• David Tessaro

4 Biggest Pains of Documentation in ServiceNow – And How to Fix Them

servicenow documentation

Let’s face it, documentation can be a real pain. It’s one of those things you know you should be better at, but it’s hard to make yourself do it. Like exercise or eating broccoli.

Maybe you’ve had an experience where documenting something in your ServiceNow instance would have saved you, and that’s why you’re here, looking for a solution. Or maybe you haven’t been in that situation yet. You’re lucky. But it will happen to you. The day will come when you’ll realize just how important documenting your ServiceNow instance actually is.

With that in mind, here are 4 of the biggest pains associated with documenting your ServiceNow instance, and how you can fix them:

1. It’s the Last Thing That’s Done

When you’re building something in ServiceNow, your main concern is not to document how you built it. Your main concern is simply to build it, to get it done and to do it well. So you normally don’t document your process until the project is complete, right? That’s better than not documenting at all. But there are some problems with that method. Mainly that it’s nearly impossible to accurately document every detail when all the steps aren’t right in front of you. You have to take yourself back to your process and hope you can remember exactly what you did.

Imagine attending a meeting where all the notes are taken after the meeting has ended.  Not only is it a huge waste of time, but the remaining notes aren’t reliable enough to be truly valuable.  Ideally, documentation would be created throughout the project, but that is not realistically when most documentation is done.

2. Manual Data Gathering Takes Forever

Until recently, the best way to create documentation was to copy and paste work that was done from a large variety of locations into a single word document to be organized and formatted appropriately. This process is still used today for copying forms, tables, and even complete sets of code. Not only did it take a long time for the person creating the documentation, but also for those who needed to reference that documentation later.  The more complete that documentation became, the more cumbersome it was to actually use.

3. It’s Rarely Complete Information

Another problem with manual documentation, or waiting until the end to document, is the information is rarely complete. For documentation to be fully useful, it needs to be detailed and provide in-depth visibility. This creates conflict later on when say, for example, a new person comes on board. Incomplete documentation actually ends up costing your team more time in the long run when it’s time for those missing points to be filled in. No one wants to be welcomed to the team with proof that you’re not well prepared.

4. It Sometimes Never Happens

The need for documentation becomes a vicious cycle. You make more changes or build out more features that need to be documented. But you don’t always have time to set aside for thoroughly documenting those changes because more changes or enhancements are already being thrown at you. So sometimes documentation just doesn’t happen. But what happens when someone leaves the organization and you don’t have time to figure out how they built something or what changes they made? That’s when overlooking documentation is going to come back and bite you.

The Solution for Documenting Your ServiceNow Instance

There’s one tool that takes care of all the pains of documentation for you, and that tool is called CernaDoc. CernaDoc provides in-depth and automated documentation of your entire ServiceNow instance. It gives you the ability to quickly and reliably compile the key information needed to manage and understand the status of your ServiceNow instance. This allows managers to make more informed decisions, provides up-to-date details on mission-critical metrics, and is invaluable in creating a detailed disaster recovery plan.

CernaDoc provides comprehensive reporting on:

 System Properties  Plugins  Catalog Items (and Variables)  Tables and Fields  Script Includes  Business Rules  Client Scripts  Catalog Client Scripts

 UI Policies  Data Policies  UI Actions  UI Pages  REST Messages  SOAP Messages  Scripted Web Services  Scripted REST APIs

 Scheduled Script Executions  Scheduled Summary Generations  Scheduled Reports  Scheduled Data  Imports Data  Sources Fix Scripts

CernaDoc is ideal for disaster recovery, document compliance, upgrade preparedness, and knowledge transfer. It grants you access to everything you’ve ever modified cleanly and in one place.

To request more information or a demo of CernaDoc, please contact us at info@cernasolutions.com

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