Manage Custom Status Values Present in Asset Lifecycle Stages


 

Product Success Playbook

Manage Custom Status Values Present in Asset Lifecycle Stages

A step-by-step guide to analyze and remediate custom status values used in asset lifecycle stages

 

Table of Contents

Summary

Goal of this Playbook

Audience

Problem Overview

Executive Summary

How this playbook can help you achieve business goals

How this playbook is structured

Problem Analysis

Upstream Causes

Downstream Consequences

Impact on Your Business

Engagement Questions

Remediation Plays

Summary

Play 1: Review your data

Play 2: Analyze your CI records

Play 3: Fix Play

Data Governance

 

 

Summary

Goal of this Playbook

The goal of this playbook is to identify and manage custom status values created for managing asset lifecycle stages

Details about this playbook

Author Bibu Elias Punnachalil
Date 11/15/2021
Addresses HSD # HSD0010489
Applicable ServiceNow Releases New York, Orlando, Paris, Quebec, Rome
Time Required Approximately 1 to 8 hours (depending on your environment)

Audience

  • Asset Manager and Asset Management Team
  • Configuration Manager or Configuration Management team
  • ServiceNow Administrator or Discovery Administrator

 

Problem Overview

 
The asset lifecycle stage is maintained using status and substatus attribute on asset record as a choice list. As a highly configurable platform, customizations to these status choice lists are simple to perform but the consequence are not always immediately apparent. These may have impact on the AMDB and CMDB workflows and all other dependent processes.
 
This playbook helps you identify if custom status values exist on asset lifecycle stages and helps in correcting them when appropriate.

 

Executive Summary

How this playbook can help you achieve business goals

Keeping baseline asset lifecycle stages help in,

  • Improved asset lifecycle tracking 
  • Improved operational visibility of assets
  • Reduced operational costs due to accurate asset data

How this playbook is structured

This playbook guides you through three plays.
  • The first play (a review play) helps you identify the custom status values and associated assets
  • The second play (an analysis play) helps you to analyze and understand the cause and impact of the identified custom status 
  • The third play (a fix play) explains on the steps to remove the appropriate custom status
  • The fourth play (a governance play) explains the way you can monitor and keep the baseline asset lifecycle stage

 

Problem Analysis

Upstream Causes

  • Transforms are loading custom status choices that do not exist as base choices provided by ServiceNow
  • Some admins may have manually added new choices in the status choice lists based on the business requirement which ServiceNow baseline choices could not support 
  • Some admins may have manually changed the Label of an existing status choice which modifies the original intent of ServiceNow provided choices
  • Some admins may have manually changed the Value of an existing status choice which modifies the original intent of ServiceNow provided choices
  • Some custom choices within status choice lists are not life cycle values and should live outside of the status choice list
  • Integrations to 3rd party solutions may create custom status choices that do not exist as base choices provided by ServiceNow
  • You may not be aware that customizations in status attributes may have an adverse affect on capabilities within the platform
  • Processes may not exist to identify and review customizations to status attributes within the CMDB.

Note: new custom choices are sometimes necessary but any custom choices that are not utilized should be decommissioned.

 

Downstream Consequences

Data Consequence

  • Data alignment with asset may result in inaccurate data in either Asset or CMDB
  • Data alignment between status attributes may result in inaccurate data in either Asset or CMDB
  • Business decisions made based on incorrect data

Operation Consequence

  • Policies that update status choices may be unaware of custom values resulting in broken workflows
  • Reporting will lack correct data, unable to associate the correct status of a configuration item

App Consequence

  • Configuration items may not reflect appropriate operational status for inclusion / exclusion within various workflows
  • Procurement process may not get the accurate input from the asset management

 

Impact on Your Business

Having custom values in asset lifecycle stage may result in,

 • Reduced Operational Visibility
  ○ Process Alignment
  ○ Lifecycle Management


 • Audit/Compliance Issues
  ○ System Integrity
  ○ Data Governance
  ○ Process Gaps


 • Increased Operational Cost
  ○ Asset Retirement gaps
  ○ Procurement accuracy

 • Process Automation Difficulty
  ○ Baseline automation failure

Engagement Questions:

Consider the answers to these questions:

  • Is customer using ServiceNow ITAM (Hardware Asset Management and/or Software Asset Management) ?
  • Is the customer planning to or in the process of adopting CSDM ?
  • Are customizations reviewed during development process?

 

Remediation Plays

Summary

The table below lists and summarizes each of the remediation plays in the playbook.  Details are included later. 

Play Name

 

 

Review your data

What this play is about

Query and Analyze existing custom asset status on your instance

Required tasks

Download and execute the script

Analyze Play

 

 

What this play is about

Analyze and document list of custom asset lifecycle status

Required tasks

Analyze and document list of custom asset lifecycle status

Fix Plays

What this play is about

Revert customizations

Required tasks

Correct custom status choices where appropriate

Data Governance

What this play is about

Helps you establish standard operating procedures, as well as periodic data validation

Required tasks

Provides detailed advice, best practices and configuration audit instructions

 

Play 1 - Review your data

What this Play is about

This play helps you see if there are any custom status deviating from baseline 

This play includes running a fix script with three output sections; first section provide the count of custom status in asset records, second section provides the list of all custom status and third section provides the number of asset records present for each of the custom status.

Required tasks

 

  1. Download and import the Query - Custom Asset Lifecycle Status fix script
  2. Run the Fix script
  3. Upon successful completion, review the output from the query

    Note the actual output will be different, but a sample of the output is below:

 

Play 2 - Analyze your CI records

What this Play is about

This play provides the steps to analyze the information received from the previous step,

Required tasks

  1. Who is the owner of the assets having the custom status?
    A team or individual should ultimately be responsible for adding the custom status in the Asset table in the first place. This team or individual often can also be the person consuming the information that is captured here.
    If an owner cannot be identified , or more importantly, if individuals or teams cannot be identified who are actively using the data, or if there are no assets with a custom status, the status is a strong candidate for removal (not migration).

  2. Is the information used for a business critical process?
    While the information captured in the custom status may have an identified owner, often the status additions were to support a legacy business process. Identifying the business value that a particular custom status delivers is an important factor in determining if the status should be retained. If the status population is done simply because “we've always done it this way” or because it is to maintain historical trend data that otherwise has no current value, then that status is also a candidate for removal.

  3. Are there now equivalent base status available?
    Custom status may have been created for good reason: Custom status indicates asset status the way the team is used to. However, with the rapid evolution of the ServiceNow platform, new functionalities are introduced with every family release. The new lifecycle mappings are used across the foundation tables

 

Play 3 - Fix Play

What this Play is about

This play tells you how to correct custom status choices where appropriate

Required tasks

  1. Navigate to Choice Lists as part of System Definition
  2. Search Choice List for entries that match the custom choices identified in the previous step to be deleted
  3. Make the appropriate corrections based on your analysis 


 

Data Governance

What this Play is about

This play lists the best practices and processes for managing custom choices within configuration item status

Required tasks

  1. Establish a system oversight that discourages inappropriate customizations to status attributes while enabling Data Stewards to ensure data integrity for core data
  2. Periodically run the script given in play 1 and check if any new status value is getting added

 

Congratulations

You have completed this Product Success Playbook.