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It can be costly to implement the basic tools needed to run a well operating PMO. Your PMO probably needs to track the demand coming through Intake. Projects need to be tracked through a Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) tool. Time spent on projects needs to be tracked and projected. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tool that may already be in your organization that can do these things?

In many cases there is and that tool is increasingly likely to be ServiceNow.

A Brief History of ServiceNow

ServiceNow has been around since 2003 and has grown very popular over the last several years. It is currently widely used, as evidenced by having deals with nearly 35% of the Global 2000 (Morningstar, 4/26/2017) In fact, this tool has been a major product in the last three companies that I have worked for.

The ServiceNow Product Offering from a PMO Perspective

ServiceNow is best known for being a leading IT Service Management (ITSM) software provider. But it does more than just IT Service Management. It also offers wide coverage of Project and Portfolio Management tools including:

  • Demand Management
  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Agile Development
  • Resource & Time Management

Each of these items has the same reporting and analytics, as well as accessibility on the cloud, which is a staple of the ServiceNow user experience. Each of the items above can often be enabled for your organization for a relative low increase in your current license cost. The time to configure this capability within the system can be very low as well. In one instance, we enabled Resource Capacity Planning within ServiceNow for a large organization within a week. However, it is important that the time and cost requirements to enable a given component will vary from organization to organization.

I will now go through a brief overview of each of the components above.

Demand Management:

Every project organization needs to track their requests for new projects along with associated business cases.  ServiceNow offers the ability to track these requests with integration with the IT Service Catalog and with integration with the Project Portfolio Management module. In other words, you can see what demand requests impact which services. Additionally, you can see what project records have been generated because of a given demand record. This allows for information about the project, the associated business case, and impacted IT services to be pulled together easily.

ServiceNow offers the capability of tracing the lineage of an IT service back to the Demand Record that created it.

Project Portfolio Management:

Integration of your ITSM tool with your Project Portfolio Management tool has several advantages including:

  • Integration of your project development process with your service catalog allows for more accurate tracking of the impact development has on the project on downstream IT systems. This integration speeds up the process of anticipating problems that may occur with a project’s impacts on an organization’s portfolio of services.
  • Integration of your Project Development process with your Demand Management and Resource Management processes ensures that work gets tracked to the right categories.
  • Many classic implementations of ServiceNow come bundled with Incident Management and Problem Management. Having these functions available with the integration of Project Portfolio Management can help to show what impact a given project has on a decrease or increase of incidents because of the project implementation.

Agile Development:

ServiceNow also offers the ability for your organization to manage Agile development efforts. The data coming from this capability can be consolidated with virtually any other components including project, demand management and your service catalog. With this addition, ServiceNow provides the tools needed to manage development from an Agile perspective, a Waterfall perspective, or some combination of the two.

Resource Management & Time Management:

ServiceNow can also show what services or projects a given person has worked on in the past and what they have worked on in the future. This is shown in the Time Card module (time reported by individual in the past) and in the Resource module (future projection of time worked by individual). This data can be rolled up to show the total cost of ownership or how many past or future hours is associated to a project or service within your organization. This data helps make trade-off decisions. It also helps leaders understand what has or what will drive labor consumption.


As you can see, ServiceNow is able to do a lot of different things in the Project Management space. If you find your Project Organization has a shortage of tools to manage your projects, check if this productis available. If so, you may find that ServiceNow has a ready solution for your PMO tool needs.



Tell me your thoughts in the comments and let’s open a dialog. I would be excited to hear other opinions on this topic.

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Karl Hallgrimsson

Karl Hallgrimsson

Co-Founder: Project Management for Today

Karl has worked in many different organizations over his 18+ Year career. These organizations include TeleTech, IBM, DaVita, and Hewlett Packard, Inc. He has served as a change agent in each organization, either by building up strong operational rigor in PMO's, or by greatly improving an organization's Analytics capability. Karl's contributions to this site provides practical recommendations suiting a variety of environments, which will be best suited for readers who are interested in updating their Analytics, PMO Operational, or Portfolio Management capabilities.
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