How to Reduce the Risk of Accidentally Making Changes to the Production Instance

Consultant's Corner

Have you ever finished making a change to something you were tirelessly working on only to realize you are in the production instance? Yeah, that has never happened to me either

While it is incredibly difficult to have a way to truly prevent this in every scenario (mostly because we are just as good at circumventing solutions as we are at creating them), there are processes to help reduce the probability of this happening.

Reducing the Probability of the Inevitable

  • Use a normal user account in your day to day operation in the production instance
  • Only use an admin account when you need to troubleshoot or promote changes in a non-development instance
  • Use personal themes across your instances in something akin to “Red Light, Green Light”

Separating your admin account from your normal user account accomplishes two things. First, it ensures that you do not have the access to make changes unintentionally. Second, it allows you to use the system the same way your users do. Think of this as “walking a mile in your user’s shoes” which improves your receptiveness to areas where the user experience can be improved. Many admins I have met forget how different the user experience is for non-admins.

The second and easier tactic I would recommend employing (at a bare minimum) is using personal themes to set up a situation of “Red Light, Green Light” so to speak. Green (the blimey theme) means you are good to make changes while yellow (custom theme linked below) and red (the rose theme) should give you pause or stop you outright. It is a simple system but one I and others have employed to much success.

ServiceNow Production Instance

Nice and simple, which is how we like it. Now that you don’t have to correct all of those accidental changes “no one has ever made” you should use some of that newfound free time to build something that prompts you to approve changes you are attempting to make in a non-development instance.

If you would like to use or tweak my “Yellow Light” theme you can find it here.

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