Here are the answers to questions submitted through the ITSM mailbox or forwarded from your ITSM Change Agents. This page will be updated with additional questions from now till GoLive.

Thorough documentation for all processes will be provided in the ServiceNow Knowledge Base as we approach the GoLive date in July.

Quick links to each section:

VIP, Expedited and Restricted

Q: Who determines the VIP status on a profile?
A: The Service Desk Supervisors can update user profile information, including the flag for VIP status.

Q: What is the formula behind Impact and Urgency?
A: Impact and Urgency are defined within the tool, so it should be easy for you to select the appropriate values. The combined values of Impact and Urgency are used to calculate the Priority of an Incident. Note that we will also provide the description of each value in a Knowledge article within ServiceNow.

Q: What is the criteria for sending an expedited incident?
A: This is somewhat subjective and at the discretion of the Service Desk, but the guidance they will be given is anything that does not have the impact and urgency to qualify as a Major Incident but needs immediate attention. The most common examples are people who have “VP” in their title, an AV classroom support failure while class is in session, and some door access issues where there is no workaround.

The expedite process is being introduced to replace the current practice of prioritizing incidents as P1 or P2 just to make sure they get immediate attention.

Q: Regarding security issues or tickets that need to be private, if second tier receives a call directly from the customer who should create the ticket? Our group? How can we make it private?
A: We are introducing a concept called Restricted Tickets, Incidents and Requests. Anyone who can work on a Ticket, Incident or Request can simply click the Restrict button at the top of the record. When you restrict a record, only members of InfoSec and the group assigned the record will be able to view it.


Q: How do you assign work within your group?
A: Usually, you will assign the entire record (Ticket/ Incident/ Request) to an individual. You just have to enter the name of the person in the Assigned to field.

  • For incidents, if you need someone else to do a part of the resolution, you can create a Task and assign it to another group or another individual.
  • For Requests, the Request Item is assigned to an individual and an associated Task is automatically created and assigned to that same individual when they Acknowledge the Request Item. Additional tasks can be created if more people need to do work to fulfill the request item.

Q: How does someone know when a task has been assigned to them?
A: They will get an email notification; they can also see all their assignments in the My Work list.

Q: How does a manager know which assignments have not been started?
A: The dashboard will allow managers to see which records are assigned to which individuals and can show the state of each record.  They can also create a specific gauge/widget to show all records assigned to their group, which are in the Open state for more than 2 days.

Also: Automatic notifications will be sent to the Assignment group’s manager if a request item has not been acknowledged within 75% and 100% of the 2 day response target.

Q: How do we manage the 3-strike rule if we want the Service Desk to follow up on the 2nd and 3rd strike?
A: Assign the Ticket/Incident/Request Item to the Service Desk so that they become the owner and can follow up with the customer; make sure to use the Work Notes field to indicate that you want them to follow up on 2nd & 3rd attempts. Do not create a separate Task for following up with the customer.

Notifications and SLAs

Q: Are there SLA’s for our team? Do we get notified when a request remains open for a certain period of time? How do we know when things are overdue?
A: There is a general target response time of 2 business days, but SLAs for Request Fulfillment have not been defined for phase 2.0.

  • Response means that someone has clicked “Acknowledge” and has begun working on the request item/incident.
  • Dashboards and reports will be used to monitor the age of Active (not closed) Tickets, Requests and Incidents.
  • Email notifications will be sent to the Assigned to individual when an incident is open beyond a certain target SLA. If there has been no change in status after the initial notification, a secondary notification is sent to both the Assigned to individual and the manager of the Assignment Group.

Q: What are the time goals to resolve the different priorities of incidents (e.g. a P1 incident should be resolved in 4 hours, etc)?
A:  Here is a link to the Incident Management Process Guide in D2. However, you won’t find the response and resolution targets in that guide because they are just internal targets for now. We will baseline incident targets for a couple of months before we formalize these targets.
The interim targets that have been entered in ServiceNow are:

Q: If an external Email address is added to the Work Notes for an IM/RF Record or Task, will the respondent receive the details of the Record. And, if they reply to the notification email, will their response be added to the IM/RF Record/Task?
A: External email addresses can be added to the Watch List for the Work Notes field, so the external address receives an email when the Work Notes get updated. If that recipient replies back, the reply creates a new Work Note, and the Assigned to person receives a notification. These notifications are turned on by default.

Major Incidents, Alerts and Outages

Q: Where will we see Major incidents?
A: You will be able to track Major incidents in two ways:

  • Email notifications, sent by the Major Incident Manager.
  • A widget on the dashboard will display all current Major incidents.

Q: How far in advance can an Alert/Outage be created?
A: For Changes that have a Planned Outage the Alert and Outage records are created as soon as a Change Record is approved. However, no Alert notifications are sent until the Change Owner chooses to send them.

For Major Incidents, the Alert record is created once the Incident Record is saved with a Priority of P1 or P2. The Major Incident Manager (MIM) completes the Alert notification fields and sends the alert notification when ready to do so.

Q: If an Alert/Outage record is created, will it disappear into the abyss when more are created or will they live in chronological order?
A: All Alert and Outage records are stored as separate items that are linked to the respective Change or Incident records (visible in the Alerts and Outages tabs at the bottom).

Major Incident alert notifications (new, update and closed) are sent by the Major Incident Manager (MIM), during the course of resolving the incident; these are all linked to the Incident record.

Request Fulfillment

Q: As a customer, how do I get the status of my requests? Will the requester get an update that the requested has been received and is being processed?
A: An automated notification will be sent to the customer as soon as the request record is created; it will contain the request reference number, as well as a list of all the Requested Items (usually one, but there may be multiple items per request).

During the fulfillment process, the request fulfiller will communicate to the customer via the Additional Comments field in ServiceNow. Each time this field is updated and posted, it sends an email to the customer.

If the customer has not received notifications and wishes to know the status of their request, they will have to call or email the Service Desk; the Service Desk will be able to look up the status of the request and will then ask the fulfiller to provide an update (this can be done through the Work Notes field of the request item).

If there are multiple items in the request, a separate notification is sent to the customer upon closure of each Request Item. Once all items in the request are completed, the customer receives another automated notification informing them that the request is completed.

Q: Will FOAPALs be mandatory for creation or some Request records? Will they be able to be bypassed?
A: Most requests requiring FOAPALs are part of the Work Order System, which is not in scope for 2.0. People will continue to use the Work Order System as before. Any web forms requiring FOAPALs will continue to work as before – the information will simply be stored along with other details, in the Details of the request item in ServiceNow. There are no specific FOAPAL fields currently for 2.0.

Q:  Regarding the contents of the service catalog, how will they be populated? Can teams submit items to be included in the service catalog?
A: The catalog items have been created for current web forms that only handle requests. We will not be adding new catalog items in 2.0. When we start planning the next phase we will be looking at creating catalog items for IT to IT requests and we will be gathering requirements to determine which ones to create. Customer-facing requests will be developed in ITSM 2.2.

Q: If we need to create new forms for users to submit requests, should we do so using web forms or in Service Now?
A: We prefer you continue to use the Drupal web forms for now. As we move into phase 2.1 and 2.2 we will be creating new catalog request forms.

FAQs about Non-ITS people

Q: Can non-ITS end users see the status of a ServiceNow ticket/incident/request they’ve submitted?
A: Customers won’t be able to see the status of a record as part of 2.0 but I think you may mean non-ITS resolvers and fulfillers. If so, some non-ITS groups are staying in Heat and others are moving to ServiceNow with us. Those who are moving with us will be provided the same training that we are providing ITS resolvers and fulfillers.

Q: Was there any communication to non-ITS end users about ITSM 2.0?
A: Yes. We communicated with the following groups:

  • DAR-IT (UA) – are not impacted
  • Enrollment Services (Uapply) – need further communication but they are aware. Mark Quincy is invited in the change agent meetings.
  • TLS – are moving to Service Now, and are onboard. Justin Fletcher is part of all the change agent meetings
  • Continuing Studies – were informed the they are not moving to ServiceNow with us for now
  • Med IT – were informed the they are not moving to ServiceNow with us for now
  • Engineering – were informed the they are not moving to ServiceNow with us for now

We are also planning a broad communication to the McGill community in late June, to let them know that we will be changing our internal tools and that the notifications they receive about their support cases will be different and more precise.

Q. Will non-ITS end users be included in UAT?
A:   No, non-ITS Customers and Resolvers/Fulfillers are not part of UAT. Release 2.0 is for ITS and we are including the groups migrating with us in training but they are not key stakeholders so they are not part of UAT.


Q: Will data be migrated from HEAT to ServiceNow?
A: Profile notes such as ‘Customer prefers to be referred to Doctor’ will be brought into ServiceNow. Apart from that, we don’t plan to migrate anything else, but we will maintain the ability to work tickets to completion within Heat for at least two weeks after go-live and we will have read/write access in Heat for at least a month; then we will probably move to read-only access. This will allow us to refer to Heat data as needed. If there is something specific from Heat you want to migrate, please let us know (itsm@mcgill.ca)


Q: Will templates from HEAT be transferred to ServiceNow?
A: HEAT templates will not be transferred into ServiceNow. However, new templates can be created or manually copied from existing templates in ServiceNow.

Note that templates will overwrite any existing data in a field; so they are only be used to populate fields that are empty, such as the Additional Comments field, which is sent to the customer and then appended to the Activities stream.


Q: Will there be any custom dashboard reports already done or we must create them ourselves? Are there any common reports for everyone, or will we need to create our own?
A: We will have some dashboards for each of the main processes, but they may not be ready at the time of GoLive. There are, however, many out of the box reports and gauges that you can use as is, or personalize by adding fields, sorting and grouping, etc. We will provide instructions on how to customize the dashboard gauges at GoLive time.

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