Coaching Loops

Possibly the most underrated, poorly documented, yet incredibly useful ServiceNow plugin!

If you are looking for a way to improve the learning speed of new hires, train whole groups to learn new process or simply make fulfillers better at their jobs, you’ll be interested by the Coaching loops functionality.

When you want to improve a team of fulfillers, you can put satisfaction surveys in place, have yearly training events or do some coaching during the yearly performance review.  Those very common methods, may not the most efficient tool to use. Let me explain why… Continue reading “Coaching Loops”

ServiceNow Online Training Alternatives on Udemy

Last year, I found a few ServiceNow online trainings on Udemy. Some of them are now on sale for the first time since I spotted them.

Those courses are usually priced 100$ each, but until the 11th of January they are heavily discounted at 11$ each for the New Year Sale.

I will probably review some them in much more details, but in the meantime, you may want to grab a copy for you, or recommend them to someone else, while they are on such discount.

ServiceNow 101: Administration
ServiceNow 201: Development
ServiceNow Administration (Latest Version – Nov 17)
Service Portal in ServiceNow – Kingston
ServiceNow IT Operations Management

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Exam Review: Certified Implementation Specialist – ITSM

I want to share my experience about passing the brand new ServiceNow Certified Implementation Specialist – IT Service Management (CIS-ITSM) exam in late November 2017.

In 2013, I passed the previous ServiceNow Certified Implementation Specialist (CIS) exam. It was a difficult certification, and many had to take the five day training boot camp to prepare for it. I choose not to follow that expansive path, but that required me to study some of less common ServiceNow features that I was not familiar with.

Last month, this certification was deprecated as too generic, and replaced by six specialized certifications: Service Mapping, Financial Management, HR, Customer Service Management, “Security Operation – Vulnerability Response” and IT Service Management (ITSM).

ServiceNow consider that CIS-ITSM is the closest certification to the deprecated CIS. This article focusses the new ITSM exam from the perspective of a previous generic CIS holder. Continue reading “Exam Review: Certified Implementation Specialist – ITSM”

JavaScript learning path: From Zero to Hero

When I started as a ServiceNow admin, in 2011, I did not have any experience with JavaScript. I had to learn the basic, fast, and I choose to continue to progress along the way. I consider that continuous improvement is especially important to be applied to oneself.

I did a previous article on the learning path to become “ServiceNow Certified Implementation Specialist”, but this time I’ll focus on building your JavaScript development skills, via a selection of free or inexpensive courses available online. I’m in no way affiliated to any content linked here. I only want to share the amazing study materials that I found in the past years.

Knowing that 94.7% of all web sites use JavaScript should be a great incentive to learn more on the subject.

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Great UX Trick: Field decorations with 295 hidden icons

ServiceNow contains a hidden treasure of almost 300 icons than can be used to convey better visual distinctiveness to your users’ bookmarks, service portals and system info messages. This distinctiveness can be used to ensure that your contextual messages receive more attention and to facilitate navigation in your instance. Continue reading “Great UX Trick: Field decorations with 295 hidden icons”

Great UX Trick: 250 hidden icons to use with bookmarks

ServiceNow contains a hidden treasure of almost 300 icons than can be used to convey better visual distinctiveness to your users’ bookmarks, service portals and system info messages. This distinctiveness can be used to ensure that your contextual messages receive more attention and to facilitate navigation in your instance.

Those icons are dingbats characters grouped in a special web font included in your instance, and can be applied in your html content via CSS classes, applied to the italic or emphasis tag. Example: <i class=”icon-name”>i>.  This web font was compiled by ServiceNow, using the open source Grunt-Webfont project. As of June 2017, the version included in Jakarta is called retina_icons_2017_1_17.woff and contains 295 distinct icons.

You can access a nice preview with all the characters included in the web font via a hidden URL that is available in any instances, even HI

Continue reading “Great UX Trick: 250 hidden icons to use with bookmarks”

Great UX Trick: HTML Placeholders

As a software platform, ServiceNow has a great and modern GUI that works with any web browser. Yet there is one glaring missing UI feature from modern HTML: HTML Placeholders. Let me present you my ninj’admin trick to implement them in your instance.

What are HTML Placeholders?

Placeholders are the ghost texts present in many web sites’ input fields. They are an old trick, introduced with the HTML5 standard in mid 2011.
The most common usage is with Search input fields.

As soon as you type something in the box, the placeholder text will disappear, to be replaced by your own input. Used in the Service Catalog, or in your Forms, they can add useful information without being obnoxious for the users.

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Istanbul automated testing

One of the most exciting feature of the ServiceNow Istanbul release, is the new Automated Testing Framework (ATF).

Why so excited over automated testing?

  • Custom test frameworks are very expensive to implement.
  • Most customers only do manual tests.
  • Every time customers upgrade their instance, weeks of works are needed to test against regressions. The time spent bug-fixing is often tiny compared to the large amount of time spent on manual testing. Anything that has automated tests will consume almost no resource at all and will benefit of better reliability.
  • Because of this resource burden many customers don’t upgrade their instance as often as they could. Instead of having a steady process of continuous improvements, they focus all their resources over testing and ignore new functionalities that could benefit their processes and users.
  • ITIL best practices recommend continuous improvements. Yet, customers don’t like to implement changes, or experiments with new features, because it is too heavy on costly resources when not automated.
  • Major UI changes tend to break documentation made for testers, or break tests implemented in custom test frameworks, like Selenium. Istanbul’s automated tests are UI agnostic.
  • We now have a free, out-of-the-box, automated test framework specialized for ServiceNow.

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When ServiceNow Express have better UI than the Enterprise version

I suppose you have heard of the Express version of ServiceNow. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the young little brother of the Enterprise version: ITSM focused, no JavaScript allowed, almost no plugins, and mono instance. Amongst its advantages: it cost a quarter of the price of its bigger sibling, it’s very robust because you can’t implement dirty customizations without JavaScript, and a few elements of the User Interface are way more intuitive.

In this article, I’ll focus on those interface improvements, and show how to implement the same contextual feedbacks in your Enterprise instance.

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How to progress from ServiceNow Administrator to Implementation Specialist

As most new ServiceNow administrators that I meet, I started with the 3 days “ServiceNow System Administration Training” ($2100), that you can pass with ServiceNow or one of its official certified training partners. As an alternative you may also consider this Udemy 7 hours online course “ServiceNow 101: Administration” as an economic alternative.

Now, how do you improve on your technical knowledge of the platform, and what steps could you apply to assert your experience?

After this introduction course, you’re expected to gain experience on the field, while administering your instance. Many administrators stop their curriculum here, but you many opportunities to improve. Let’s me present you some possible next steps…

Continue reading “How to progress from ServiceNow Administrator to Implementation Specialist”