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Universal Request for Innovation Management

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

I've explored the new changes with Universal Request and Request Management/Universal Task in the Rome release, for my last installment on Universal Request in Rome I'll take a look at how Universal Request ties in with Innovation Management. There are other integrations released with Rome such as Workplace Service Delivery and Microsoft Teams, but since I don't use those products I won't be spending time on them at the moment.

Innovation Management is part of the Project Portfolio Management Suite that falls under ServiceNow's IT Business Management Product family. Previously it would have been referred to as Idea Management or Ideas, which have been around for some time now, I remember it being around since at least the Fuji release. I think the Innovation Management branding came along when the Idea Portal was released and there was a split between the new Ideas table and the legacy Ideas table.

Normally, Ideas will flow through the Idea Portal and can be found in the Idea (im_idea_core) table. This article is going to focus on Innovation Management and not the legacy Ideas application, so if you see some differences in your instance this may be the reason why. Let's explore how Ideas now tie in with Universal Request, for more information on Universal Request, check out the previous articles I've created.

Per the documentation, a Universal Request can be created from an Interaction or even New Call, though if you've read my other articles it can be created from other avenues as well, such as a Catalog Item/Record Producer, etc. For more information on what differentiates Universal Request from Interactions, check out this post. After some triage has been done on the Universal Request and it has been determined to be an Idea, it can be created directly from the Universal Request record rather than directing the user to the Idea Portal to submit it.

The only plugins needed for this functionality is the PPM Standard plugin and the Universal Request plugin itself. There isn't a specific plugin itself for this integration and unlike the integration for Request Management, there are no system properties to configure. You'll see a button on the Universal Request form called Create Idea.

Clicking the UI Action will bring up the Idea portal itself. To recap if you click Create Request it'll take you to the Catalog, clicking Create Incident or Create HR Case will create the record itself.

Once the Idea has been created it'll be listed as the Primary Ticket on the Universal Request and the Idea can be evaluated per the normal process. The benefits of using Universal Request comes in to play here if the Idea cannot be implemented and another record type needs to be created.

Before going any further I did want to mention there is a state mapping between Idea and Universal Request that can be found at Universal Request > Administration > State Mapping. There should be three records there by default for In Progress, Closed, and Awaiting Response.

What's interesting here is that the Universal Request will map to Closed when an Idea state is Unlikely to implement, Duplicate, Already exists, or Completed...which to me kind of defeats the purpose of needing to use the Universal Request for something else. Here's the exact documentation: Evaluate an idea and create a task from an idea, if selected for execution. If the idea cannot be implemented, transfer the idea to the relevant department as an INC, HRC, or custom task. So this is where I got confused, and needed to backtrack for a moment, as I thought I would close the Idea and create a new record type from the Universal Request itself, but it looks like the Idea has to be transferred. So this clear the state mapping up for me, I can't simply close an Idea and expect the Universal Request to close, I actually need to transfer it.

Note: I did notice that if you close an Idea as Unlikely to Implement without using the Transfer functionality, the state mapping doesn't work because there is a Data Policy (Make Close notes mandatory when state is Closed) that makes close notes mandatory when the state is Closed on a Universal Request and blocks the state from changing automatically from the Idea and leaves the Universal Request in a state of In Progress with the Idea as the Primary Ticket, I guess this is ok if you set the close notes and the state on the Universal Request, but again, isn't how it was designed to work.

I will put in one gripe here about the Idea Portal and how it's been implemented, in that Idea Managers have to click an Open in platform button on the Idea in order to do any meaningful work with the Idea. Even the module has been deactivated to get to the list view OOTB, this is where Innovation Management seems very disjointed to me. Also, there's literally no way to run ATFs on this, and the Innovation Management ATF pack doesn't contain any tests itself as of writing this post. It just seems odd I'm not able to Transfer the Idea right from the Idea Portal, but I do know the Idea Portal uses it's own widgets to display Ideas and doesn't use the Form widget which can utilize UI Actions. I'm sure there were reasons for this, but it does cause the user to jump around a bit when trying to work with Ideas.

There is some configuration that has to be done before the Transfer UI Action will show, mainly I need to show the Assigned To field on the Idea form, and populate a user, which is dependent on the Assignment Group of the Idea, so I guess I'll add that too and make sure I'm selecting someone in the Assigned To field has the idea_manager role. Then the Transfer UI Action will show and a modal window (route_primary_task UI Page) appears with some questions:

Then I get a prompt about entering close notes before closing the Idea, enter those in, and save. I do notice that now the Idea is part of the Universal Request and is no longer the Primary Ticket.

Going back to the Universal Request I now see an Incident has been created and is associated as the Primary Ticket and my Idea is listed in the Associated Tickets related list:

Let's say you didn't want to create an Incident or HR Case or whatever record type automatically, if you use the 'I don't know' selection for Department in the modal window, it will just close the Idea and not create a new record type or list it in the Primary Ticket on the Universal Request. This allows for the flexibility of clicking a UI Action such as Create Request from the UR form. I'm going to assume here, and say that a number of Ideas are actually Requests and while they shouldn't have gotten this far in the process, things do happen, so this is how you would deal with the Idea and associate a Request to a Universal Request.


So that's pretty much it for Innovation Management and Universal Request, as the integration doesn't get any deeper than Ideas. I noticed when I put a comment on the Idea in the Idea Portal it didn't transfer to the Universal Request, but from the looks of it the 'Comments' on Idea Portal aren't actually 'Additional Comments' so that explains why the syncing doesn't occur. It seems like using Universal Request with Innovation Management isn't really geared towards giving that 'one ticket number' experience for Ideas, as the user would still need to go to the Idea Portal to communicate or see any movement on the Idea, but it's more geared towards handling erroneous Ideas. It would be nice to see some button on the Universal Request in the Portal to link to the Idea in the Idea Portal, but these are things that can be created.


ServiceNow Product Documentation: Innovation Management Integration with Universal Request

ServiceNow Product Documentation: Create an Idea from Universal Request

ServiceNow Product Documentation: Transfer an Idea to another department

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