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Before You Go Down the Digital Portfolio Management Rabbit Hole...

At the recent Knowledge23 conference one of our valued clients, Argonne National Laboratory, shared their amazing implementation story with ServiceNow Digital Portfolio Management (DPM): Down the rabbit hole: Argonne’s adventures with Digital Portfolio Management. Thirdera helped guide this journey by providing knowledge and advice on implementing and using DPM. If your organisation is considering DPM, proper preparation, education, and awareness will make the journey smoother. Having been a lead advisor on Argonne’s DPM project, here are a few specifics I'd recommend you keep in mind as you prepare for your own DPM adventure.

The DPM application (formerly known as Service Owners Workspace) can be thought of as an aggregator of data, information, and knowledge about the health and status of services your organisation provides. That data is pulled from the individual applications, modules, and tables that store the service records and related information. DPM gives service owners and leadership a single pane of glass view of several aspects of the service.

DPM pulls together what might at first seem like a lot of diverse and unconnected data, information, and knowledge. To make DPM bring this diverse data together requires an organisation to travel into a “rabbit hole” that leads to the connections and relationships at the heart of ServiceNow.

Preparing to go down this rabbit hole begins with a clear understanding of the term “service” and which services your organisation provides. A service is defined as:

“A means of enabling value co-creation by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve, without the customer having to manage specific costs and risks.”

This definition presents that services are not purely technologies, rather all the actions, information, and value propositions those services use and provide. In other words, services are constructs or logical entities that represent capabilities. These capabilities are the pinnacle of a taxonomy of information from the CSDM.

There are different types of services that are managed through several ServiceNow applications and modules. These include business services, technical services, systems, and others. Using DPM requires an understanding of these services and their associated applications. Because services are not physical things, rather actions we perform for customers, we need a way to manage, govern, and control the services that makes use of data, information, and knowledge about those services. That is the role and purpose of DPM.

As an organisation prepares to use DPM to pull together the service information, there are steps that an organisation must take:

  • Design and build services using tools like Service Builder
  • Load information in the various applications that act as the native homes of the service records. These include business, technical and application services, service offerings, systems, and other modules and tables.
  • Understand and define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and KPI groups, which rely on Performance Analytics to pull and gather historic information.
  • Build and establish a base service catalogue. This helps connect customers and users to the services they require and need.
  • Identify what data, information, and knowledge the organisation desires to capture and use to manage, govern, and control the services.

Keep in mind that the information created and stored does not need to be perfect to begin using DPM. An organisation can apply continual improvement and build the data over time to greater maturity. However, an organisation will need some data and information about the services, metrics, CSAT, and other key inputs to start in DPM. Another factor to consider is that DPM requires service owners to take a top-down approach to CSDM, rather than the more traditional and comfortable CMDB upwards perspective. Once the organisation makes the trip down this rabbit hole though, that top-down approach makes a world of sense.


Your DPM adventure awaits

With DPM being a relatively new ServiceNow product, you may find a need for additional information and resources. Thirdera can simplify the complex components of DPM to help you understand its best-use and functional value for your organisation. Reach out to our ServiceNow experts to explore how DPM can harmonise multiple cross-departmental tools and enable your organisation to seamlessly manage services from one place.

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Michael Cardinal

Michael is an ITIL expert and ServiceNow Implementation Specialist. Along with ServiceNow expertise, Michael has over 30 years of education and training experience across multiple industries including higher education.
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