Every work environment is different, and people experience the same environment in diverse ways. Reflecting on the past 2 years, there are a few things that have made my experience at ServiceNow exceptional.
It's fantastic. After almost 20 years in technology, it is a breath of fresh air to use a product that works, and that does what it is supposed to do extremely well.
When I was first invited to interview at ServiceNow, I scheduled 15 minutes on my calendar to review the company and demo the product. 15 minutes stretched into 2 hours as every customization I tried, button I clicked, and feature I used worked as if I had designed them myself. There was a night and day difference when compared to the tools I had been using for the prior decades.
As organizations grow, they commonly add process and bureaucracy that stifles innovation, slows execution, and muddies priorities. Staff and leaders commonly lose sight of the forest for the trees. Prior to ServiceNow I worked with several services attempting to sell to the federal government, but no one was able to determine which customers were valuable enough to justify whichever certification applied. Half a decade later, that organization still loses deals because of this logjam.
At ServiceNow, that approach was flipped on it's head. We targeted the broadest, deepest, most complex certifications and controls and went after them all. As there is a significant amount of overlap, the highest ROI occurs when the superset of controls is met rather than a subset. Today ServiceNow has FISMA Moderate Authority to Operate (ATO), Section 508 compliance, and ISO 27001 certification (and others) and we actively sell into a broad set of government groups and agencies.
From compliance to international expansion to flash adoption, we set and achieve ambitious goals on aggressive timelines.
Culture of Transparency
Frank Slootman's public interviews display a refreshing amount of candor while effectively outlining our objectives and approaches (e.g. New Logos + Upsells + Renewals). Watch them if you can. Internal messaging is consistent and teams are rewarded accordingly. This freedom from duplicity results in a more trusting internal culture.
Externally we provide a great deal of detail about our service, from Allan Leinwand's infrastructure overview to Upgrade and Release Cycle guidance on the Wiki. We are honest with our customers. It sounds like a small thing, but it really isn’t.
Culture of Accountability
The first time I heard our founder Fred Luddy speak he was sharing his experience learning to work with an executive team that was laser-focused on identifying and resolving problem areas rather than simply celebrating success. His initial trepidation was a natural human response; we don't enjoy confronting or reliving our mistakes.
But the value of this approach lies in the resulting foundation for future growth. Addressing weaknesses before they become compromises built in to the structure of a business or product has been a cornerstone of ServiceNow's success. Taking accountability allows staff to grow as managers of their own destiny. And that is precisely what most technical staff want in their careers.
ServiceNow isn't perfect; it has challenges and growth areas like any other company or online service. There are still a few areas of technical debt to pay down. Executing changes or introducing new technology without jeopardizing the high SLAs our customers have come to expect can be challenging. Regardless, I am incredibly proud of ServiceNow and am still super excited to be a part of this team today.
Alright, maybe this is a little bit of a love letter.