Sequential and Parallel tasks

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In this article I’m going to share something with you about sequential – and parallel tasks. During the implementation at customer X we encountered some challenges. Some processes are using sequential tasks and some needed a parallel approach. In this document you can find a solution for this.

Sequential tasks

We are using the sequential approach in the request fulfillment process.
Below you will find an example of these sequential tasks.


  • The end user is ordering a laptop by using Self Service portal
  • After he has filled in his requirements and clicks on the Order Now button, the following 6 tickets are created:
    • REQ12345; cart with 1 article in it
    • RITM56789; the requested item
    • TASK90121; approval by manager of the end user
    • TASK90122; order the laptop by the supplier
    • TASK90123; prepare the laptop to deliver to the end user
    • TASK90124; deliver the laptop and let him sing the delivery papers
  • The progress can be tracked-and-traced using the Self Service portal with the REQ and RITM number.
  • The TASK numbers are used internally by the IT department. We call them sequential tasks; after task 1 is completed, task 2 can start etc.

Note: when the 4 TASKs are completed the RITM and REQ tickets will automatically be closed.
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Status? State? Using Status Flows…

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Sometimes we get questions from customers or prospects on where to find the ServiceNow status flows.
There is no real standard method or development standard available however, but there are some similar terms like “states” and “workflows“.
But that is not what I would like to describe here.

The way we approach status flows is that they are a good way to discuss a number of processes within a company as part of workshops, designs and/ or process definitions.

In the ServiceNow application status flows can be used as a means to functional agreement and the start of configuring a module or process.
Let’s look at an example for incident management that we have used in a number of our implementation projects.

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Service Catalog requested future delivery date and starting tasks on specified date

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The Catalog
In a fully automated Self Services system, a customer is able to order services or products via a self-service portal. The items that can be requested are often offered via use of an actionable electronic service catalog. When the customer enters an order, the system automatically picks it up and starts the execution/delivery for the request. Responsible delivery groups get notified that are all part of the delivery chain. Group response- and progress time is also monitored according to defined Service Level Agreements (SLA). Usually, SLA’s are defined using the Service Level Management process at the definition stage of a service or product. The agreements are translated into automated monitoring rules and get accordingly implemented in ServiceNow. Once requests are made available using the Service Catalog, automatic ordering can be handled nice and smoothly.

But what if the customer would like to order now, but the delivery is allowed to wait for some time, since there is no high priority?
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ServiceNow Wiki RSS-feed flooding

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Attach the flood...Don’t know how this is for you, but I’m struggling to keep up with the massive amount of ServiceNow Wiki updates. Now the updates are a good thing – it’s good to keep the documentation as up-to-date as possible. However, me struggling to keep up is not so good.
I sometimes even caught myself not looking at my RSS reader any more since the number of unread articles just gave me this no-control feeling.

Now a lot depends on the RSS reader you use and after diving into this a bit more I found that that are so many readers that I had no clue which one to choose.
I was using the Google RSS Reader and to be honest, I was quite happy with it.

Only the (lack of) filtering capabilities were kind of disappointing.
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