ITSM 2.0 Post-Golive August 15 Release Notes, Process Tips/Best Practices, and Training

The latest post-Golive release was deployed on Wednesday, August 15.
Please find the Release highlights below, as well as some Process Tips and Best Practices and a reminder about upcoming training.

Highlights of August 15 Release

Below are just a few of the changes to ServiceNow; for full release notes, please see the ITSM Release Notes article in ServiceNow.

  • Automated group notifications for Major Incidents will now begin with the words “Major Incident”.
  • Additional Comments will now be sent to Caller and Alternate email. Previously, only the Affected User would receive Additional Comments.
  • 3rd party and 3rd party ticket # fields have been added to the Requested Item (RITM) record – this will enable you to record related tickets from other systems, such as Jira, Heat, Xerox, FX Innovation and Brocade.
  • You can now create templates using the Requested Item When creating a template from within an RITM record, remove the pre-selected fields and choose Additional Comments or Work Notes. The contents of all other fields will be erased when a template is applied. Tip: Templates are useful for providing consistent instructions to customers for next steps, once a Requested Item has been fulfilled.
  • The previous release removed tickets transferred to Requests, Incidents, or BNS from My Work and My Group’s Work This change also inadvertently removed Ticket Types (Status Call, Supervisor Escalation, Compliments, and Complaint) from those lists. This has now been fixed. If you are using these lists in your Favorites, you must delete them and replace them with the updated version. If you have created your own lists by modifying a copy of My Work or My Groups’ Work, you will need to recreate these lists.
  • Email replies to internal notifications will go to noreply@mcgill.ca. Therefore, if you reply to an internal notification email, your email will not go into a ServiceNow record. This will prevent unintentional emails to the Customer. If you want to communicate with the Customer or add internal notes, you should continue to do so directly in the record.

 

Process tips and best practices 

Add a profile photo in ServiceNow

You can now add a profile photo of yourself in ServiceNow. This will help us get acquainted with one another and make it easier to tell who else may be working on a record at the same time – the user’s initials and photo will appear at the top of the page.

To add your photo, select Profile from the dropdown beside your name and then Click to add… beside the Photo field.

Acknowledging Catalog Tasks:

Last week we made two changes:

  • The Acknowledge button was added to Tasks for RITMs
  • Automatically created Tasks now start in an In Progress state for new RITMs.

The changes resulted in the Acknowledge button appearing on the automatically created Tasks of previously created RITMs acknowledged after last week’s change.

 

Users  complained that this resulted in extra work, as they now needed to acknowledge the Task as well as the RITM. However, pressing the Acknowledge button is more efficient than the original process, which required  users to manually set the Task state to In Progress.

 

Note that the first Task for any new RITM will already be in the In Progress state when it is created. Acknowledging the RITM will automatically acknowledge the first Task. Any manually created Tasks will need to be acknowledged when work begins.

 

RITMs and Tasks on hold

When you’re ready to continue working, press the Resume Work button to put the record back into the In Progress state.

Reminder: Upcoming training sessions

There is still time to register for one of the following sessions. Sign up in Minerva.

ITM 322 – Request Fulfillment and Incident Management

ITM 328 – Dashboards & Reports

In preparation for Dashboards & Reports training, please watch these two ServiceNow videos:

ITSM 2.0 Post-Golive Release on August 8, Upcoming Training, and Process Tips

The latest post-Golive update was released on Wednesday, August 8.  

Please find the Release highlights below, as well as information on the Ticket Management process, Process Tips and Best Practices, and upcoming Training sessions.

Highlights of August 8 Release 

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

  • Updating the Configuration Item field of the Incident form will sometimes update the Affected Service. You will now receive a warning if you enter a CI that changes the Affected Service field value.
  • New manually created request catalog tasks will now start in an Open state automatically. You don’t need to change the state when you’re assigning a new task to another group. This is consistent with Incident tasks.
  • There will now be an Acknowledge button on manually created catalog and Incident tasks that have been assigned to a group. Similar to RITM and INC records, pressing the Acknowledge button will put the task into an In Progress state and populate the Assigned to field.
  • For new RITMs created after this release, the catalog task that gets automatically created when you acknowledge an RITM will automatically start in the In Progress state. You don’t have to set the state manually.
  • A database view has been created to enable easier access and reporting of CI Contact information. The view visually reformats the contact information into a structure similar to what was available in ITSM 1.0.
  • Category and Subcategory  fields are now mandatory. They have been updated within the Incident form to allow for more granular data analysis.
  • Everyone with a ServiceNow licence will now receive ALL Incident and Change Alerts by default. To opt out of some of these notifications, please see this Knowledge Base article: Disabling/re-enabling notification emails from ServiceNow.

Ticket Management Process 

 L2 and L3 Resolvers and Fulfillers are receiving more Tickets than originally anticipated. For instructions on handling Tickets, please refer to the Knowledge Base article on Ticket Management and follow the steps starting from “Select the Call Type”.

Process tips and best practices 

Responses to email notifications from ITSM are sent to customer

Please be aware that if you respond directly via email to an ITSM notification, the system will treat your response as an “Additional Comment” and send your reply to the Customer. To ensure comments are properly documented and reach their intended audience, you must log in to ITSM to respond to notifications; do not respond directly to ITSM notifications via email.

MDS (Minimal Dataset)

For Request Fulfillment, we’ll be handing MDS differently from Incident by creating complete catalog items with all the required fields. The catalog item creation will be implemented over two phases:

  • Phase 2.1: for a limited set of internal IT requests
  • Phase 2.2: for use in a customer portal

In the meantime, please provide the Service Desk with the MDS information for your requests so that they can include it in their internal KB.

Generic requests

You can now change the title of a Generic Request from “Generic Request” to a title of your choice. We recommend that you give your Generic Requests meaningful and consistent titles.

Note: The first email sent to the customer upon request creation will still be titled “Generic Request” because it is automatically generated before you can update it. This email now includes the customer’s original request.

Upcoming training sessions

ITM 322 – Request Fulfillment and Incident Management 

Resolvers and Fulfillers who have not yet attended ITM 322 – Request Fulfillment and Incident Management are strongly encouraged to do so. The following sessions are available:

  • September 6 at 13h30
  • September 7 at 9h30
  • September 14 at 9h30

Sign up for ITM 322 in Minerva.

 

NEW: ITM 328 –  Dashboards & Reports

Want to learn how to create reports and display information on Incidents and Requests?

If you want to learn about available dashboards and reports, how to customize your own to suit your needs, and try some hands-on examples, this  1-hour session is for you. 2 sessions are available:

  • September 4 at 10h
  • September 11 at 10h

In preparation for Dashboards & Reports training, please watch these two ServiceNow videos:

Sign up for ITM 328 in Minerva.

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.

Example:

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

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.

Project update: April 2018

The ITSM project team has been hard at work, building and testing the Incident Management and Request Fulfillment processes, Alerts, Business Needs tracking, as well as changes to the CMDB in ServiceNow in time for the GoLive of phase 2.0, which is planned for July 2018.

In this newsletter, we would like to give you some information about how we are preparing and supporting ITS employees for this GoLive.

For a recap of the ITSM processes in scope for phase 2.0, see: Welcome to ITSM 2.0

Change Agents are your points of contact

The Directors have recently appointed “Change Agents“, who will act as liaisons between their units and the core project team, a role similar to that of the Champions in phase 1. They will be your points of contact to:

  • Convey information about how your team will be impacted by the project
  • Answer your questions and bring them back to the project team so that we can provide additional information if needed

Here are the names of each Change Agent, and the ITSM processes and IT units they will represent.

Click to enlarge image


What’s changing for you and your team?

Do you know how the ITSM 2.0 release will affect the way you work? In the coming weeks, the Change Agents will be leveraging your existing team meetings or creating special meetings to present the key changes for each process and how you will be impacted. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.


Training and Documentation

Training will start in June and will continue through July 2018.

Classroom-based, hands-on training  will be offered for Incident Management (IM) and Request Fulfillment (RF). A separate course will be proposed for reporting.

Additional training materials, including video clips (such as those listed below, which were created for phase 1.0), quick-step reference sheets and documentation will be made available for IM, RF and the other ITSM 2.0 processes:

  • Using Alerts for Change Requests
  • Tracking Business Needs
  • Reporting and Dashboards

Videos (on Video @ McGill)

If you haven’t been using ServiceNow recently, we strongly suggest you refresh your memory on the basic interface and navigation. These videos can help you get reacquainted with the tool in advance of the hands-on training sessions. Basic navigation will not be covered in the classroom-based training sessions.

Note that you will be prompted to sign into Office 365 to access these videos.


Watch video: ServiceNow Homepages and basic navigation (2:46)

View KB article: ServiceNow Homepages

Watch video: ServiceNow lists – search filter, sort and group items in a list (3:22)

View KB article: Viewing and Querying Lists

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