ServiceNow Workflow

The blog provides a comprehensive description of ServiceNow Workflow, including what is a workflow in ServiceNow, how to build a workflow. We have also covered the topics such as what is ServiceNow Workflow, Why ServiceNow Workflow is required by organizations, how to create ServiceNow Workflows, etc. Let’s start by getting through these concepts in more detail.

What is ServiceNow Workflow?

You might be aware of ServiceNow processes like agile development, incident management, knowledge management, problem management, portfolio management, and so on. But how do you incorporate or automate all of these processes into ServiceNow apps? So, workflow ServiceNow enters the scene, with a Workflow as the response. Thus, a workflow is a collection of operations that are used to automate processes in apps.
For instance, many will be familiar with the SLA associated with an incident report. Hence, When we work on an incident, the SLA status and other SLA values are automatically updated at predetermined intervals. From this case, it is suggestible that a particular SLA is generated and attached to the SLA end-to-end cycle. As an example, the approval associated with a service request, change incident, or other request is the same. A specific workflow for approvers and approval operations is in process, as is a specific SLA.

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There are several examples to choose from. When we need to automate a procedure or want each phase to run without human interference, we establish a service level agreement (SLA). 

Why is ServiceNow Workflow?

In any enterprise, waiting for actions, decisions, and responses may be a bottleneck. Bottlenecks are caused by manual procedures or programs that do not communicate. There has to be a way to automate more operations and streamline procedures. This workflow method eliminates bottlenecks and combines individuals and systems' procedures and operations. Automated workflows, which use a drag-and-drop interface to visualize the whole series of operations in an easy-to-understand flowchart, will simplify interactions involving requests, forms, permissions, and incidents. Activities can range from creating records to notifying users of pending permissions to scheduling timers, jobs, and scripts, among other things. You will automate the business's previously manual or disconnected processes from end to end.
ServiceNow Workflow helps businesses achieve improved market results by automating multistep processes that exist between any blending of individuals and systems. With end-to-end automation that eliminates bottlenecks, you can make the processes that drive your enterprise more productive and reliable.

Creating ServiceNow Workflow

There were several operations that served various roles. Set values, run script, Send emails, approval action, timer, begin activity, notifications, approval, If, end activity, and a number of other tasks are just a few examples of tasks.
To follow execution paths or automate application processes, these required activity blocks are connected by lines. The workflow editor interface is depicted as shown below to give you a brief summary:

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As seen in the above picture, the Workflow ServiceNow begins with the Begin Activity block and ends with the End Activity block, with other activities in between.

Workflow Creation

Create a workflow with the Workflow Editor to automate a multiple-step method.
Before the start

  • To use the Workflow Editor, you must have the workflow_admin or workflow_creator role.
  • Before you create the workflow, see Workflow movement with update sets if you're designing it as part of an update set process.

Processing Steps

1.Open the Welcome tab of the Workflow Editor by navigating to Workflow -> Workflow Editor.

2.Click New Workflow in the palette's Workflows tab.

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The New Workflow form opens in a simpler edition.

3.Fill in the fields for Name and Table.

4.[Optional] Add a Description.

5.[Optional] Do one of the following:
a.If the Conditions UI segment is visible, add a Condition and update the fields if necessary. (Only if the chosen table supports criteria for launching workflows does the Conditions UI segment appear. If you use the sc_req_item table, for example, conditions aren't applicable, and the Conditions UI segment isn't visible.)
b.If the Stages UI segment appears, double-check that the State rendering and Stage order fields are filled up correctly. (Only if the chosen table supports stages does the Stages UI segment appear. When you select the sc_req_item table, for example, the Stages UI segment appears.)

6.Click Submit.

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The Begin and End activities are connected by a single transition in the new workflow.

7.Complete the workflow by incorporating activities, validating them, and releasing them so that other users can access them. See Work on workflows for more details.

8.Click the Properties icon to change the workflow's advanced settings. Click Update if you made any changes.

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Workflow properties

You can configure settings such as the workflow's application inputs, scope, schedule, start conditions, stages, and run-time metrics in the workflow's properties. You can also see details like the workflow's history, version, and author.
The following fields are available in the dialog box when you build a new workflow:

  • Name
  • Table
  • Description
  • If condition matches
  • Condition

The following UI sections are available in the dialogue box when you choose Diagrammer view in Related Lists:

  • General
  • Conditions
  • Inputs
  • Activities
  • Application
  • Schedule
  • Stages
  • Estimated Runtime

Creating workflow from a table

Create a workflow from the list view of any table that supports workflows to automate a multi-step method.

Before the start

  • Before building the workflow, see Workflow movement with update sets if you're planning it as part of an update set method.

Processing Steps
1.In the list view, select a table like Incident or Issue. Go to Incident -> Open, for instance.
2.Select Configure -> Workflows from the right-click menu in the column header.

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3.A list of Workflow Versions appears on the table.
4.Click New.
In the New Workflow view, the Workflow Version appears. The Table field is read-only and contains the table you chose in step 1.
5.Enter Name.
6.[Optional] Enter Description.
7.[Optional] Edit conditions fields as necessary.
Click Submit.
In the Workflow Versions list, the new workflow is added.
8.Click the Name of the workflow.
The Begin and End activities are connected by a single transition in the new workflow.

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9.Complete the workflow by adding activities, validating them, and publishing them so that other users can access them. See Work on workflows for more details.
10.[Optional] Click the Properties icon to change the workflow's advanced settings. Click Update if you made any changes.

Create a workflow for a new item in the service catalog

You may also create a new workflow while designing a new service catalog item.

Before the start

  • Before building the workflow, see Workflow movement with update sets if you're designing it as part of an update set method.

Processing Steps
1.Go to Service Catalog -> Catalog Definitions -> Maintain Items.
2.Click New at the top of the form, next to Catalog Items.
The Catalog Item form appears on the screen.
3.Add a Name.
4.Click the lookup icon next to the Workflow field.
5.Click New next to Workflow at the top.

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In the New Workflow View, the Workflow Version dialog appears. The Table field is read-only and set to Requested Item (sc_req_item).

6.Add a Name.
7.[Optional] Add a Description.
8.[Optional] As necessary, change the stage detail.
9.Click Submit.
The Begin and End activities are connected by a single transition in the new workflow.

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10.Complete the workflow by incorporating activities, validating them, and publishing them so that other users can access them. See Work on workflows for more details.
11.Click the Properties icon to change the workflow's advanced settings.
12.Click Update.
You can see the Catalog Item record if you close the Workflow Editor. It's noteworthy that the workflow has been applied to the Workflow field. Next to the Workflow field, you'll see the Show Workflow and Information icons. To view a read-only summary of the workflow, hover over the information icon.

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Create an SLA Definition workflow

Build a workflow from an SLA specification to simplify a multi-step process.

Before the start

Before you create the workflow, see Workflow movement with update sets if you're designing it as part of an update set method.

Processing Steps

1.Open a list of SLA definitions. For example Facilities -> SLA Definitions or Service Level Management -> SLA Definitions.
2.Click New at the top of the form, next to SLA Definitions.
3.Select Contract SLA or Service Offering SLA.
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) Definition or Service Offering SLA form appears.
4.Click the lookup icon next to the Workflow field.
5.Click New next to Workflow at the top of the screen.

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In the New Workflow view, the Workflow Version dialog appears. The Table field is read-only and is set to SLA Definition (contract_sla) or Service Offering SLA (service_offering_sla).

6.Enter Name.
7.[Optional] Enter Description
8.[Optional] If necessary, edit changes to the condition fields.
9.Click Submit.
The Begin and End activities are connected by a single transition in the new workflow.

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10.Complete the workflow by incorporating activities, validating them, and publishing them so that other users can access them. See Work on workflows for detail.
11.[Optional] Click the Properties icon to change the workflow's advanced settings. Click Update if you made any changes.

Ending workflows with multiple branches

Even if there are already active branches of the workflow in progress, a workflow is complete when it reaches the End activity. Add a Join activity to resolve the branches to ensure that they are all completed.

A workflow of two branches that execute independently, for example, can be seen in the diagram below. And if Branch A tasks are not finished, until Task 1 and Task 2 of Branch B are done, the workflow is marked complete.

Unfinished branch of a workflow

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Add a Join activity to resolve the branches so that they can all be completed. The workflow waits for the other branch until one branch reaches the join. The workflow is finished until all branches are completed. The Join activity's Incomplete condition is only satisfied if one of the branches cannot be completed.

Finished branches of the workflow

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Conclusion

Thus we have now learned the concept of ServiceNow Workflow with its practical usage in the industries that helps the organizations in planning and executing several tasks related to business process management. We also have seen how to create a workflow and the concept of workflow properties, how to create workflows using tables, creating a workflow for a new item in a service catalog, creating SLA definition, and multiple branches of workflows. 

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.