Garbage in, garbage out.

November 7, 2022

Drive ServiceNow user adoption and stop exporting data to Excel and PowerPoint for manipulation.

OK, so you’ve chosen ServiceNow as the system of record for your PMO, spent countless hours and capital getting it implemented and project managers trained, but you still have people using excel to manage schedules (please stop doing this) and PowerPoint to manage steering committee report outs. Not only that, but your project records are incomplete and require a massive amount of effort to get back in shape before each status meeting.

The most important KPIs for any good PPM software rollout is user adoption and data quality, but sometimes users are resistant to changing the tools they’ve always used to manage their projects - the value proposition your implementation team uses to lure people to ServiceNow has to be critically focussed on how the tool will make it easier for users to manage projects.

So how can you crack the code and drive broader ServiceNow user adoption?

A great place to start is to look at your ServiceNow reporting.

Reporting can serve as the reward for good data quality - the burden of keeping your project record data complete and current is already time-consuming, so why shouldn’t reporting be automated once that’s done?

According to PwC’s latest mid-year 2022 pulse survey:

“CIOs have dual agendas: Capture efficiencies across the business by accelerating the benefits of automation while focusing on effectiveness plays like creating new digital revenue streams.”

Your project managers have a lot to do - they maintain requirements (no scope creep allowed), they manage stakeholder expectations and they drive schedules and budgets to stay on target (so the business can grow). Should they also spend countless hours exporting and manipulating data from ServiceNow to create reports? Or would you rather they stay focussed on the data quality of their project records in ServiceNow? We know which one we would pick.

Your portfolio managers have other burdens to bear - getting consensus and making quick, impactful decisions in your project steering committee meetings is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s hybrid way of working. Pushing out these reports and getting an audience once a month may not be cutting it for the speed your business priorities and the economic landscape are changing. If your data was ready to report, live and in ServiceNow at a moment’s notice, you could take back some control of how often and with what data this decision making happens.

We’ve seen a lot of ways to accomplish better reporting with your ServiceNow data - but all were not created equal.

We’ll discuss the most common workflows we’ve seen here.

  • Enlist your internal BI developers to pull data from ServiceNow tables and create custom reports
  • Export your ServiceNow data to familiar tools and manipulate into PowerPoint slides
  • Implement an in-platform ServiceNow app and templatize your ServiceNow reporting for easy, repeatable live reporting

We love our PowerBI and PowerPoint as much as anyone (which is to say, a lot), but there are problems with the first two solutions here.

When you create a custom data flow using your in-house developers, you have to weigh that request with all the other work you are currently managing from across the organization.

It could take months to get the requirements scoped, build the dashboards and train users to use these as the one source of truth (isn’t that what ServiceNow is supposed to be?). And then, if changes are needed, you have to go back to the well and wait in line for more development work, ranked against all your other development priorities!

When you just need to get it done and your project and portfolio managers are ready to dig in and get their hands dirty, you’ll see a lot of users dump the project data into Excel and manipulate themselves into their favorite chart types (and then copy and paste these into a slide deck).

This method gets you the custom reporting your executives require, but each portfolio manager may dictate a different format and set of KPIs - leading to wide variance in reports and quite frankly, a ton of wasted time and effort each month to achieve these results. Results that still are not creating an optimal executive reporting experience due to the disparity of formats, slowing down your decision making and the speed at which you can move forward with critical project activities.

The final solution (and the whole reason that VividCharts exists) is to implement an in-platform ServiceNow app that draws users back into ServiceNow because reports (formatted, live, standardized) live there permanently.

The best part? Anyone can view these reports at a moment’s notice (no ServiceNow license required). This allows for minimal effort to set up and maintain ServiceNow reporting while serving as an incentive for PMs to focus on their project records instead of the heavy lifting associated with constant report manipulation and formatting.

If you are ready to level up your ServiceNow PPM reporting and make it the easiest part of your project and portfolio managers’ workflow, let us show you how VividCharts has helped large enterprise customers save thousands of resource hours annually on project reporting - lightweight implementation and export to PowerPoint included!

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