8 steps to successful project delivery

ServiceNow Project Management – 8 Steps to Successful Delivery: SPOC ServiceNow Experts Since 2010
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.

Check that:

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.

Confirm that:

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.)
Customer Acceptance
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.

Make sure:

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.

ServiceNow Project Milestones

The project management team at SPOC has been assisting customers since 2010 with their ServiceNow projects. During this time, the methodology and approach to ServiceNow related projects has evolved and improved with each new project and experience gained. When the team initially engages with a client, the customer’s landscape and situation can differ significantly. One customer may be very mature from a process and service perspective, with access to the latest technology.

Another client may be beginning in their process of digital transformation. Looking to migrate from a legacy application used for service management. In this situation, it’s common and recommended that the client starts as close to an ‘out-of-the-box implementation’ as possible. This allows the client to prepare a stable foundation for improving their service delivery. Different Situations but a Similar Process The steps the Project team takes to get from the initial discussion to a successful implementation will take a fairly similar path. Regardless if the customer and the business situation may look different.

SPOC has defined the main milestones as ‘Defined, Designed & Delivered’ These three steps derive from the Lifecycle of Business Change process used by many IT and Business Professionals. The lifecycle of Business Change: Going step by step through this process allows all the important points to be captured and the relevant stakeholders to be engaged. This minimises the potential of a failed or unsuccessful project. Of course, each of these milestones can be broken down further into their individual parts. The makeup of each will then differ depending on the organisation we’re dealing with and their objectives and own governance models.

SPOC’s Milestones to a Successful ServiceNow Project: Defined:

Through the initial interactions with the customer, we look to elicit their objectives and vision for improvement. It helps during this phase to have a clear picture of where the customer is in their current journey and the goals they have for progression. Picturing where the customer currently is and how they’re working, also helps us gain an understanding of the human element of the change process. Who will be affected by the change and what impact this will have on the change itself?

Throughout the definition stage, we will look at the following areas which will all influence the development requirements. POPIT – Used to capture details of the Business ‘As Is’ EnvironmentA Mind Map or Rich Picture can be used to present ideas back to the business. This helps capture all the relevant areas and information. Mind Mapping to model the ‘As Is’ Business situation The details elicited during the definition phase allow SPOC to produce a high-level scope for the project.


When the project team has captured the main goals of the project, reviewed the ‚As Is‚ & ‚To Be’ business situations and produced the high-level scope. The team will go deeper to uncover the specific requirements. Using the MoSCoW prioritisation technique, functionality is usually split into ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. This is compiled to a Project Backlog containing ‘Epics’. An Epic is a specific part of the project, which is later broken into individual user stories. The following article provides more information about the process of gathering and building requirements. SPOC uses certain tools to help validate the requirements and needs of the business.

These tools help present ideas and concepts back to the customer. These may include: A prototype provided through a ‘proof of concept’ / ‘proof of value’ Design mock-ups. Visual representation of the project. Useful for forms or User Interfaces Scenarios or process models During the design phase, it’s crucial that all parties understand and agree on the implementation plan. Therefore, they must consider the goals of the project and how they will be realised. With an Agile project, this is less critical when comparing to a fixed ‘Waterfall’ approach. An agile delivery, as the name suggests, offers flexibility. It offers the ability to adapt to small changes and shifts in direction, as the project is actually running. Delivered: Once the project or application has been defined and designed,

SPOC can look to implement the functionality. For this, SPOC favours ‘Agile’ project management. As referenced above, this gives all parties more freedom to tweak the approach, even as the delivery is in progress. Of course, there are restrictions here. The project team will manage all changes during each sprint and project phase. Once the project has been correctly defined and designed, it’s the responsibility of the delivery team to execute the plans.

Each step is very important but without the skills and knowledge of a competent team, the project won’t be properly realised. The Delivery model used by SPOC can be viewed in detail in this post. The delivery team utilises a vast bank of previous experience. Gained by completing many different engagements with a range of clients. Each project and application implemented, helps to hone skills further. The deep pool of talent working for SPOC means the delivery team can manage projects of ranging complexity. The team has delivered full ITSM projects in only a few months. In contrast, they’ve also produced completely custom applications. Such projects have revolutionised the services offered by the businesses using them.

ServiceNow Projects – Customer Examples We have a number of example case studies from projects delivered with customers. If you would like to receive one specific to your area of interest, please get in touch.