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Upgrading to ServiceNow San Diego for HRSD? Read This Before You Do

A few weeks ago, ServiceNow released its first upgrade of 2022: San Diego! The San Diego release enables organizations to add new levels of productivity, automation, and innovation wherever work happens. 

And with this new release also comes a few exciting enhancements for HR teams.

With the San Diego release, ServiceNow has replaced the classic HR Service Delivery (HRSD) Agent Workspace with a new Agent Workspace for HR Case Management. The new workspace includes a range of additional features designed to make it even quicker and easier for HR agents to respond to and solve employee queries and requests.  

In this blog post, we’ll share what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what HR teams need to know to get up to speed on ServiceNow’s San Diego release.


What is the HRSD Agent Workspace?

Need a quick refresher on what the HRSD Agent Workspace is and how it benefits HR teams? We’ve got you covered

Essentially, the HRSD Agent Workspace—as a configurable service desk app—allows HR agents to interact with employees, respond to their inquiries, create cases, and resolve their issues. This collaborative approach—combined with an intuitive agent dashboard—allows HR requests to be fulfilled more quickly and efficiently.  

It gives HR agents an at-a-glance view of open cases along with their status. It also shows general information and announcements. HR team members can view details of each individual case, using Agent Assist to pull up relevant articles, add comments, or view related activities.


What to Expect in the San Diego Release

The San Diego release includes new features designed to increase productivity and help HR agents solve each open case as effectively as possible. The Agent Workspace for HR Case Management has also been re-factored using a new version of the User Interface (UI) builder that offers increased configurability combined with a similar user experience. This allows each HR agent to effortlessly access all the tools they need to provide support to employees.  

But before we dive into these new capabilities and enhancements, here are the elements that remain the same in the San Diego release:

  • Fulfillment instructions are still stored in the same place and pulled up in the Agent Assist area.
  • Case creation configuration is still completed as part of the HR Core configuration and any changes to that record impact all case creation views (native UI, classic workspace, and new workspace).
  • Workspace notifications are still housed in the sys_notification table and agents are still notified via the bell icon in the upper right corner:image 1_hr agent workspace changes 2022-05


Start Your Upgrade Journey

Now let’s get to the good part—what’s new and how to upgrade! 

In the steps below, we’ll guide you through the process of upgrading to San Diego, sharing with you some of the changes and exciting new enhancements your HR team can expect along the way. 


Step One: Install Your Update

Start by installing the Agent Workspace for HR Case Management. You’ll have to do this even if you previously installed the Human Resources: Workspace, as the new workspace uses ServiceNow’s UI Builder. 

You’ll then need to activate the app and set up individual components—like communication channels and workspace forms. Then, install roles for your HR manager, HR case writers, HR agents, and Workspace content managers or admins. You can find specific instructions for this here

Once this is complete, you should have two different application scopes. Bear in mind you’ll need to use both of these, as some content is still within the classic application scope. 


Step Two: Follow the Guided Setup

ServiceNow offers a Guided Setup to help you familiarize yourself with the new HR workspace. This is the best place to get started, especially if you’re new to using the workspace. The guide can be found by navigating to:

All > HR Case Management > HR Configurable Workspace Guided Setup


Step Three: Explore the Landing Page Changes

If you didn’t customize the previous landing page,  your agents will see that the new landing page, called “HR - Landing Page,” still contains all the same elements as the Classic HRSD Agent Workspace. This offers an overview of service level agreements, high priority cases, and recently updated cases, alongside displaying employee inquiries and open cases.  

If you made any modifications to the classic landing pages, you’ll need to transfer those to the new landing page. The base system still allows you to choose between two different landing pages, one of which (HR - Landing Page CD) allows you to configure your landing page in a number of different ways. If you don't want to make any additional configuration changes, the new landing page gives immediate access to add dynamic content straight out of the box.  

Remember that landing pages can only be modified and configured if you make a copy of them first, using the UI Builder. 

Using the HR Landing Page CD, it’s possible to configure: 

  • How the “create a new case” form looks within the HRSD Agent Workspace
  • How the card list appears on the landing page
  • How the tags on each card are defined and displayed

Follow the instructions laid out here to configure your landing page. 


Step Four: Check the Updated Form Views 

With this newly updated workspace comes a new form view. If you’ve already modified the classic view (name: Workspace), you’ll need to modify it to the new Workspace UIB view, too. You can do this using the menu shown below:

image 2_hr agent workspace changes 2022-05

Step Five: Update Your List Categories, Lists, and List Layouts

If you created custom lists or layouts in the previous release, these will need to be recreated in the new workspace view. You can do this in a similar way to the form layouts. This is also a good opportunity to find out which lists are being used—and which aren’t. You might want to reduce the number of lists and set the default columns to better meet your HR agents’ needs.

Agents can also now customize their list layout without having to save a copy first. This feature can be found on both the classic and new workspace:

image 3_hr agent workspace changes 2022-05

Step Six: Check Location of Ribbons and Agent Assist

In earlier releases of HRSD, ServiceNow used a ribbon displayed above the case details to display information about who each case related to.  

In the Quebec release of HRSD, ServiceNow moved to display this information within the “At a Glance” section of the Agent Assist area. If you’re upgrading from an earlier version of HRSD directly to San Diego, you may need to inform your agents that this information has moved.

image 4_hr agent workspace changes 2022-05

Step Seven: Create a New Favorite 

If your HR team has favorited their old workspace, make sure to communicate with them that they’ll now need to create a new favorite, using an updated URL: 

Old:  <instance-name>

New:  <instance-name>


Raising the Bar for HR Efficiency

In San Diego’s reimagined HR Agent Workspace, enhanced UI branding, increased flexibility, configurability, and simplified navigation allow HR teams to find the employee insights they need when they need them. But it’s not only your HR team that benefits from these new features. By enabling your HR team to more quickly and efficiently respond to employee requests, you’ll be able to provide a better employee experience—whether your people are working from home, the office, or both.


Ready to Offer Your Employees Unparalleled Support?

Get in touch today and discover how Thirdera and ServiceNow can help you support your employees by providing easy access to your HR department. Streamline your HR processes, help your HR agents interact with employees, and solve issues faster than ever before. 


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Sabrina Ethridge

Sabrina is a Solutions Consultant at Thirdera. She has 20+ years of experience working with Service Management tools and processes. Sabrina configured and customized applications in ServiceNow for the past 12 years with a focus on IT Service Management and HR Service Delivery. Sabrina is a member of the Employee Experience Practice at Thirdera.