Portfolio Scenario Planning in ServiceNow PPM
Sankhadeep Dhar
ServiceNow ITBM expert & Power BI / Tableau designer

Portfolio Scenario Planning in ServiceNow PPM


Portfolio Planning is an important process within an organisation to ensure that the right investments are picked up for execution. It helps the organisation to look into the buckets of incoming and running investments using multiple lenses like financials, priority, impact on resources etc.

ServiceNow recently announced the release of the new Portfolio Scenario Planning app for PPM. This is a store app and is compatible with both New York and Orlando versions. The original Portfolio Workbench is deprecated for new customer on Orlando.

So, what's so special about this app? I have listed a couple of features in this blog post for you to consider, in case you are already using the Portfolio Planning functionality or considering to use it within your organisation.

Scenarios make it possible for Portfolio Managers to make sophisticated data driven decisions on investments using the NOW platform.

Portfolios within the PPM context is defined by the incoming Demands which are in the Qualified state. If you are using the OOB features, then these Demands are scored based on the Impact, Risk, Value and Size. In addition to the Demands, on-going projects are part of the Portfolio too. A Portfolio Manager is then tasked to make the right investment decision - which Demands to approve for execution and which projects to continue to budget.

The first step of the Portfolio Planning process is to set the Target. Consider this as a the money that the Portfolio Managers can spend on their investments in a given year. Let's say, that for 2020, my Capex Target is 4M and Opex Target is 2M. The Portfolio Planning page offers a following view of my Qualified demands.


This chart plots the Demands against the Risk and Value. The size of the bubble indicates the size of the Demand (these are highly configurable in the platform). So, based on these criteria, I know that the Tableau Reporting Implementation (top left quadrant which represents low risk and high value) is the Demand which is a logical choice for execution.

Let's move to the Timeline view and this is where the magic happens.



This page offers a few important information. The Planned Opex and Capex comes from the Demands and Projects. This are populated from the Cost Plans entered by Demand Manager or the Project Manager - and is essentially what they think the investment would cost. As a portfolio manager, I can then start populating the Proposed Opex Budget and Proposed Capex Budget which I think is the right budget for each of the investment. In the first iteration, I might want to make the proposed budget equal to the Planned Cost.

The column next to it is the Score of the investment. My first scenario might be to use the Score as the execution criteria. In order to Rank these investments, I would use the top green button - Rank by Score. As I start selecting the investments (using the checkbox), I see that I almost reach my target of 6M after my 5th investment. Notice the widgets on the right which provides more insights on the selection - things link Benefit Amounts and the number of Unaligned Items (investments which are not linked to any Strategy and Goals). See the below 20 seconds video for an overview.


Now that I have the first scenario, I will create a 2nd one using the Priority column. This is especially relevant as you may have to execute critical priority investments.


Score and Priorities are some of the common attributes to use for selection. Additional and custom Demand and Project attributes can be used in the whole process too.

Comparing the Scenarios

Now that I have both the scenarios, we can start comparing them. Some of the things to consider are the number of investments selected, the budget and the benefits. Based on the outcome, one of the scenarios can be confirmed as the approved plan.


Scenarios can also be used to replan the portfolio in the mid of a year or quarterly. As new Demands come in or Business Priorities change, the scenario planning feature is a very important tool for Portfolio Managers to take informed investment decision.

After a plan is confirmed, Portfolio Managers can use the tracking functionality to keep a tab on their investments.




From a platform perspective, the portfolio planning is built using Service Portal. This means that it is possible to configure the pages to add customer specific widgets and information to enhance the Portfolio Planning process.

I hope that you found this blog post useful and please feel free to comment and share. For more content relevant to ServiceNow ITBM, check my other blog posts.