Envision, create, validate, communicate - the four keys to Beckton Dickinson's ServiceNow journey

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan October 14, 2021
There are a series of important principles that should underpin a ServiceNow roll out, as BD's Trisha Johnson explains.

Beckton Dickinson

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), an American multi-national medical technology company, has been a ServiceNow user for coming up for ten years with the platform reaching across functional areas of the business. It’s a hugely successful example of that platform in practice and the firm’s experiences provide a powerful template for other organizations embarking on a similar journey.

Trisha Johnson, Senior Manager Strategy Solutions, has been with BD for around a decade, during which time she’s implemented everything from ITSM through ITVM to CSM on the ServiceNow platform. At the start of its ServiceNow journey, BD had just implemented shared services centers around the world, but there were a lot of challenges to overcome, she recalls:

We were looking at lots of processes in email or SharePoint and even paper, tons of manual work. People were losing two hours in the morning preparing reports and spreadsheets to get vendor customer service desks up and running every day. There was limited process transparency - you cannot measure what you can see, it's as simple as that. And there was no view whatsoever into user experience, no portals, slow routing and approvals. We were routing paper documents for wet signature around the world for capital funding and that process could take up to 12 weeks sometimes to get official approval.

Continuous wheel

The key to tackling this was the ServiceNow Now Value methodology, a “continuous wheel” as Johnson pitches it:

We always go back to the beginning and just continually evolve.

Making the most of the methodology means beginning with some key principles, she advises - envision, create, validate and champion:

That is just foundationally core to everything that we do. You're always in a different place in this journey. Different products can line up to different places in this journey. This wheel is continuously being revisited because there's a new product coming out next release, how are we going to put that into this vision?

The envisioning element of BD’s journey was aided internally:

We had a tremendously great executive sponsor, saying, 'Have you heard about this new platform?'. He saw the possibilities with procurement, legal, finance, supplier portals and this was eight years ago. So that vision was very strong there and he championed it everywhere he went.

But there were challenges still, she notes:

How are we going to prioritize those challenges?  What is going to bring the best value fastest to our stakeholders? How are we going to get cost reductions and save some efficiency in our service desks? It's not just about a vision for your roadmap and product, but a vision for your ServiceNow program. Are you going to have a center of excellence? How are you going to set up your internal team? Are you going to have an internal team? Are you going to partner? Are you going to have both or a hybrid approach? How are you going to manage ServiceNow as ServiceNow? What's your governance? The list goes on and on.

Those questions can’t be avoided, cautions Johnson:

If you start the journey and don't have some of these foundational things and set in place, we would have been absolutely overwhelmed with the backlog that then came. So setting up that strong governance and implementation strategy was core to the envision stage.

Being creative

Moving on to the create stage, the goal was then to turn the vision into actual outcomes. Johnson recalls:

We had a very small internal team, but because we put these standards in place and defined a lot of not only how we're building this, but where we're going, [the team] was able to work with our stakeholders, sometimes turning the naysayers into our biggest champions. We were able to take those and get them value quick, turning around services in two, three days, and show immediate value.

In terms of user adoption, people need to be given the ability to tap into that value. There’s lots of free training material on offer, says Johnson:

ServiceNow is the epitome of 'if you build it they will come'...OCM, communications packages, roadmaps, templates, all these things - you don't need to reinvent the wheel. ServiceNow has probably made a base of that package for you. There's really training programs for every piece of the platform. From developers and administrators to business analysts, even some of your executives, there's a format that fits them and utilizing that has really helped us succeed. That is absolutely key to this platform, because everything is connected, no matter if it's a scoped application or not, it's all foundationally connected.

For its part, BD is active in the ServiceNow community with some of its team involved in product advisory councils. This is beneficial as a user, argues Johnson:

The more you give ServiceNow, the more they give you. It's a really fantastic ecosystem like that and that's allowed us to not only stay in touch with all those resources, but where the product is going. [You're] getting to be a part of what the release four releases from now is going to look like. That is critical to our success as well because we can continue to stay on that journey together. We maintain short term and long term roadmaps to achieve quick wins, but that long term is built on this foundation of not only our business roadmaps, but ServiceNow's product roadmaps.

Tell them about it

Validation of the platform comes from being ready to measure everything, says Johnson:

There are measures and transactions that we're doing for people and efficiency, but also some initial KPIs around what our goals were with the vision and how are we achieving that. Are we digitally transforming? Are we actually making achievable measurable goals? Because again we're not talking about IT users per se; we're talking about legal, finance, procurement. It's part of an implementation that we set up standard KPIs, standard reporting dashboards, both leadership and director sort of views and dashboards, but also your transactional hands on, fulfiller type dashboards...They're standard. Worldwide, SLAs  mean the same thing from center to center to center. As you're looking at a dashboard for transactional work and fulfiller work in Asia, you're looking at the same thing that folks in Latin America are looking at.

Finally, with all this in hand, it’s vital to get the message out and champion the platform. Johnson says:

You've got to tell your story. What is it that you're doing? How are we bringing value to stakeholders? Championing isn't just,  'Here's how we're doing on our metrics and our KPIs'; championing is getting people excited about what this platform can do. It is important that you champion. You also have to have engaged users. If people are excited about something, they're going to be more engaged, they're going to be more receptive to trainings to tips and tricks and how tos. More honest feedback about the user experience will come to you as well. So, the excitement isn't just to create a backlog, it's to get those champions. You want those naysayers to be your biggest champions. They were the loudest saying, 'We can't do it'; make them the loudest saying,  'Look what we did'.

Putting these principles into practice has served BD well, observes Johnson:

We went live with the original [ServiceNow] implementation in 11 weeks total with four people, worldwide launch. We were able at that go live to reduce the 12 week paper process of approval down to one to two days. Those solutions were modern and innovative, back then and still are because we're in touch with the product roadmaps, because we have skilled resources that can take what this platform gives you and do something.

The services for finance, for HR, for legal, for procurement, it doesn't matter what function you're at, ServiceNow has proven that it can work for you. We may have built these solutions in 2013, but they can still be working in the lab today and we can still upgrade thanks to the upgrade center.

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