The Power of Seeing

Scott Willson


In today's rapidly changing business landscape, enterprises must clearly understand the data and metrics that make up their business. Visibility dashboards are a crucial tool that offers valuable insights into an organization's overall performance. xtype provides multi-environment visibility for your ServiceNow landscape. This blog will explore the advantages of better visibility and how xtype helps enterprises eliminate environment inconsistencies and make better use of their people's time.


Benefits of Sight

One of the primary benefits of visibility is that it replaces assumption and extensive and expensive analysis with immediate insight. Like an x-ray, the correct dashboard bound to accurate real-time data will help you diagnose and treat a variety of business problems or systems ailments. Real-time dashboards enable decision-makers to identify trends and areas that need improvement quickly. Real-time visibility also provides troubleshooters with the forensics of issues that will shorten the mean time to resolution (MTTR).


xtype provides two kinds of real-time dashboards (1) a 360° multi-environment view and (2) a platform engineering dashboard showing performance metrics. The platform engineering dashboard will help you keep track of your delivery KPIs and measure your innovation velocity. The dashboard displays all the relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) in a clear and easy-to-understand format. 

The 360° multi-environment view displays all the update sets distributed throughout your ServiceNow landscape. You can see where they are located, including the location of each individual component of an update set. Update sets with preview warnings are clearly shown, as are failed deployments. Orginitaing instances are marked with a flag so you know the point of origin for any update set.

No More Spreadsheets

xtype is the x-ray of your ServiceNow landscape. Gone are the days of tedious spreadsheet building that is error-prone. Gone are the days of assuming what you planned to deploy was deployed. With xtype, you can manage your entire ServiceNow landscape easily and quickly. Its multi-environment visibility feature allows you to access and control all your updates and changes across all instances. xtype is a product native to ServiceNow, guaranteeing seamless integration and a hassle-free experience. 

Planned vs. Actual 

It can be frustrating when there is a difference between what was planned and what occurred. It can cause confusion, delays, and even more problems as ServiceNow administrators and developers troubleshoot issues. Sometimes problems arise due to unforeseen circumstances or unexpected challenges that were not accounted for in the planning process. Other times, it can be due to miscommunication or a lack of understanding about the expectations and requirements of a release. Whatever the cause may be, having a dashboard that can reconcile the differences between planned and actual will help teams work together and find a solution.

xtype customers report seeing that dozens to hundreds of the update sets they thought were deployed (planned) were never deployed (actual). This difference occurs during releases when conflicts and errors arise during deployment. ServiceNow pros tend to follow a resolution practice of last-one-in-wins, where the latest update set containing the conflict is deployed, and earlier update sets are not. Not deploying earlier update sets means the actual release bill of materials (BOM) differs from the planned BOM.

Environment Inconsistency

This induced environment inconsistency continues to propagate errors, conflicts, and issues. Developed apps and features in the next sprint assume that specific versions of components and objects are present only to discover (or rediscover) problems as they promote to production or other high-level environments. Most attempt to clone their way around this problem - a problem they don't realize they are causing. However, cloning takes a lot of time. The cloning process itself can take 20+ hours, but the pre and post work can take multiple work-days.


In conclusion, shining a light on environment inconsistencies will not only reduce errors and error propagation, but it will also improve the quality of our work and help us better comply with regulations and policies. xtype's x-ray style of ServiceNow environment visibility will save you a ton of time building spreadsheets and preparing for releases and deployments. The big question is this. What will you do with the time saved from manually creating deployment spreadsheets?

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