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Inside the Barrel

Good, Fast, or Cheap ServiceNow HR Case Implementation: Which Do You Choose?

Good, Fast, or Cheap ServiceNow HR Case Implementation: Which Do You Choose?

There’s a lot to be said for standing up a basic ServiceNow HR Case Management implementation. However, “good, fast and cheap” are really difficult to achieve at the same time. 

Of course, these measures are all relative, depending on your size and level of maturity, as well as your enthusiasm for getting your Human Resources cases into a digital tool like ServiceNow.

The Challenges With Fast and Cheap
Speed of implementation is important with cloud services, since you generally start paying for them before you start the implementation process. That means you’re paying for a service you might not be deriving any value from for a matter of weeks or months.

However, don’t be tricked into shortchanging your implementation. There are some areas where you can end up in a world of “pay me now or pay me later.” And as we’ve all experienced at one time or another, the “pay me later” option is always more expensive. There’s a balancing act in this space that you’ll need to manage in order to get the best possible result. Focus on implementation time and total cost instead of worrying about hourly rates — and if you can get fixed fee for fixed scope, that’s even better.

How to Reduce Your Implementation Costs
Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to reduce your implementation costs. First, though, let’s talk about what causes many of those controllable costs: risk and uncertainty. How so? Well, the implementation partner builds in time to manage its risks and help you deal with any uncertainty it observes in your project during the buying process. So if you reduce the risk, mitigate uncertainty and limit the scope, you’ll get the “cheaper” you’re looking for without sacrificing the “good” you want. 

Here’s how to do this: 

  • Train the team who are going to help design the implementation before the design sessions
    start. See my blog: “We’re About to Implement ServiceNow HR. What Training Do My HR
    and HRIS staff Actually Need — and When Do They Need It?”
  • Before that professional services clock starts ticking, narrow down some basic HR cases you
    want for each department in the buying process. Put the rest in a backlog or a roadmap.
  • Remember: Scope creep kills project budgets. Make sure your whole team is on board with the
    scope and committed to staying the course.
  • Include all the people who can say, “No” in the project governance team. An initially-approved
    deliverable that encounters a “No” much later in the process can result in additional rework
    expenses.
  • If you have an existing ServiceNow team, leverage it to help with the non-specialist work
    portions of the implementation. 
  • Train your HRIS people who’ll administer the system in time to help with implementation.
  • Limit your initial integrations with other systems. These can take time from expensive resources.
    Put anything that isn’t high impact into the backlog or roadmap.

How to Reduce Your Implementation Time 

The time to technically stand up the basic ServiceNow HR Case Management and Knowledge is almost never the “long pole in the tent.” The things that extend projects are often almost all controllable by the customer.

Here are some tips for reducing your implementation time: 

  • Assign a project manager from your organization and empower him or her. The implementer
    doesn’t know your organization as well as your own people.
  • If you have an existing ServiceNow team in another organization, like IT, coordinate with them.
    If you’re not aligned with their operational schedule, it can easily cost you time while waiting to
    be promoted.
  • Get everyone on board with the schedule as early as possible, and understand the time
    commitments for all your team members. If your people aren’t available at the right time, it can
    cause schedule slippage. 
  • Timely approvals of design documents for processes and development stories are a must.
    Otherwise, you end up paying for delays or losing implementation resources while the
    implementation partner tries to manage their utilization.
  • Active participation by your affected HR departments in sprint reviews helps prevent rework.
  • Line up your user acceptance testing team and get them involved early on in the process.
  • Testing delays or incomplete testing are a major source of implementation delays.
  • Start writing knowledge articles early so you’re not waiting on them before you go live.

Conclusion
Focus on ensuring you get a “good” implementation partner that works with your team and aligns to your HR strategy. If your ServiceNow implementation partner doesn’t understand your HR strategy, you probably need a new partner to ensure “good, fast and cheap.” Cask advisory consultants in this practice all come from HR backgrounds and possess the expertise to help you navigate your implementation, as well as plan your roadmap. Remember: The more tightly your own team works with the implementation team the better, faster and cheaper the implementation will be.

Written byKevin Griggs, HR Service Management Expert

Kevin Griggs is an HR Service Management Expert with experience both as a practitioner, consultant, and implementer of HRIS systems. As Cask’s Director of Solutions, Kevin leads the Cask thought leadership team around Human Resources topics including case management, organizational change management, employee on-boarding and other transitions, as well as organizational design. The team’s goal is to enable HR organizations to provide better services to the businesses they support.