In the midst of the uncertainty of this year there have been few things we can count on, but a new Autumn release from ServiceNow is one of them! With the Paris release still fresh and a hot topic at this month’s NowAtWork we thought it was a good time to talk about release upgrades.
When we’ve started working with new clients, often we’ve noticed that many go through the motions with upgrades, upgrading because, well, you have to! What has been missing is giving that bit extra time to the investigation and learning aspects to inform relevance and planning.
Here are our Top 5 tips for making sure your organisation reaps the maximum benefits of upgrading to a new release:
1. Planning makes perfect
This may sound basic on the surface, we’ve seen that many organisations aren’t thinking ahead and putting any plans in place for the next release. Before anyone realises it’s already arrived and it’s just another item on the to-do list rather than being given the attention it deserves to maximise it’s real value.
The first thing to do is know when the deadline is to be off your current version so you can plan to – which release you want to upgrade to, when it’s available and any work you will need to do in advance to ensure a smooth transition.
2. See a new release as the springboard to creating or updating your roadmap
Understanding what is in the release can be invaluable not just to make quick-win improvements in your users’ experience in the short term, but guide and fuel continuous improvement.
Based on reviewing the highlights guide and getting to grips with content of the release, one of our clients, a luxury clothing online retailer was inspired to re-prioritise their mobile user experience due to the functionality of the new release.
3. Understand the resources available to you
ServiceNow have been working hard to provide more proactive assistance within the upgrade process, recognising that no-one gains from being stuck on older releases. As part of the Paris release, there is now an Upgrade Centre within the platform. You can see which releases are available to you and find out more about what an upgrade entails. You can also monitor the status of any ongoing upgrade and view the summary of your latest upgrade with the new Upgrade Monitor module.
3. Be aware of your Customisations
If your platform has elements that have bespoke customization then upgrading will require more planning. However, ServiceNow have begun to re-emphasize the power of the Platform, with new tools like Flow Designer to accelerate development, so we shouldn’t be afraid to put the pedal down and tackle specific workflow challenges.
Devoteam and companies like us provide a safety net to ensure that customisations do not come with any significant ongoing overhead.
5. Leverage the Automated Test Framework (ATF)
The ATF was released a while back, but has grown in power, and crucially in the number of out-of-the-box tests that are provided for the leading applications. It does have an initial overhead, to put more of your own tests into the Engine, but this is then rewarded in time with a reduction in testing cycles. Embrace the capability and shorten what has always been the slowest part of the upgrade process.