Service Catalog 101 – Lesson 2



In the previous Service Catalog 101 blog post, I wrote about the 2 views of a service catalog. The first view is the IT Organization view. This is what the Service Desk Analysts see in order to fulfill the service requests from the users. But the more important view is the one seen by the end users. Keep your eye on the ball team – the service catalog is all about the end user.

In Service Catalog 101, Lesson 2, I would like to discuss the steps to building a service catalog. During my research, I came across a post IT Service Catalog in 5 Steps by Hank Marquis in the Do IT Yourself newsletter. 

He has some excellent advice and his 5 steps are - obtain management support, establish a service catalog team, define the IT services, do a dry run, and publish.

If you are new to the service catalog and want to get a great primer, download the offer below.




My favorite advice from Hank's post: 
“It is almost impossible to develop a service catalog that lists everything that IT does for every customer. However, by focusing on the things IT does for most customers an initial catalog can come together very quickly. Of course, over time, the goal is to expand and improve upon the initial catalog, but you have to start somewhere!
Similarly, Kevin LeBlanc also suggests starting slowly in Ready To Create Your IT Service Catalog?
“The actual analysis, development and deployment of an IT service catalog can be daunting if approached with the intent of documenting attributes of all services pertaining to every customer. But a tactical and useful IT service catalog should not require a tremendous amount of effort-- in many situations, it may prove valuable to first pilot the catalog in order to determine which services and attributes need to be added or revised prior to the more comprehensive rollout.”
His steps to success include establishing a baseline, refining the service offerings, performing service benchmarks, publishing, improving services and continually refining the service catalog.

I like the idea that a service catalog needs to start somewhere. And the sooner you get started, the sooner that the IT Organization will help the entire enterprise to improved service request fulfillment. My main point of departure from these valuable pieces of advice, is that I feel the service catalog is more, much more than simply a catalog of IT services. 

Your service catalog needs to go beyond IT, beyond services that IT is even remotely involved with. The service catalog may be managed from a technical point of view by IT, but it needs to be “owned” by the entire enterprise. A complete service catalog should eventually include every imaginable service that an employee or other end user (for example, higher education students) will need to succeed. Of course, every service catalog needs to start somewhere. So make it simple, include the most widely used services from IT and the enterprise at large. 

For the services that are beyond IT, start with the services where IT is involved. A great example would be working with HR to build the on-boarding process for the catalog. Although IT is a key stakeholder the process should be owned by HR.   

Another great way to start, is to determine which services do not really require a Service Desk Analyst intervention. If you can find some services that can be completely automated, such as password resets, then the ROI on the service catalog can build quickly.  

Good luck and I'll see you in class again soon. 


Flickr Image by IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION