• Erik Bartholdy, Senior Manager |
4 min read

Nearly every company I've visited and assisted over the years have struggled with getting control of their innovation process, development process, demand process, change process or whatever they call it.

How do we keep track of ideas, requests and development initiatives? How do we ensure that the things we set in motion align with our strategies and goals? How do we ensure progress and ultimately, how do we monitor the realisation of benefits - where did the money go?

Many (most) manage strategies, goals, demands, epics and projects with Excel, SharePoint and email. It can be done, but it's hard to keep track of versions, states and ownership, and many resources are wasted. Countless are the project models, demand processes, pipelines, and portfolio processes I've seen. They come in all varieties, sizes and scopes. Some are described in best practice frameworks, others in internally developed models.

Unfortunately, many who already HAVE ServiceNow are not aware that ServiceNow, with the Strategic Portfolio Management module, supports the entire journey - from idea to finished work. Such as who came up with an idea, where do the requirements come from, what are the resource costs (time and money), what projects has it spawned, what benefits need to be realised, etc.

The whole red thread can thus easily be followed with relatively few measures, from idea and execution to benefits of the realisation. The data model and structure in ServiceNow ensure that you can start small and grow from there. Hence, you don't need to start with a colossal development task.

How do you approach the task?

You can get started with very few pieces of information and only a small part of all the features in Strategic Portfolio Management, and gradually add more information as well as use more and more features. For example, you don't need to use resource management to start with, you can start with information about budget and costs, and later use the entire finance module. As long as you don't "customise" and as long as you stick to "out of the box," you're safe.

It has worked best when we have started simply. Where we got started without having to coordinate ourselves to death and without trying in advance to devise and design all sorts of scenarios. Therefore, you are now getting a step-by-step guide on how to easiest get started gaining an overview of your ideas and projects with the help of ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management:

  • Start by using the agile module, where you can create releases, epics and stories. In a very short time, you'll have an overview of what's going on and what the various teams are working on.

    For example, you have access to planning overview in Kanban boards, sprint planning, etc. You don't need to use all the nuts and bolts right away. Just get an overview to start with and get control of the entrance to the development initiatives.

  • If you then get a taste for seeing how strategies and goals are connected to your initiatives (which we naturally recommend in order to ensure value), and perhaps you already have some project overview in a spreadsheet, SharePoint, or similar, then project portfolio management in ServiceNow is where you should proceed. Get an overview of your projects.

    You can start by importing basic information, such as the purpose of the project, who owns it, what the business case is, who the project manager is, what the budget is, etc. It can be imported from spreadsheets or almost anything. Your project managers can keep themselves, and you, updated with very little information, provide an overview and thus the opportunity to report on the projects.

  • You can then start using the project management function with Gantt visualisation, Ridac (Risk, Issue, Decision, Action, and Changes), status reporting, assignments, etc.

  • If there is a need to link goals and strategies with epics and projects, you can start using the Financial and Goal Framework modules, and here collect your epics and projects into portfolios and programmes.

  • The resource management module can finally be put into use if there is also a need to plan and manage resources. With these additional modules and information, control and management of benefit realisation are supported.

In a very short time, you're up and running.

All modules are integrated with the operational processes, so when it's time to actually execute the planned initiatives, the red thread from idea to implementation is visualised.

In other words, you can primarily use ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management to focus on consolidation and reporting, or you can use the platform to manage the execution of your projects, or both, of course.

This was a quick "Just get started guide." If you have questions, need guidance on the journey, areas you want me to dive deeper into, or you're interested in how to get started in practice, please feel free to write to me.

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