UP3 - Lessons learned from a day with our customers

Lessons learned from a day with our customers

A couple of weeks ago Ian Wynn, UP3’s Head of Managed Service, welcomed customers to our second user group, this time taking place in Birmingham.

The aim of the event is for our customers to learn from each other. Not only to share successes and best practice but also those cautionary tales and lessons learned. It’s those real-world experiences that customers continually tell us are valuable. But as one of the owners of UP3 I love hearing them too, to not only understand what’s working in the real world but also the challenges our customers face now and in the future.

In the spirit of that learning, I wanted share some of my key takeaways from the day.

ServiceNow is helping National Highways do amazing things to improve safety

Andy Thomas, from National Highways, kindly presented to attendees. When asked ‘How do you gain support from the business to adopt ServiceNow for new processes?’ Andy answered ‘I just showed them’. This so simply underlines the power of a proof of concept (POC) to demonstrate capability.

The result is that National Highways can innovate faster to support their ‘home safe and well’ approach and show how standing up a POC to demonstrate capability and value can be so much more powerful than any business case.

He also discussed some of their successes, like how they're using ServiceNow’s CMDB and exploiting the power of the platform to create mapping functionality to manage all of National Highways’ roadside assets and provide improved visibility of all the things they look after.

He then shared some of his lessons learned.

  • Experience first – talk to your users and understand what they want/don’t want.
  • Challenge the status quo – plenty of people will tell you something can’t be done, think differently.
  • Find the quickest path to value with acceptable risk.

It’s still all about the people when making ServiceNow work

It’s something we at UP3 are always saying. You can have the best tools in the world, but it means nothing without the right people and the right energy to get things done.

When the attendees had their group discussion, it was so clear once again. They said:

  • Senior champions are vital. They need to be there to give the business confidence that ServiceNow has the capability to solve their problems.
  • Solve real business problems. One company in attendance talked about how IT went out of its way to solve problems the business was experiencing by promising to eliminate pain points without heavy involvement from the business. Once they had done this a few times word started to get out and now they have the business eager to proactively find solutions to their issues.
  • Investment. You need to understand the power and potential of ServiceNow to solve business problems. This kind of capability requires investment; just keeping up with upgrades and doing the bare minimum in just support and maintenance will never deliver meaningful value.

Bad data = bad results

In business we’ve all known this for ages. From business intelligence projects to reporting, what you get out is directly related to the quality of the data going in.

George Holzer, UP3’s Solution Consultant, discussed ServiceNow’s AI capabilities by breaking down the Predictive Intelligence framework and discussing how the capability can be applied both inside IT and across customer services.

But he warned that AI is just another way that will quickly surface bad data. AI will work on the data that you feed it, so if your data is no good the results will be no good either.

However the silver lining for our customers’ AI is it will more readily show where the bad data is coming from and the root cause and from there they can look to address the issues.

Personas are key for minimum viable products

Justin Loftas, UP3’s Technical Director, was talking about MVPs recently in one of our legal webinars and fleshed out the subject for the wider user group audience in a fun workshop demonstrating how to use a persona-based approach to the flight check-in process.

What we learned:

  • You need to drive out all the personas and needs in order to make a determination as to whether something will be included in an MVP. Any missed mandatory requirements will ruin an MVP.
  • It’s so important to get into the shoes of the various personas and where possible bring those people into the process so that the project team hears their experience first-hand. One customer ensures they ask stakeholders how each stage of the process makes them feel to understand the level of frustration, anger, delight etc.
  • What has worked so well for UP3 and the operational processes we have automated is to visit the process in action. Nothing focuses the mind more than seeing a live Ops Centre in the middle of managing a major event.
  • Try and identify delighters – what will make your users really happy? What can you deliver to stakeholders that is much better than what they have today? Although they may not be necessary for an MVP the difference they can make to people makes them worth including particularly if it helps win over stakeholders and ease adoption.

And that wraps up my summary of the day’s highlights. It was fascinating hearing from our customers and thank you to all that attended. It also makes me incredibly proud to see our amazing team in action sharing their knowledge just because they truly want to make our customers more successful in what they do.

We will be hosting our next user group in the new year. In the meantime, whether you’re in the legal industry or not, I do suggest watching the art of the possible webinar on due diligence to hear more from Justin and how MVPs can accelerate your adoption of ServiceNow.

Ruth Weatherall

Written by:

Ruth Weatherall

Co-founder and Operations Director

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