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Thought Leadership for
IT Service Management Professionals

Best Practices for Creating an Organized Service Catalog Taxonomy

Posted by Don Casson

What Is a Taxonomy?

Quite simply, a taxonomy is the science of naming and classifying things. Taxonomies organize things into groups, often going from the very general to the quite specific. Each section of the taxonomy is part of the whole and taxonomies, by their very nature, include the principles and rules that underlay the classification of whatever objects the taxonomy is being used to classify.

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Topics: IT Service Catalog, Service Catalog Taxonomy, Service Taxonomy



Best Practices for an Effective IT Service Design Process (A Provider's Perspective)

Posted by Don Casson

Providing consistent end-to-end services enables beautiful customer experiences

I talk about Amazon a lot because they empower their customers with a consistent end to end customer experience every single time, thanks in large part to a simplified design approach. There are other real-world examples where simple design and consistency wins in business, too.

Remember Myspace? Everyone was on it. But then came Facebook and took over the social media world. Why? Unlike Myspace, Facebook opted for a clean, consistent-looking interface. The simplicity in their design was relatable to a much broader audience. On the other hand, Myspace became cluttered with pages and widgets that many felt were annoying. Myspace allowed users to design their own pages any way they wanted. There was no consistency and pages became complicated. There was no cohesive look and feel that lent itself to a predictable user experience.

Facebook’s simpler, streamlined interface provided less choices in terms of widgets and page designs, but it delivered consistent experiences for users. Ultimately, this helped end Myspace’s dominance in the early 2000’s. And now everyone and their grandmothers use Facebook :-)

With ServiceNow's Service Portal, you can create new requests and supporting workflows easily and quickly. It is a powerful capability. But that can also create a problem: you can quickly build hundreds of requests and services – all with a unique look and feel. In other words, you can wind up creating a cluttered mess if you’re not careful. Your customers won’t like that, and they won’t use it.

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, IT Service Catalog, ITSM, IT Service Management, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, Service Taxonomy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Solutions, ServiceNow Partner, Service Design Processes, ITSM Consultants, Customer-Centric ITSM, IT Service Owner, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning, ServiceNow Admin, ServiceNow Support, ServiceNow Service Portal, ITSM Platforms, IT Service Design



ITSM Platforms: Here's What You Need To Look For To Deliver Beautiful Customer Experiences

Posted by Don Casson

Providing an Amazon-like customer experience requires knowing the three constituents of a service

The following statement may be difficult to swallow for us folks in the IT service management community: "Traditional ITSM is just plain wrong. Why? Because it puts the customer last."

In the last decade, companies like Amazon (and Apple and Google) have transformed the whole customer experience. Seeing this evolution, four years ago I asked myself, “Why can’t our ITSM customers have the same thing: beautiful self-service experiences?” Following Amazon’s example, I discovered that they can. And, I challenged my thinking on ITSM, ultimately learning that an approach that is “customer in, rather than IT out” works best. This is Customer-Centric ITSM. 

Here's what happens when you put customers first. Instead of just handling incidents, you focus on preventing them from happening in the first place. You combine self service with automation to make customers happier AND reduce the work of IT. You see services as end-to-end team value chains, rather than disconnected silos. And, knowledge becomes a powerful, beautiful self-enablement experience in and of itself.

So, can anyone deliver beautiful, self-service experiences like Amazon? Yes. But you must build it.

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Topics: Service Now, ServiceNow, Service Catalog Consultant, ITIL Consulting, IT Service Catalog, ITSM, IT Service Management, IT Service Catalog Workshops, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal, ITIL Strategy, Customer-Centric IT, ServiceNow Solutions, ServiceNow Partner, ITSM Consultants, Customer-Centric ITSM, IT Service Owner, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning, ServiceNow Admin, ServiceNow Support, ServiceNow Virtual Support, ServiceNow Remote Admin, Evergreen Evolve, ServiceNow Service Portal, ITSM Platforms



5 Principles for Improved IT Services

Posted by Don Casson

YES! You too can create an Amazon-like experience of IT!

When we think of service, we often think of our experiences in retail centers. You go to a bank teller, you expect fast answers to questions about your account. Visit your mechanic and you want to understand the problem with your vehicle to make an informed decision on whether to go forward with paying hundreds of dollars for a repair.

Some retail centers are head and shoulders above the competition. Nordstrom is known for their exceptional customer service. Items can be easily returned without a receipt and any hassle. And the sales people on the floor go through extensive training to ensure pleasurable shopping experiences for their customers.

A friend of mine who used to work in the women’s shoe department shared a scenario with me that speaks to the high priority of service at Nordstrom. A customer points to the shoes she wants to try on. He would quickly return with the shoes in a box, plus three to four more boxes of shoes. The other shoes are either of a similar type or complements her style. This serves multiple purposes. It provides a total customer experience, whereby the customer can try on multiple pairs of shoes in one sitting. And no matter how many pairs she wants to try on, he would make as many trips as necessary to ensure she was happy. At the same time, this practice in service provided additional opportunities for revenue, as she was likely to leave the store with more than one pair.

However, over the past three years, online retailing has grown by “as much as 7 percent higher than retail sector growth,” according to a recent PWC report. So, what is to become of brick and mortar retail stores, now that online retail is king? For Nordstrom, their response is to try new ways to bring customers back to their retail stores according to a WSJ report (link requires log in).

What is behind this disruption in the retail sector? Amazon and their complete end-to-end service.

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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 Solutions, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning, ServiceNow Admin, ServiceNow Support, ServiceNow Virtual Support, ServiceNow Remote Admin, Evergreen Evolve, ServiceNow Service Portal



Managing ServiceNow Demand: Meeting the #1 Problem Users Face

Posted by Don Casson

Building an “Amazon-Like” experience of IT requires smarter use of resources

If you’re looking for a modern CMS toolkit for building better customer experiences, ServiceNow Service Portal delivers value. If your aim is to build an Amazon-like experience of IT with ServiceNow, there are three challenges you face: 1.) demand, 2.) skilled resource and expert support, and 3.) cost and ease of use.

Let’s face it, Amazon has created the world’s best, complete customer experience. They’re also a global behemoth with endless financial resources to continually refine their service operations. How can you possibly deliver an Amazon-like experience of IT to your customers with the resources available to you?

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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 Solutions, ServiceNow Partner, Customer-Centric ITSM, Service Portal, Service Catalog Planning, ServiceNow Admin, ServiceNow Support, ServiceNow Virtual Support, ServiceNow Remote Admin, Evergreen Evolve



Building a Service Catalog -- Let's Get Started!

Posted by Don Casson

Defining your start (tactical or strategic approach) is the fifth step to successful planning

Building a good, customer-centric service catalog takes preparation. If you attempt to build out your solution without proper planning, the odds are that you will end up with a purely tactical request catalog outcome that falls short of meeting customers’ expectations, and they simply won’t use it.

Before building anything out, your team needs clarification on the purpose of the project, governance and roles, language to be used, and the individual parts that make up a service catalog. These 4 steps need to be addressed and understood before you even get started on phase one buildout. Done properly, these 4 steps empower your team to draft a clear picture of the phase 1 functionality that will provide value to customers, providers and managers. 

The work in preparing your team for building a service catalog can seem hard, but it’s necessary. And, all the effort is worth it ahead of Step 5: Define your start. This part of the process is what IT does best. Here, phase 1 project activities are defined. This activity comes from, and builds on the ground work established in the first 4 steps. What’s more, after all the work is done, it is much easier to review and score technology choices and potential service providers for your planned project.  

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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



Five Principles for Creating a Customer Centric Service Portal and Catalog: Part 2

Posted by Don Casson

Continuation of Understanding the Parts, with a focus on the Customer Journey

I’ve recently returned from a brief vacation, a journey, and I recalled the many interactions I’ve had with my customers across a wide range of industries. You’re probably right if you’re thinking that this is the last thing I should be thinking about on my vacation. But, “journey” is relevant to this article, and for creating a customer centric service portal.

In speaking about the customer journey, I continue along the path to “understanding the parts,” which as a reminder, is the fourth step to getting your team ready for planning a service catalog. During my vacation, I thought about the customer experience, which in fact, is a journey. And what fascinates me about a journey, having just been part of one, is that it needs certain elements for it to feel like a fulfilling experience.

In my last post, I covered the two of the five principles for creating a customer-centric service portal and catalog: simple and beautiful. In this one, we will look at the remaining three principles – complete, predictive and learning – which are important for fulfilling customer experiences.

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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



Five Principles for Creating a Customer Centric Service Portal and Catalog: Part 1

Posted by Don Casson

Continuation of Understanding the Parts, with a spotlight on the Balanced Approach

The fourth step to getting your team ready for planning a service catalog is to understand the parts. I discussed this topic in depth in my previous blog post, “What’s Inside? Every Effective Service Catalog Includes These Four Parts.” But, before I move onto the fifth step, I want to spend some time talking about the five principles for creating a customer-centric service portal and catalog, which is essential for understanding the parts.

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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



What’s Inside? Every Effective Service Catalog Includes These Four Parts

Posted by Don Casson

Understanding what makes up your Service Catalog is the fourth key to successful planning

Today, efficiency is at the heart of speed in IT service delivery. In fact, the need and desire for speed is the core of the digital era. Everybody wants things faster. Across industries, every aspect of business must go faster—from financial and accounting operations to marketing and sales programs to factory floor processes. If you’re too slow, your competitors have an advantage over you.

It’s no different for IT service management (ITSM); your customers expect fast service, and with a smile. In this fast-paced, competitive environment, an effective Service Catalog is necessary to ensure efficient, streamlined IT services.

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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



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



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