8 new PPM features in ServiceNow Helsinki you shouldn’t miss

Following the ServiceNow Geneva release, we shared the Project Portfolio Management highlights of that version. Now that Helsinki release is out, it’s time to have a look at the PPM features THIS new release brings. We have collected our 8 favorites.

1. Program Manager is now available

Program Manager Workbench is now covered and offers Program Managers to get a very consolidated view of a group of projects but also demands under a single program. Below an extract of rolled-up information:


Other information such as Risks, Issues or Cost Plans are also consolidated at program level. You can find more details under point 7: “Summary of rolled-up fields to either Portfolio or Program”
Two important remarks can be added here:

  1. A project can only belong to one program.
  2. The Helsinki release includes a new role for Program Managers: program_manager.

Workbench offers the same information but with a different view. Here, program managers benefit from a visual consolidated view of relevant information in order to track and monitor projects or demands under their responsibility.


In addition, a concise Gantt Chart of Demands & Project is offered. The white dots in the Gantt Chart depict Milestones.

2. New Program Dashboards

Program Managers benefit from a tailored Dashboard where they can see at a glance consolidated data such as Risks, Issues & Key Milestones.

Tailored program dashboard

The second section displays information regarding the financial part like Capex or Opex.


3. Portfolio Management

The good news is that a project is no longer limited to one Portfolio. Till now we were forced to build a many-to-many table to manage that.
The portfolio workbench includes projects as well as demands. Budget Plan are rolled-up to the Portfolio. The scheme below depicts the type of relationships between Portfolios, Programs, Projects & Demands.

Portfolio Management

You can find more details under point 7: “Summary of rolled-up fields to either Portfolio or Program”

4. New Portfolio Dashboards

Portfolio Managers also get a dedicated Dashboard. Similar to the Program Manager Dashboard, the Portfolio Manager gets some aggregated data, like the amount of open risks, issue or key milestones among projects within the manager’s portfolios.


The second tab shows the financial part of the projects. Capex vs Opex that can be grouped by Portfolio, Fiscal Period or Expense Type.


5. Project Management

Project managers can now submit their project status reports on a regular basis. Till now we had to build a custom table that holds what is called traffic light or project health which are attributes like: Status Date, Overall health, Cost, Scope, Schedule, etc. This allows to monitor projects and detect any drift.


6. Project Manager as well have their New Dashboard

Helsinki brings in the first section “Project” a nice, consolidated view of Risks, Issues & Key Milestones of all his projects. This helps project managers by offering them a tailored dashboard. Only information regarding the respective project manager are displayed. No need to go to several places anymore.


In the second section, financial aspects are displayed. Capex vs Opex per project or a pivot table per Cost Type: It is possible to distinguish per project cost type in details, more than Capex or Opex: Labor Capex & Opex or Hardware Capex & Opex.


7. Summary of rolled-up fields to either Portfolio or Program

This scheme depicts the summary of the rolled-up fields to what level. At Program level Financial aspects from Project & Demands are considered at Program level but not Portfolio whereas Risks & Issue are rolled-up to Program & Portfolio.


8. Cost Plan

Financial aspects are now tied to projects. You can define a Cost Plan at Demand or Project level. But what exactly is a Cost Plan? It is a record that holds capital or operational costs related to a project or demand. Below an example: For a project, a Senior Consultant is needed 10 days a month from June to Dec 16.


Given a day of Consultancy is 1,800 USD, if Recurring is ticked, it means quantity is 10 each month, so 10 days of Consultancy x 7 months = 126,000 USD. Quite powerful as you do not have to do it every time (only once). See result below:


On the opposite, if you need consultancy only 10 days for August, set Start & End Fiscal Year to let’s say: August and do not tick: “Recurring”. Here is the result:


With these fantastic new features ServiceNow PPM module plays now definitely in the same league as any other Project Management tool. Have you tried them out already? Which one is your favourite?

Mustapha works as Solution Consultant at Fruition Partners in Nyon since 2013 and has a strong experience in configuration and implementation for various major European companies. He is ITIL Service Operation and ITIL Foundation V3 certified and a specialist in PPM, Facilities Management and non -IT projects.
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