the ServiceNow Project
All parties must agree on the model of cooperation; that doesn’t mean only the contractual elements but also other key elements.
This would include:
- Project Governance is set
- Roles & Responsibilities are clearly defined
- Product owner has the appropriate decision power
- The project exit plan is well defined
- The proposed team will stay consistent
ServiceNow Scoping Workshops
Once the customer has communicated the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for the project, it’s time to cover the scope of the functionality and requirements.
Before starting, make sure:
- Everyone is briefed prior to the workshops increasing interaction
- The vision, roadmap and CSFs are understood so the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can be defined
- All the relevant people are involved
- Functional and Non-Functional requirements are captured
- The customer’s voice is heard – watch out for System thinking
Product Backlog for the ServiceNow Project
Once the requirements have been gathered, the product backlog can be drafted.
- All the requirements of the MVP are well defined
- The MoSCoW prioritisation follows the 60/20/20 ratio
- Estimations include development and non-development work
- The estimation team consists of a mixture of profiles
- The user stories are clearly defined and written in epics or user stories
- The acceptance criteria are defined quantitively
Delivery Plan for the ServiceNow Project
The backlog is in place, you can now start creating the delivery plan.
- Project constraints and expectations are included in the plan
- You are prepared for business change management
- Communication plan and project marketing within your organization is defined
- Schedule, budget, and team are agreed
- Risks and issues are captured
- Documentation requirements confirmed (technical documentation, user guides etc.)
An initial backlog is prepared, project plan, deliverables and costs are defined. It’s time for a decision!
It’s important to make sure:
- Any doubt is clarified
- All parties understand and accept risks related to the project delivery model
- Roles and responsibilities are clearly assigned
- You start with a project kick-off
Backlog Refinement of your ServiceNow Requirements
The scope is agreed & the stories have the green light. Now you can plan the sprints and confirm the solution architecture.
- You stay focused on the business priorities
- Product owner and delivery team cooperate to define what should be delivered
- Refinement isn’t causing scope creep
- Estimation is done by the same team that is delivering
ServiceNow Project Sprints
Development starts and continues! You can expect incremental improvements and new value creation after each sprint.
Points to remember:
- Backlog refinement is done frequently, providing an ability to easily pick-up fully defined and ready stories during sprint planning
- You have full visibility of your delivery team’s work, including budget spending
- Q&A tests are part of a sprint – customer UAT is a separate task
You have your ServiceNow Project Go-Live
If you’ve been consistent during the previous steps, it’s almost time to reap the fruits of your labour.
Don’t fall at the final hurdle. Make sure:
- Your Go-Live plan is in place
- Your users are trained properly
- UATs are completed!
- All needed documentation is in place
- All important people are invited for the Go-Live cake!
These steps follow the usual path the SPOC Project team take. At high-level you can split the content into phases and steps. The truth is, each client and setup will be different. Therefore, the finer details will differ and the actual project steps should adjust to reflect this.