IT Service Catalog Lessons Learned: #1 – Start Wrong, End Wrong
We are so used to doing things in IT, taking action, moving fast. It is in our DNA. So once we had a good basic understanding of what functions an IT Service Catalog can provide, we started building it. And we wanted to keep it simple because we didn't have a whole lot of time to get it done.
Unfortunately, because we had never built an IT Service Catalog before – we didn't know what we didn't know. We didn't know what our customers wanted or even needed – and we didn't have time to ask them. We then compounded our lack of knowledge by really building it for us, not for our customers. The services we built were just things we were already doing in IT – not what might be wanted and used by a customer. And we were in a hurry.
Define the problem. A problem well defined is half solved. Budget time and resources (how we control our natural, reactive IT selves), for a clear problem definition. Find out if it's even worth solving – what are the business benefits? What will it cost? If it's not worth it, be OK with not doing anything.
Understand the complexity. This comes naturally out of a deep understanding of the problem and ensures you are thinking end to end. Understanding the problem enables you to frame a potential functional solution step by step, and thereby capture the complexity. Look deeply into how you would create, support, modify and retire an IT service.
About the Author
Don Casson is CEO and co-founder of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm leading Fortune 500 companies to dramatically transform their IT operations. Feel free to contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org.