As they were developing and expanding their ServiceNow implementation, the bank
realized that technical debt was being introduced and mounting in the background.
Over time, this would have driven up the cost of change and made development less
predictable. To tackle the problem, they devised a three-point plan to first measure it,
then stabilize it and then finally reduce it.
At the same time, the company was also interested in reverting back to out-of-the-
box functionality, in part due to the accrual of technical debt, but also because of
the impact on the duration of upgrades to new releases (which took up to 6 months).
Given these ambitions, the bank was looking for greater platform governance.
The bank had already performed some health reports on its setup, but they didn’t
benchmark their platform against other ServiceNow instances, nor did they provide an
indication of the overall platform quality. With all of this in mind, the bank decided that
they needed a more comprehensive solution to govern their platform development,
for both code and configuration.
Through using Quality Clouds, the bank immediately succeeded in its first goal of
measuring technical debt. Analyzing their development instance against ServiceNow
specific issues were located.
As part of their second goal, stabilization, the bank needed to ensure as little technical
debt as possible was being introduced. This was achieved through using the Live
Check functionality, which acts as a real-time coding quality gate. This meant that
issues were fixed at their introduction, before being moved between instances. It
also meant that developers quickly gained an enhanced understanding of both best
practices and ServiceNow on the job.
In order to achieve their third aim, reduction, the bank needed to fix pre-existing
issues. The bank took upgrades as an opportunity to revert back to out-of-the-box
and would also remediate issues as components became relevant to current projects.
Using Quality Clouds to automate finding issues, this meant that technical debt could
be reduced organically alongside platform development.
Nowadays, the bank’s architect has to spend considerably less time on code reviews
and promoting best practices among developers. Quality Clouds’ automation of these
processes has freed up significant amounts of their time. Instead, they can focus on
creating value through platform design and expanding user functionality.
In terms of their goals, over the course of a year, the bank’s technical debt decreased
by 35% and stabilized. At the same time, functionality increased by 15%. With their
development velocity increased, but the cost of change down, the bank’s management
were impressed with the results.