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Thought Leadership for
IT Service Management Professionals

Organizing Services for an IT Service Catalog: Building a Service Taxonomy

Posted by Don Casson

In my last few posts, I've been going over the steps for getting your team ready for planning a service catalog. We're taking a little break from that series to answer an important question. But stay tuned, in my next post I'll be discussing the parts of a Service Catalog, which is important too. For now, read on and get key insights on building a service taxonomy...

For those interested in how to best organize services for a service catalog, and appropriate taxonomies for doing so, I received a question from a participant in one of Evergreen's many webinars that may be of interest. 

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, ITIL Consulting, IT Service Catalog, IT Service Catalog Workshops, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, ITIL Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning



Why a Common Language is Fundamental to Service Catalog Success

Posted by Don Casson

Step three in planning for a Service Catalog is to create a definitions dictionary

The power of the Service Catalog is that it can narrow gaps between providers and users via the use of a common language. To illustrate the importance of common language in your Service Catalog plan, think of a time you’ve visited a restaurant in a foreign country where English isn’t the primary language. Even here in the U.S., you can find restaurants where menus are in another language. Just about 30 minutes from our headquarters offices in Sterling, Virginia is a small area in Washington D.C called Chinatown. There, you can find genuine Chinese cuisine. And it’s a very popular place to eat.

At this point, you may be asking yourself: What does Chinese cuisine have to do with planning a Service Catalog? The point is foundational…really. Read on.

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, ITIL Consulting, IT Service Catalog, IT Service Catalog Workshops, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, ITIL Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning



Who Should Be Included in Service Catalog Planning? The Answer is Everyone!

Posted by Don Casson

Step two for effective Service Catalog Planning includes properly defining roles, responsibilities and governance

The purpose of defining roles and responsibilities in your Service Catalog Project is to establish clear expectations, and align them with customers’ needs. This is a key step in empowering individual members of your team to be successful. When everyone succeeds, the work of the team becomes aligned and is optimized, and you create happy customers.

So, how are decisions made in your organization? Who are the decision-makers? And, who is impacted most by your decisions? The answers to these questions will vary depending on the roles and on the governance structure established within your organization.

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, ITIL Consulting, IT Service Catalog, IT Service Catalog Workshops, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, ITIL Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning, IT Roles



Is Doing a Service Catalog Worth the Effort? YES!

Posted by Don Casson

The first step to building a customer-centric Service Catalog and maximizing IT value

Historically, IT has had one job: to manage the information technology systems of an organization. Most times, the IT organization of the past set about doing their activities with minimal understanding or direction as to how their efforts supported business goals. But, once the Service Catalog enters the picture, the value of IT can grow exponentially. In fact, the Service Catalog is a key driver behind the transformative change of the forward-thinking IT organizations over the past decade – from delivering discrete technical outcomes to providing end-to-end, complete and beautiful customer services. The services these IT leaders deliver are foundational to the success of the business.

What this means is that your Service Catalog is very important. It is a fundamental element to a value-driven IT enterprise, and the success of your business. And it’s challenging to get it right, but as I discussed in my last post, you must consider the framework for key IT projects as you plan your Service Catalog to lay the groundwork for an effective implementation. This sets you on the path to success.

Now, you’re ready to take the next steps to get your team ready – there are five steps to be more precise.

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, ITIL Consulting, IT Service Catalog, IT Service Catalog Workshops, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, ITIL Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning



Planning a Service Catalog Project?  Ask These Questions to Succeed

Posted by Don Casson

Framing your IT project with people, process, and technology (culture as well) in mind can help you avoid disaster

It occurred to me not too long ago that one of the most important lessons I learned took place in high school English class. The teacher highlighted the five Ws and one H questions: who, what, where, when, why, and of course, how. These questions are recognized as fundamental for information gathering and problem solving, especially in careers where research is essential, like journalism or police investigations.

Likewise, when planning your Service Catalog project, the right questions when considered against the framework used for key IT projects – people, process, technology…and culture – are critical to the success of your initiative.

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, ITIL Consulting, IT Service Catalog, IT Service Catalog Workshops, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, ITIL Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning



Your Team Will Work Smarter if They Adopt This ITSM Approach

Posted by Don Casson

A customer-centric mentality and an understanding of market trends can help modernize your service delivery processes

As customers become more sophisticated technology users, they have come to appreciate businesses who put them first. CEOs are noticing this trend and are asking their IT organizations to provide customers (external, and internal - employees) with an “Amazon-like” end-to-end IT service experience. Wishful thinking, perhaps. Or is it? When it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM), a customer-centric approach can transform service delivery and provide customers with great experiences.

Unfortunately, the traditional ways of ITSM are still running rampant. And there are several reasons why this is the case. But, first let’s make clear why you are in business in the first place: the customer. The customer is really two personas -– the end customer, and the executive customer.  We know the end customer wants a great experience, end-to-end.  The executive customer wants that but also wants to know cost, value and what services are being used.

If the customer is the reason why businesses live and breathe, why do some IT organizations insist on maintaining the old ways of ITSM? There are several reasons which I’ll highlight later in this blog post.

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Topics: Consumerization of IT, ITSM, IT Service Management, IT Innovation, IT, ITSM Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, Service Delivery, DevOps Revolution, Shared Services, Value of IT, ITSM Value, ITSM Consultants, Customer-Centric ITSM, IT Service Owner



The Secret to Effective Metrics in Service Asset and Configuration Management

Posted by Don Casson

Align from top to bottom, with customers first: the fifth key to getting it right

Successful Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) begins with the customer. As with everything else involved in running a successful enterprise in a data-driven world, having the customer in mind is an important first step. And if you want customers to return, you must achieve efficiency and improve the effectiveness of your technology supporting them.

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Topics: ITIL, IT Asset Management, CMDB Challenges, CMDB Consulting, ITIL Consulting, CMDB, Configuration Management Database, ITIL Process, ITIL Strategy, Configuration Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Service Asset, SACM



Follow These Keys for Planning a Simplified Asset and Configuration Management Program

Posted by Don Casson

Start simple, consider your end users, and be flexible in terms of resources and costs

In my last post, I discussed two keys to help you get moving in the right direction for simplifying service asset and configuration management (SACM) – Key 1: Know why it hasn’t worked, and Key 2: Know why you are doing this. Now let’s move beyond the “why” and into the “what” to provide useful tips for the planning and implementation stages.

If you get the process of planning your service asset and configuration management (SACM) program right from the very start, you increase your chances of achieving a successful implementation. There will be roadblocks ahead, but also plenty of good opportunities for lessons learned along your journey. You will have policy, process and technology to design and build, so you should really think things through. And the process may be twice as hard and take twice as long as you may initially think, to get it right. 

Therefore, be sure to start with something important, but manageable – this is the third key to simplified asset and configuration management. Limit the data by beginning with a manageable universe of data points that you can understand and manipulate, with manual intervention when necessary. For asset management, this might be one to three top software licenses, or a class of high value servers. And a focus on one to two high value, tier-1 type services (only ones that really matter) is the best way to structure your configuration management planning efforts.

Next, it’s on to the fourth key: pilot, learn and then apply.

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Topics: ITIL, IT Asset Management, CMDB Challenges, CMDB Consulting, ITIL Consulting, CMDB, Configuration Management Database, ITIL Process, ITIL Strategy, Configuration Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Service Asset, SACM



Why Build an Asset and Configuration Management Program?

Posted by Don Casson

Knowing why you care about asset and configuration management is the second key to getting it right.

A key purpose for keeping track of all asset and configuration information is to ensure and maintain delivery of services, which keeps your customers happy. This is the “why” behind your efforts to build an effective configuration and asset management program.

ITIL describes Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) like this: “the process responsible for ensuring that the assets required to deliver services are properly controlled, and that accurate and reliable information about those assets is available when and where it is needed. This information includes details of how the assets have been configured and the relationships between assets.”

I place emphasis on “deliver services” above because this is the crux of the challenge in effectively and accurately managing your IT assets and configurations.

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Topics: ITIL, IT Asset Management, CMDB Challenges, CMDB Consulting, ITIL Consulting, CMDB, Configuration Management Database, ITIL Process, ITIL Strategy, Configuration Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Service Asset



Why Your Asset and Configuration Management Program Is Failing...

Posted by Don Casson

... and three questions to help you avoid getting lost in all the data!

What happens when you build an Asset and Configuration Management program based on ITIL-defined processes? You position yourself to achieve such benefits as cost reduction, improved management of risks and optimized operational efficiencies.

Here’s what happens next: you must figure out on your own how to succeed with these best practices.

In other words, ITIL is good in helping you lay the foundation for an effective configuration and asset management operation, but the part where you must successfully execute it is entirely up to you. Here is where asking the right questions can make a world of difference in the success of your asset and configuration management program.

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Topics: ITIL, IT Asset Management, CMDB Challenges, CMDB Consulting, ITIL Consulting, CMDB, Configuration Management Database, ITIL Process, ITIL Strategy, Configuration Management



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