Imperial sign

Improving the current experience of service management and using appropriate technology tools to support this. 

Project Overview 

The College currently uses an online cloud-based service management platform developed by ServiceNow to manage requests and issues from staff, students, suppliers, and visitors.

The platform was first introduced to Imperial in 2012 by Information Communication Technology (ICT). After realising the benefits, the service offering was expanded to include other departments such as Finance, the Library, Student Administration and more. To our staff and students this service is known as ASK.

Over the years, the ASK platform has been heavily customised to cater for the requirements of non-IT departments using ITSM (IT Service Management) applications. The heavy customisation to the platform means that Imperial has created a unique version of ASK that is not supportable, cannot be easily upgraded and does not follow ServiceNow platform best practice. This poses challenges as ASK cannot be easily upgraded due to the level of customisation, therefore the current setup of ASK, although functional is not sustainable and has several issues.

PST’s Involvement

From November 2020, ICT, with the agreement of PST Board, partnered with ServiceNow and spent three months working with various College departments and faculties in a series of customer experience workshops . These workshops were held to help us to better understand our current ServiceNow implementation, our opportunities for improvement, and to provide a solution that addresses our current challenges.

The workshops further confirmed that our current implementation of ServiceNow is heavily customised with highly complex processes and workflows which have resulted in:

  • Poor user and customer experience. 
  • Very basic use of Service Management capabilities.
  • High workload on staff who handle tickets, exacerbated by a lack of automation and low level of self-service.
  • Not value for money as many purchased capabilities are not being utilised, e.g. reporting and agent workspace.
  • Inability to take advantage of new ServiceNow functionality and features.
  • Difficulty in separating resourcing issues from system issues.
  • A lack of training for staff and users that goes against best practice.
  • Notification overload for staff and customers using ASK.
  • Lack of integration with other College systems.
  • Poor use of Knowledge Management.
  • An online interface which is poorly structured and difficult for customers to navigate.
  • Inability for customers to provide feedback on the service they receive via ASK.  

The Solution

In February 2021, after reviewing the findings from the customer expereince workshops, PST Board approved a business case to implement a new instance of ServiceNow that is supportable, upgradeable, and scalable for the future.

This involves implementing an out of the box instance of ServiceNow and purchasing the ServiceNow Customer Service Module (CSM) alongside ITSM, which is better catered for non-IT departments.

By implementing a new instance of ServiceNow, the project aims to achieve the following: 

  • Move from a heavily customised/hard-to-use service management system to an out-of-the-box implementation, which is supportable, upgradable, and scalable.
  • Improve the user experience by creating a new online customer interface which is easier to use and navigate.
  • Drive increased agility, efficiency, and effectiveness in execution of services through future upgrades at limited cost-impact through no/low customisation.
  • Have a single data platform from which to execute workflows and provide a single source of truth for reporting.
  • Integrate execution of services for all key groups (students, staff, faculty, vendors, etc.) across the enterprise with a single workbench of activity.
  • Deliver a great student and staff experience with better access to information through targeted communications, single access points and integrated mobile solutions.
  • Establish a Centre of Excellence for service management creating a culture of continuous improvement.

Furthermore, the College will be able to benefit from reduced costs from maintaining the current ServiceNow (ASK) instance and enable a refocus of effort on delivering better experiences for all stakeholders.

Next Steps for the project

A project team consisting of key stakeholders from across the College will be established from April 2021 to deliver the new ServiceNow implementation. The College team will work with ServiceNow to ensure strategic alignment and implementation best practices. This will be an agile project with a phased implementation roadmap.

For further information please contact Brendan Whitfield, ICT Product Owner, Cross Functional.