The basics for developing and maintaining an effective service catalog are simple. While simple in concept, this approach will require an initial and ongoing level of diligence to ensure effective performance. Today I will discuss the second of four steps to an effective service catalog.
Step #2: Keep your Catalog Clean and Accurate
This is where a strong link to your service strategy and service transition processes becomes critical. Your service catalog is the logical extension and physical manifestation of your service portfolio. Strategic processes such as Service Portfolio Management, Demand Management and Financial Management ensures that you are serving the right needs of your customer from the conceptualization of the service. Regular reviews must occur that consider the business case/ROI, alternative solutions, demand and ability to perform.
If you are architecting your catalog from a fresh start, consider the key elements you can reasonably track that enable you to offer, approve and fulfill and report performance – from service conception to end of service life.
If circumstances demand a more tactical approach to gain control of your current catalog:
Inventory what services you currently have defined
Re-categorize your existing items where necessary; determine if the catalog items of focus are internal or external and update their status and description
Prioritize your areas of focus – focus on the greatest business impact
Analyze the service performance from end to end – look for quick wins to achieve improvement
Items that are in error should be the focus of regular cleansing and items that are unnecessary or not cost effective or applicable should be transitioned to retired services regularly. Using models and templates during design make it possible for you to enforce accuracy based upon the right set of attributes to be managed.
In addition, you should leverage your change management process to ensure that any changes to the catalog are reviewed and approved. Establish standard review cycles. Diligence to accuracy and inventorying your services pays off in a catalog that is simpler and easier for your customer to find what they are looking for.
Next week I will discuss Step #3: “Focus on your fulfillment design and workflow."
About the Author:
Scott Davis, Principal Consultant - Evergreen Systems
Scott possesses more than 30 years of experience in IT Services, Support and Software Development. He has worked with numerous Fortune 500 clients in a variety of industries including Oil, Healthcare, Automotive, High Tech, Process, Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, and Financial Services. Scott earned a BA from The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, and holds ITIL V2 Service Manager, and ITIL V3 Expert Certifications.