Good, Fast or Cheap: Can ServiceNow HR Deliver it All?

Good, Fast or Cheap: Can ServiceNow HR Deliver it All?


There’s a lot to be said for setting up a basic ServiceNow HR Case Management implementation. However, when considering more than the basic model, the old auto mechanic expression usually applies: If you want something “good, fast and cheap,” you can only pick two.


Does the axiom always hold true for ServiceNow HR Case Management? Let’s find out.

Of course, the three measures are all relative, depending on the size and maturity of your organization. Another factor is your enthusiasm level for getting Human Resources cases into a digital tool like ServiceNow.

The Trap of Fast + Cheap Implementation

Implementation speed is important with cloud services, especially since you generally start paying before the implementation process begins. That means you could be paying weeks or months before deriving any value from the service.

That said, don’t get tricked into shortchanging or rushing your implementation. No one wants to end up with a “pay-me-now-or-pay-me-later” situation. As we’ve all experienced, “pay me later” is always the more expensive option!

Achieving the best possible result is always a balancing act. So instead of worrying about hourly rates, keep your focus on the implementation time and total cost. If you can get a fixed fee for fixed scope, that’s ideal.

Does Good + Cheap Implementation Have to be Slow?

There are several simple things you can do to reduce the cost of implementation, without necessarily sacrificing speed or quality.

First, consider the cause behind additional costs: risk and uncertainty. How so? It works like this: your implementation partner has to manage its risks by building time into your project, which also helps you manage uncertainty during the buying process.

The way to get “cheaper” without sacrificing “good” is to reduce risk, mitigate uncertainty and limit the scope.

8 Tips for Good + Cheap ServiceNow HR Implementation:

  • Train the team that will help design the implementation before the design sessions start. (Read our previous post: “ServiceNow HR: Two Paths to HRIS Implementation Training“)
  • During the buying process and before starting the clock with professional services, narrow down the basic HR cases you want for each department. Put the rest in a backlog or a roadmap.
  • Remember, scope-creep kills project budgets so make sure your whole team is on board with the scope and will stay the course.
  • Include all decision-makers, especially anyone on the project governance team who can say “no.” (Any deliverable with initial approval that later encounters a “no” creates additional rework expense.)
  • If you have a ServiceNow team, enlist its help with non-specialist work portions of the implementation.
  • Train your HRIS people (those who will administer the system) early enough to help with implementation.
  • Limit initial integrations with other systems, which siphon valuable time away from expensive resources.
  • Anything not considered high-impact goes into the backlog or roadmap.

Getting Better, Faster

At Cask we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce the time frame for quality work. As it happens, the factors that extend project deadlines are nearly always within the customer’s control. With that in mind, here are some of the better ways we’ve found to shorten the process.

8 Tips for Faster ServiceNow HR Implementation:

  1. Assign and empower a project manager from your organization. (The implementer doesn’t know your organization as well as your own people do.)
  2. If you have an existing ServiceNow team elsewhere in the organization, coordinate with them. (If operational schedules are not aligned, you may spend additional time waiting.)
  3. Get everyone on board with the schedule as early as possible, and understand the time commitment for all your team members. (If people aren’t available as needed, the schedule can slip.)
  4. Timely approvals are a MUST on design documents for processes and development stories. (Otherwise, prepare for costly delays or loss of implementation resources.)
  5. Line up your user-acceptance testing team and involve them early in the process.
  6. Avoid rework time by having the affected HR departments actively participate in sprint reviews.
  7. Avoid delayed or incomplete testing, which can also delay implementation.
  8. Write knowledge articles early in the process, so you’re not waiting on them before you go live.

How to Get It All: Better, Faster, Cheaper Implementation

Keep the focus on finding a “good” implementation partner who will work with your team and align with your HR strategy. If your ServiceNow implementation partner doesn’t understand your HR strategy, you probably need a new partner.

Cask advisory consultants in this practice all come from HR backgrounds and have the expertise to help you navigate your implementation as well as plan your roadmap.

The more closely your team can work with the implementation team, the better, faster and cheaper the implementation will be.

At Cask, we know how to streamline business.

We understand that the world moves fast, but information moves faster. You need data in a hurry, and company-wide automation is the answer. If your business can’t keep pace, we can guide you through a strategic transformation to optimize your operational efficiency.

That’s why we are proud to partner with ServiceNow to provide the solutions to move from manual tasks and paper deliverables to digital applications for managing your business.