How to Create a Workflow in ServiceNow

At the click of a button, ServiceNow can help streamline business processes. It works like a guide, ensuring tasks are done quickly and efficiently. Automating repetitive tasks saves time, enhancing productivity.

To use ServiceNow, one must understand what workflows are. They are sequences of activities that match real-life processes. They have defined steps and actions to reach a goal. ServiceNow’s platform makes creating these workflows easy, configuring approvals, conditions, and notifications.

Before creating a workflow, identify the process or task that needs improvement. This could range from simple ticketing systems to complex processes. Break it down into logical steps and decide how each should flow.

After that, define the actions and conditions for each step. Automated tasks like sending notifications or updating records can be used. Also, manual activities requiring user intervention. Conditions can be used to ensure criteria are met before proceeding.

ServiceNow also has tools to improve workflows. The Workflow Editor is one of them. It gives a visual representation of the workflow. This helps identify any bottlenecks and optimization needed.

Did You Know? Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies use ServiceNow for IT service management.

Understanding ServiceNow workflows

ServiceNow workflows are key for streamlining processes and boosting efficiency in businesses. Automating tasks and approvals, these workflows enable smooth collaboration between teams and departments.

To set up a workflow in ServiceNow, first define the stages of the process. These can involve collecting info, reviewing requests, or making decisions. Once you know the structure of the workflow, start building it on ServiceNow.

Use the Workflow Editor to visualize your workflow. This user-friendly tool lets you drag and drop elements onto a canvas and link them with lines. Configure each element by setting up properties, such as conditions and actions.

Think about the roles and permissions of users involved in the process. ServiceNow has role-based access control. This allows you to assign specific tasks or approvals to people or teams based on their duties. This guarantees only authorized personnel can perform certain actions in the workflow.

Pro Tip: Before deploying a workflow in a production environment, thoroughly test and validate its function in ServiceNow. This will help detect any potential problems or roadblocks, and ensure a smooth experience for all users.

Benefits of creating workflows in ServiceNow

Workflows in ServiceNow are a super beneficial tool for businesses. They streamline and automate processes, enhancing productivity and efficiency.

  • Efficiency Boost: Automating repetitive tasks with workflows lets staff focus on more meaningful work.
  • Better Collaboration: ServiceNow workflows ensure everyone is on the same page and can work together smoothly.
  • Error Decrease: Following predefined steps and rules decreases human error, so processes are more accurate.
  • Customer Experience Improved: Automated workflows help deliver faster and more efficient services, making customers happy.

Plus, ServiceNow’s flexible workflow capabilities make customizations for specific needs easy. And, the ServiceNow community offers plenty of help.

Organizations looking to maximize workflows in ServiceNow should consider these suggestions:

  1. Understand Processes: Take time to understand existing processes and where automation can help.
  2. Involve Stakeholders: Get key stakeholders involved in the workflow design process.
  3. Test Small-Scale: Start testing small before implementing large-scale workflows.
  4. Update Regularly: Review and update workflows as business changes.

By following these guidelines and using workflows in ServiceNow, businesses can reach their full potential for productivity, collaboration, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

Step 1: Defining the workflow objectives

Defining objectives for a workflow is essential to make it effective in ServiceNow. Outlining goals and outcomes will ensure the workflow suits your organization’s needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify the process: Analyze the current state, spot bottlenecks, and find where automation can bring value.
  2. Engage stakeholders: Work with stakeholders to get their input and understand their pain points, expectations, and requirements.
  3. Set goals: Make sure goals like efficiency, reducing errors, communication, and customer satisfaction are in line with your organization’s objectives.
  4. Map out steps: Divide the process into tasks and look for dependencies and logical sequences.
  5. Define success criteria: Establish metrics like cycle time, incident resolution time, cost savings, or customer feedback ratings.

Monitor and evaluate the workflow once implemented. Review its performance against objectives and make changes as needed.

For example, a retail company wanted to streamline inventory management. They talked to store managers, warehouse staff, and IT teams and found out about manual data entry errors and delays in stock replenishment. The objective was to cut inventory discrepancies by 50% in six months through an automated workflow that brings together inventory tracking systems, procurement, and sales data. This allowed them to address challenges and improve their inventory management process.

By following these steps, you can define objectives and create a seamless workflow in ServiceNow.

Step 2: Identifying the workflow stages

To identify the workflow stages in creating a workflow in ServiceNow, you need to understand how each stage contributes to the overall process. In this section, we’ll explore the sub-sections of this step: Stage 1 – Request submission, Stage 2 – Approval process, and Stage 3 – Task execution. Each sub-section plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow.

Sub-heading: Stage 1 – Request submission

At the start of the workflow is “Request Submission.” It’s critical for a successful flow. Here’s a guide to complete this stage:

  1. Gather all needed info.
  2. Fill in the form accurately.
  3. Double-check for mistakes or incomplete parts.
  4. Attach relevant documents, if required.
  5. Submit the request via the specified channel.
  6. Save the submission for later use.

Pay attention to details in this stage for a smooth workflow. Also, stakeholders must give essential background info and follow any instructions stated in the submission process. In the past, request submissions were tricky and prone to errors due to manual labor. However, tech development and digitalization have made the process simpler and faster. This has boosted productivity and cut back on time-consuming tasks connected to request submissions.

Sub-heading: Stage 2 – Approval process

Approval process is vital in the workflow. It means evaluating and giving permission for a task or decision. Here’s a guide to help you:

  1. Identify: Know the task or decision that requires approval.
  2. Get Info: Gather the related info and documents of the task or decision.
  3. Submit: Submit the task or decision, with the accompanying documents.
  4. Review & Approval: The authorized people check the submission and give their approval or feedback.

It’s important to have communication between stakeholders during the approval process. It simplifies the decision-making process and avoids misunderstandings.

Let’s explore the history of this important stage. In olden times, when kings ruled, any major decision had to go through a complex approval process. This included consulting advisors, ministers, and even astrologers! This was to make sure no wrong decisions were taken that could be bad for the kingdom and its people.

This tale reminds us how crucial it is to have a proper approval process, even in modern times. This way, organizations can make sound and informed decisions.

Sub-heading: Stage 3 – Task execution

Stage 3 – Task execution is key for precision and efficiency. This stage involves doing multiple tasks to get the desired result. Here’s a 6-step guide for smooth task execution:

  1. Set priorities: Work out the most important tasks and set priorities. This helps to finish crucial tasks first and avoid delays.
  2. Allocate resources: Work out which resources are needed for each task, for example manpower, tools or equipment. Effectively using these resources stops bottlenecks.
  3. Communicate: Make sure communication is clear during task execution. Define roles, responsibilities and what’s expected to avoid issues. Regular updates keep everyone on the same page.
  4. Monitor progress: Keep track of the progress of each task. Use monitoring tools or software to track milestones, spot any deviations and take corrective action quickly.
  5. Be adaptable: Stay flexible as unforeseen challenges may come up. Inspire team members to adjust plans without affecting deadlines or quality.
  6. Evaluate and learn: Once tasks are done, evaluate them against the goals and objectives. Learn from successes or failures and improve future workflows.

Plus, it’s essential to stay positive and promote teamwork throughout the task execution stage.

Pro Tip: Check your timeline regularly to stay on track and make informed decisions if you need to make changes.

Step 3: Designing the workflow flowchart

Designing a workflow flowchart is key when creating a workflow in ServiceNow. Map out and visualize the whole process. Easily spot each step, decision point, and possible outcomes with this.

Start by deciding the main steps of the process. This could include gathering information, sending notifications, or taking certain actions based on conditions. Represent these steps with symbols and arrows showing the process’ flow.

Think of any decision points that may come up in the workflow. These are points where different actions must be taken based on certain criteria. Represent these decision points in the flowchart using diamonds and arrows for the different paths that can be followed.

Include any parallel activities or loops in the flowchart. Represent these using horizontal lines or circles with arrows showing if the loop should continue or end.

Designing a clear flowchart helps you understand and communicate the workflow, plus identify areas for improvement.

Step 4: Configuring the workflow in ServiceNow

To configure the workflow in ServiceNow for Step 4, you need to create and modify stages, add conditions and approval rules, and assign tasks and notifications. These sub-sections offer the necessary solutions to enhance your workflow in ServiceNow.

Sub-heading: Creating and modifying stages

To create and modify stages in ServiceNow, access the Workflow Editor. Use the drag-and-drop interface to add activities such as tasks, approvals, or conditions. Assign roles and permissions to each activity. This way, responsibilities are clear. Modifying stages allows you to adapt to evolving business needs.

When creating and modifying stages, adhere to best practices. Clearly label each stage and define inputs and outputs. This minimizes confusion and increases efficiency. Regularly review stages to identify bottlenecks and look for improvement opportunities. This keeps your workflows optimized.

Sub-heading: Adding conditions and approval rules

Adding conditions and approval rules to workflow configuration is key for optimizing service delivery in ServiceNow. Set criteria that trigger actions. Also define who has approval authority. Five points to consider:

  1. Conditions: Prerequisites for process initiation. Variables like type, cost, or urgency level.
  2. Approval Roles: Assign roles to individuals/groups responsible for granting approvals.
  3. Escalation Paths: To avoid bottlenecks, set up paths for prompt resolution. Automatically escalate if not acted on in time.
  4. Multiple Approval Steps: For complex processes, set up multiple stages of approval. Each step can have its own conditions and roles.
  5. Parallel Approvals: Simultaneous reviews can speed up process instead of waiting for sequential steps.

To further optimize experience, consider:

  • Clarity: Clear criteria for granting/denying approvals. No ambiguity.
  • Automate: Use automation tools when possible.
  • Consistent Rules: Set consistent guidelines for conditions and roles across workflows.

Adding conditions and approval rules can streamline service delivery. Ensure timely approvals and enhance efficiency.

Sub-heading: Assigning tasks and notifications

Managing your workflow efficiently is key. Assigning tasks and notifications is key, too. It helps delegate and keep stakeholders in the loop. Here are 6 points to consider:

  1. Define roles & responsibilities. Avoid confusion and ensure accountability.
  2. Set deadlines. Keep productivity and workflow on track.
  3. Automate task assignment. ServiceNow simplifies and reduces manual effort.
  4. Prioritize critical tasks. Allocate resources and ensure prompt action.
  5. Implement notification triggers. Keep everyone informed and facilitate collaboration.
  6. Monitor progress. Track progress to identify bottlenecks.

Enhance workflow management with ServiceNow features. Integrations and customizing workflows meet specific requirements. Take control of your workflow today. Maximize productivity and ensure seamless operations – get started now!

Step 5: Testing and refining the workflow

Testing and refining the workflow is important for creating a smooth ServiceNow experience. To get it right, here are the steps:

  1. Start by making test cases for each stage of your workflow. Ensure they cover all scenarios and check the workflow performs as you want.
  2. Run these tests in order and watch for any outputs or issues.
  3. Analyze any issues found. Look for bottlenecks, errors or unexpected behavior.
  4. Debug any issues by looking at the configuration elements and log files. Make changes to fix these problems.
  5. Check your changes have fixed the issue without creating other problems.
  6. Continually refine and optimize the workflow based on user feedback, performance metrics, and observations.

For extra help, consider these tips:

  1. Involve end users or stakeholders in reviewing the workflow. Their advice could help you improve it.
  2. Keep a record of any changes made during testing. This will help for future reference or audits.
  3. Record all changes made. This way you can easily troubleshoot or debug in the future.

By following this guide and putting these tips into practice, you can create a workflow that meets your organization’s needs, increases efficiency, and boosts user satisfaction.


In ServiceNow, workflows are essential for optimizing processes and improving productivity. Workflows are the basis for automating tasks and streamlining operations. Companies can gain efficiency and success by designing workflows that suit their needs.

To make workflow creation simpler, here are some tips:

  1. Analyze existing processes to find areas for automation. Map out steps to get a clearer idea of where manual tasks can be improved.
  2. Involve stakeholders from different departments or teams in the design stage. This shared approach helps ensure all perspectives are taken into account.
  3. Review and refine workflows regularly. Businesses should adapt workflows as needs change. Get feedback from users on workflow effectiveness.

By following these suggestions, organizations can create workflows in ServiceNow to address pain points and set a solid foundation for future development. Adopting an active approach to workflow creation allows companies to use ServiceNow’s full potential across business functions.

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