Upgrade planning checklist (Istanbul)

Plan and track the activities related to your ServiceNow® instance upgrade. To help ensure that you complete all the tasks for a successful upgrade, follow the step-by-step instructions in the upgrade planning checklist to track and plan the upgrade.

Before upgrading to Istanbul, review the Upgrade and migration tasks by application or feature. For in-depth explanations about upgrades, refer to Upgrade your instance.

The process for completing steps for self-hosted customers may vary (for example, requesting an instance clone or upgrades). These differences must be considered during planning.

To download a PDF version of this checklist, click here.

Note: * Steps with more details are denoted with an asterisk. Click these step numbers to view details in the Upgrade your instance topics.
Description Yes No N/A
Phase 1 - Read the release notes and plan your upgrade
1 *

Review the Istanbul release notes for the target ServiceNow feature release and patch, in addition to product and release documentation.

For Istanbul-specific upgrade considerations, see Upgrade and migration tasks by application or feature. Refer to the Known Error Portal to quickly locate Known Error articles related to the various releases.

Phase 2 - Prepare for the development instance upgrade
2

Confirm which ServiceNow instances are in-scope for upgrade.

3

Confirm the instance hosting model. For example, ServiceNow cloud, on-premise, or off-premise.

4 *

Confirm your current release version.

5 *

Confirm your target release version.

6

Based on the Istanbul release notes and other release materials, determine new functionality or notable changes that need to be validated after the upgrade.

7

Confirm plans to enable or disable features introduced in the new product release.

8

Review the supported web browsers in Istanbul to determine browser prerequisites. For example, versions and types supported, and additional requirements for new UI versions. Compare these supported browsers to your corporate standard and identify any gaps.

9

Create a project plan for cloning, upgrading, and testing.

10

Identify the core team of testers, power users, and key stakeholders required to validate functionality in the ServiceNow instances before and after the upgrade.

11

Confirm whether there are any internal or ServiceNow change freeze windows impacting the timing for environment clones or upgrades. For example, holidays.

12 Confirm which of the following situations applies to your ServiceNow non-production instances:
  1. Development and testing can be frozen until the production upgrade is completed.
  2. Continued development (and testing) activities need to continue in a non-production instance while upgrade, remediation, and testing activities are performed in parallel on another instance.
  3. Once the final upgrade to your production instance is complete, the cloning of your final production instance to your non-production instance will wait until after the production upgrade is complete.
13

Confirm the availability of other systems required for integration testing (key resources and environments).

14

Confirm whether there are any restrictions in which ServiceNow instances can be used for integration testing. For example, an interfacing system is only set up to access a specific ServiceNow test instance.

15

Confirm the testing scope and approach.

16

Create a comprehensive test plan including test cases for all core instance functionality and integrations.

17

Confirm the method for tracking any defects identified during testing.

18
Create a high-level implementation plan that covers:
  • the sequence and timing to upgrade non-production and production instances
  • the instances to be cloned
  • the instance to be used for integration testing.
19

Confirm whether there are any change freeze windows impacting the timing for environment clones or upgrades. For example, end quarter.

Responsible: ServiceNow or Customer
20

Determine whether existing internal training materials, Knowledge Base articles in the customer instance, or other supporting documentation must be updated to align with the upgraded version. For example, changes in functionality or user interface.

21 * Optional: Schedule the ServiceNow Configuration Review, which provides recommendations to align the customer configurations with ServiceNow best practices.
Note: There may be a service charge and require professional services engagement.
22 *
On your production instance, create a system clone and select your development instance as the Target instance. Notify impacted users and internal stakeholders of the scheduled date/time for cloning (from production) and upgrade of the non-production instance.
Note: It is important to test on a system that reflects the production instance as closely as possible. If your non-production and production instances are the same size, include the production audit log and the attachment data, and ensure that you have deselected the exclude options.
Phase 3 - Verify your upgrade configurations and schedule the development instance upgrade in HI
23 *

Check the configuration of the Upgrade scheduled job to view how often and when it runs.

24 *

Verify that the Upgrade sys_trigger is set properly for upgrading.

25 *

Verify that the Check Upgrade Script sys_trigger is set properly for upgrading.

26 *

Schedule the upgrade in HI.

27 *

If applicable, request a version entitlement.

Phase 4 - Upgrade and validate the development instance
28 *

Using the Upgrade Monitor, monitor the upgrade to your instance and validate that the upgrade to your development instance is complete.

29 *

After the upgrade for your development instance is complete, process the skipped records list in the Upgrade Monitor.

30 *

Identify your update sets.

31 *

Before and after upgrading, run a validation test on your development instance. Use your comprehensive test plan to perform functional testing.

Phase 5 - If applicable: Upgrade and validate your other non-production instances, such as your test instance
32 *

On your production instance, create a system clone and select your development instance as the Target instance.

33 *

Schedule the non-production upgrade in HI and verify your upgrade configurations.

34 *

Validate that the upgrade to your non-production instance is complete.

35 *

Install any optional plugins that were installed on your development instance.

36 *

Install any custom applications and post-upgrade fix scripts that you need.

37 *

Install update sets.

38 *

Perform functional testing and monitor the performance of your instance.

Phase 6 - Prepare to upgrade the production instance
39

Confirm sign-off from IT and Business stakeholders that all non-production instance defects have been fixed and validated in update sets.

40

Confirm the core team of key stakeholders required to validate functionality in the ServiceNow instance after the production upgrade.

41

Confirm coverage for Day 1 support post-upgrade.

42

Create a Production Upgrade Implementation Plan that includes all upgrade steps, roles and responsibilities, communication plans, key contacts, support coverage for Day 1, and so forth.

43

Schedule a walkthrough and sign-off of the Implementation Plan with key stakeholders and the core team.

44

Submit and obtain approvals for change records as required by the organization change process.

45

Send a communication to key stakeholders and end users with details for the production upgrade, new features, and so forth.

46 *

Profile the performance of your instance before upgrading.

47 *

Use the ServiceNow Performance homepage to document the performance of your instance before the upgrade.

48 *

On your clone, perform functional testing and monitor the performance of your instance.

Phase 7 - Upgrade the production instance
49 *

Schedule the upgrade in HI.

50 *

If applicable, request a version entitlement.

51 *

Monitor the upgrade to your instance and validate that the upgrade to your production instance is complete.

52 *

Apply any update sets and post-upgrade fix scripts that you have.

53 *

Validate and test your instance by conducting user acceptance testing (UAT). Verify with all key stakeholders that the system is performing properly after production upgrade, and key functionality is available.