Post-GoLive release 20180730, IM Process Change and other Tips for Working in ServiceNow

The first post-golive update was released on, Monday, July 30. It contains over 40 fixes, many submitted by ITS staff members. The quick turnaround for this release is in large part thanks to the excellent collaboration between ITSM Change Agents and project team members.

In addition to release notes, we bring to your attention changes to the Incident Management process, and share a few Tips and Best Practices.

Highlights of Release 20180730

Below are just a few of the many issues addressed; for full release notes, please see the ITSM 20180730 Release Notes article in ServiceNow.

  • Work notes, Additional comments and Watch list fields will now be displayed on Ticket forms.
  • The My Groups’ Work and My Work lists will now exclude Tickets that were “transferred” (e.g. to Requests, Incidents or BNS). If you have already added these lists to your Favorites, you will need to delete them and re-add them.
  • Customers whose AD accounts are no longer valid, will now appear in the Caller/Affected User/Requested For lists.
  • When a customer replies to an email for a record that is closed – whether for Incident, Request Item or Ticket — it will now create a new Ticket, assigned to the IT Service Desk.
  • People outside of IT staff can now be added to the Watch list for Incidents, Request Items and Tickets.
  • Request creation, cancellation and closure notifications sent to the customer will include Submitted Title and Submitted Details of the requested item, instead of just the RITM titles from the request catalog.
  • The Standard Change template has been updated to contain “planned service outage” field.

Changes to the Incident Management Process 

With the introduction of ITSM 2.0, changes were made to the process for Incident and Major Incident management.

  • Service Desk no longer owns all incidents – Incident records can now be resolved directly by the resolver group and do not need to be assigned back to the IT Service Desk. Communication to the customer, through Additional Comments and Close Notes, should be done by the resolver group.
  • MINC role eliminated – The Major Incident Notifications Coordinator (MINC) role has been eliminated. The Major Incident Manager (MIM) is responsible for communications between the resolver and internal ITS stakeholders, throughout the incident resolution; however, they may delegate the task of sending IT Alerts to the IT Service Desk.
  • Difference between Parent <> Child and other Related Incidents
    • Updating a Parent Incident will update all Child Incidents, so we need to be very careful when we are resolving a Parent incident.
    • Updating a Related Incident will not impact the other incident.
  • Difference between Work Notes, Additional Comments and Close Notes
    • Work Notes are internal, used to send information to other members of the resolver team, or even notes to yourself.
    • Additional Comments are used to ask questions of the customer or communicate back & forth while the Incident is open.
    • Close Notes are used to communicate the final resolution to the customer. It could include steps that were taken to resolve the incident or the any additional steps the Customer needs to take to get back to normal.

Find instructions on Incident Management in the Knowledge article on ServiceNow.

If you would like to have the new Incident Management process presented to your group, contact Costa Samaras.

Process tips and best practices 

Configuration Item and Affected Service

When you choose a CI, it may automatically change the Affected Service value, depending on the relationships set up in the CMDB.

The recommended way to fill in the Affected Service and CI is to choose the Application in the CI field; this will automatically propose a Business Service for the Affected Service field. You can then select a different Business Service, but only if it is related to the chosen Application CI.

If the underlying cause of an incident is a lower-level CI, you can add that CI in the Affected CIs list, found at the bottom of the record.

Transfering Tickets to Requests

When you select Call Type “Request” from an existing Ticket be sure to click Update to transfer the Ticket and create the related Request Item. Do not move away from the Ticket record without clicking Update (in the case of a brand new Ticket you would need to click Submit).

Generic Request Items

When creating Generic Request items, on the RITM record, change the Title from “Generic Request” to something meaningful to the customer. You can remove the words “Generic Request” in the Title– there is another way to identify that type of request for reporting purposes.

Note that the initial email notification sent to the customer will still have the title “Generic Request”, but subsequent notifications will have the revised title.

Rich text formatting in Additional comments field

Currently the Additional comments field is not designed to easily support formatted text. However, there is a workaround: you need to use HTML formatting tags, and wrap the entire message in [code] … [/code] tags.


<p>Hello Joe,</p>
<p>Here are the steps you need to follow:</p>
<li>Enter your McGill Username and Password and click <strong>Login</strong>.</li>
<li>Open the <strong>My Work</strong> folder.</li>

In a future ITSM release, we will provide HTML formatting in a more seamless fashion.

Consulting Knowledge articles while you work

For help while working in ServiceNow, you can right-click Knowledge from the navigation bar and open the Knowledge Articles page in a new window.

ITSM 2.0 Implementation Plan and Post-GoLive Support

We are fast approaching the ITSM 2.0 Go Live date: Monday, July 16 at 7am. We would like to take this time to inform you of the implementation plan and key dates. We also present the support process during the post go live stabilization period, as well as reminders about training and documentation resources.

What’s happening Thursday, July 12 to Monday, July 16

The official go live date is Monday, July 16 at 7am. New tickets, incidents, service requests and business needs will be processed in ServiceNow starting at that time.

As part of the implementation plan, ITSM 2.0 features will be put into the production instance of ServiceNow as early as 11 pm on Thursday, July 12. However, the only process affected before Monday will be Change Management. If you create a new Change Request requiring a planned service outage, a new Outage record will be created, and you will have to enter the actual Begin and End times of the service downtime on the Outage record before closing the Change record.

During the weekend (until 7am Monday morning), HEAT and ITS Motion will continue to be used for all other activities, including Major Incidents and System Status Announcements (SSAs).

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Go Live Monday, July 16 @ 7:00 am: Work starts in ServiceNow

  • All new tickets, received from Friday July 13 at 5 pm and going forward, will be processed in ServiceNow.
  • All Major Incident alerts and outages will be managed in ServiceNow.
  • All maintenance alerts and outages for Changes will be created in ServiceNow.
  • ITS Motion and HEAT will be available for approximately 6 weeks, to view, update and close existing SSAs, and HEAT tickets (opened before July 13 at 5pm). After August 31, these systems will be accessible in read-only mode.
  • No new tickets or SSAs may be created in HEAT and ITS Motion.

Support for ITSM after golive

For six weeks after golive, till August 31, there will be a “stabilization” period to resolve defects and help answer questions about the new processes.

For the first two weeks there will be walk-in and phone support available. The process managers will be located in 688 Sherbrooke, room 1647, close to the Service Desk, to handle urgent questions and assess defects. See graphic below.

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Process Managers: Debra Simpson (Request), Costa Samaras (Incident), Vince Ferracane  (Change), Simon Fulleringer (SACM/CMDB)

After the first two weeks, the Process Managers will remain available from their regular desks, by phone or email until the end of the stabilization period.

Conference bridge to field calls

A teleconference bridge will be set up in the Task Force room (688 Sherbrooke, room 1647). It will be open for two 1-hour periods each day: 10-11 am and 2-3 pm

All ITS employees are welcome to dial-in and ask their questions directly to the Process Managers: 514-736-8049  Conference 7118276

ITSM 2.0 Training and Support Materials

In preparation for the ITSM 2.0 GoLive, we have developed training and support materials. The resources below compliment the Incident, Request and Ticket hands-on training that many of you have already taken.

Alerts and Outages for Change
– video, article and Q&A session

To prepare you to use the Alerts and Outages features of ITSM 2.0, we have developed a video and knowledge article.

Once you have viewed the materials, you are  invited to submit any questions to the Change Process Managers and then join us for a live Q & A session on July 11th.

Step 1. Watch the video >>

Step 2View the knowledge article >>

Step 3. Submit questions by email

Step 4. Sign up for Q& A session in Minerva ITM326

CMDB awareness sessions

Sign up for awareness sessions about the changes that will be implemented in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB): New Location data, Contact information and AV equipment.

Two sessions are available: July 10 and 12

Sign up in MinervaCMDB Awareness session – ITM325

Job aids and training PPT presentation

Incident Quick Reference (2 page PDF)

Request Fulfillment Quick Reference (2 page PDF)

Incident and Request Training Workshop Presentation (PDF)

Knowledge Articles

Please refer to the following Knowledge Articles to refresh your memory of various tasks in ServiceNow. They will soon be linked from the Help (?) button at the top of the relevant ServiceNow forms. Note that the contents are being revised as needed over the next few weeks. These links open in ServiceNow QA instance and will be transferred to Production before GoLive.

Your feedback on the content of these articles would be greatly appreciated. If you spot any inaccuracies or missing information, please send an email to the project team at

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