When implementing solutions on the ServiceNow platform, often you are either seeking approvals (from Business Stakeholders) or using tasks for Fulfillers to complete work. As you digitize your business processes, more and more use cases will be discovered that can leverage the benefits of the platform. What can happen, though, as this transformation / modernization effort expands, you may find yourself needing or wanting to have people complete work that don’t do all the things that a Fulfiller user does.

What is a Fulfiller?

ServiceNow documentation provides these details (reference Capabilities of users with ITIL role - IT Service Management Process with ITIL Role -

  • Handle Incidents and related tasks (Problems and Changes), identifying, classifying, providing initial support, investigation, and diagnosis

  • Manage Incident monitoring, tracking, communications, resolution and recovery of service or workaround

  • Work on requests needing to be fulfilled through the Service Catalog

  • Create and update records derived from TASK

  • Have access to core ITSM applications

  • Access and update information in the CMDB

  • Create and update group approvals, user approvals, Incident state and user records

  • Create and update Interactions

  • Create and update release records

As the breadth and depth of your business process transformation unfolds, your efforts may reach non-Fulfiller user types. This is where having Checklist Pro and utilizing the generic CLP Record (Checklist Pro Record) may make sense. The CLP Record provides a non-task custom record (i.e., it does not extend a TASK and thus does not include any of the capabilities associated with TASK records) to hold a Checklist and is for Checklist Pro Users, which represent a class of user that may not have Fulfiller rights.

The Checklist Pro User / Record is for users that do not perform the Fulfiller duties, but instead simply need access to complete a Checklist Pro Checklist.

Using Checklist Pro, the architecture / development team has additional tools at their disposal when digitizing a business process. In addition to the well-established Checklist functionality, you can now place a Checklist on a CLP Record which provides access to a Checklist for “Checklist Pro Users”. In this way, your solution architect can determine the best option for the organization, deciding if the users involved should be Fulfillers or if having less privileged Checklist Pro Users will suffice. Having such an option allows for additional ServiceNow products to be procured while ensuring that the Fulfiller user-base is properly provisioned.

Checklist Pro provides admins / developers the ability to create a CLP Record in both Flow Designer as well as the legacy Workflow tools. Simply drag the “Checklist Pro Record” into the Flow / Workflow, complete the inputs and then Checklist Pro Users will be able to complete these Checklists without having to burn a Fulfiller license on a user that does not do all the activities that a typical Fulfiller does.

Checklist Pro provides the email notifications to alert these users of their open Checklists as well as providing a Service Portal interface for accessing / updating the Checklist. The Checklist Pro User can complete the Checklist here.

How to determine if a Checklist Pro User / Record option is what is needed?

  • Analyze which groups are being assigned tasks. How often are these groups being assigned work? Calculate how many tasks each member has been assigned. We recommend analyzing data for the past 12 months and factor in things such as how long have users been members of the group (a new person to the group will undoubtedly have fewer assignments than someone with a longer membership tenure).

  • Look for users with fewer than 10 task assignments as a starting point. Do any patterns emerge?

  • Do all or most members of certain groups seem to do work infrequently?

  • Are these group members doing a variety of work as described in the What is a Fulfiller section above? If not, this may be a case for considering a Checklist Pro User / Record.

Performing this exercise will help ensure that your Fulfiller user-base is properly provisioned and help preserve your ServiceNow capital for more valuable functional platform / product offerings.

Disclaimer: A Checklist Pro User cannot do Fulfiller User work such as those having the ITIL role. Checklist Pro Users are only privileged to complete Checklist Pro Checklists. This is not a replacement for the Fulfiller or Business Stakeholder Licensed User but instead a complementary tool for optimizing how work gets done on the platform.

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  • Ty Roach

The ServiceNow platform is an amazingly powerful tool that follows ITIL principles and provides a myriad of features and services in areas such as ITSM, ITOM, ITBM, HR, Security Operations, GRC, and more. Besides the "out of the box" (OOB) capabilities, this platform was built to allow for easy customizations suiting each organization's business needs. As such, new features and business workflow processes can be quickly built and ServiceNow even provides a native checklist application to enhance common tasks. The idea of a "checklist" is familiar to everyone, we use them for personal reasons like when we go grocery shopping or are packing for a vacation, etc. We can use them at work as well (e.g. like collecting keys from an employee being offboarded and cancelling any travel or training classes scheduled for them). Having a checklist helps augment the functionality within ServiceNow workflows, guiding the team through what may potentially be many sub-steps. They can also help track work performed in other systems or for enforcing that best practices are followed. It may also be that not all of the instructions in a task are required and knowing which of these tasks were performed (or not) is important for audit or evidence gathering purposes. The problem with native ServiceNow checklists is that they are unreliable, meaning, people can change the content of the checklist item after the fact, add items, delete items, change items. There's also no guarantee that the same checklist will appear in the same situation. There is no way to restrict who can edit the checklist or when it can be edited (e.g. do you really want people changing checklist responses after the record has been closed). There is no concept of "required" vs "optional" checklist items. Enter Checklist Pro, a ServiceNow Store Application from TYGR LLC a Premier Technology Partner and Public Sector Partner. We built Checklist Pro to solve all those problems and more. Checklist Pro application administrators can define when checklists get created and associated with records in a table (any table - not just those that extend TASK), when these checklists can be edited, when the associated record is considered "closed" (and thus should prohibit further checklist updates). We even added the ability to define "Required" checklist items that allow enforcement, thereby preventing a record from closing unless the required items are completed. We've built convenience Database Views to go with the most common checklist tables, which include TASK, SYSAPPROVAL_APPROVER, CMDB_CI.

  • They work in the Service Portal as well as in the Classic UI.

  • They can be placed in Catalog Items, Record Producers as you submit your request, or placed on any record in ServiceNow.

  • The same Checklist can be shared across multiple different records (think group approvals) where everyone sees and uses the same checklist.

  • A Checklist can have nested Checklists such that as one item is completed, it can reveal a whole new set of Checklist items

  • We even have built-in Checklist Item validation logic and allow end users to build their own item validators.

  • Our Checklists works with other Scoped Applications (like HR or SecOps or even custom scoped apps & tables).

Additionally, Checklist Pro has a built-in "Terms of Use" capability that can be dragged and dropped into any workflow to optimize and conserve the use of your precious ServiceNow capital. Checklist Pro has been in the ServiceNow store since 2019 and is installed and running in US Government production ServiceNow instances. It has been battle tested in the Energy Sector, supporting Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) regulatory requirements from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Checklist Pro is a ServiceNow Store Application from TYGR LLC a Premier Technology Partner. The app has been certified to run on ServiceNow instances from Kingston up to and including San Diego.

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Updated: Mar 8

How approval requests can burn away your ServiceNow capital.

One of the bread-and-butter items of ServiceNow is its ability to capture approvals in a business process.

But if you’re not careful in how you implement your business process, you could overuse this convenient feature and find yourself paying for more “Business Stakeholder” licenses than you expect, thereby eating into your ServiceNow budget and preventing you from investing in other important features that the platform has to offer.

As an example, consider a Mobile Device catalog item and workflow.

Most organizations offer a Mobile Device to some of their employees. Using these mobile devices typically requires an acceptance of certain “Terms of Use”. If the employee receiving the device is making the request, you could require their consent to these terms before submitting the request, but often these requests are made on behalf of the person receiving the device, such as a supervisor requesting for a new employee being onboarded.

If the development team unwittingly use the Approval request to capture consent to terms of use in the Mobile Device workflow, this approval will automatically transform the approving user into a “Business Stakeholder”.

With Checklist Pro, there is a built-in “Terms of Use” workflow activity that can simply replace the Approval activity in the workflow. Instead of burning a “Business Stakeholder” license for a one-time approval, the person assigned the “Terms of Use” response must review the terms and elect to “Accept” or “Reject” these terms.

Checklist Pro’s controls prevent an unauthorized person from accepting or rejecting the terms. Only the intended person has this ability, and their choice is preserved as a Checklist Item response. This person can be a free, “Requester” license-type user, and because the approval activity was not used to capture the response, a “Business Stakeholder” license is not consumed.

See this Checklist Pro - "Terms of Use" Video

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