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7 Golden Rules for Getting the Most from the Service Catalog

Often, the first stage of implementing IT service management gets overlooked.  This can mean the creation of a Service Catalog suffers (and, thereby, the entire service management program suffers as well).  Yemsrach Hailemariam realizes how often things are rushed, so he created seven rules to consider if you hope to get the maximum value out of your Service Catalog:

  1. Don’t judge a catalogue by its cover
  2. Bang heads together
  3. Ask people what they want FIRST – then look at  how you can deliver it
  4. Resist the temptation of low-hanging fruit – it may leave a sour taste
  5. Build upwards from solid foundations
  6. Use the service catalog to deliver tangible value to business stakeholders
  7. One size does not fit all

Hailemariam begins by stating the danger of overlooking your Service Catalog: Despite the slightly uninspiring name, the Service Catalogue is much more than just a list of services with some related information.  And in reality that ‘just’ is a loaded word.  When you consider that many organizations have never actually gone through the process of clearly defining the services that IT should deliver to the business, you start to realize that ‘just’ getting it written down is actually the catalyst for defining the roles and responsibilities of IT to the business – and getting that right is an essential cornerstone of IT Service management. To create a desired Service Catalog, Hailemariam notes that your IT people need to have a meeting or a workshop with business representatives.  This will allow for ease of prioritization.  Also, you will be better able to gauge what everyone wants before deciding how that thing can be delivered. Hailemariam also reminds us that the Service Catalog must have real value.  IT should allow the business to make informed decisions.  Finally, Hailemariam reminds us that when it comes to Service Catalogs, one size does not fit all.  Just because your Service Catalog looks similar to that of a very successful organization does not mean it will prove equally as successful for yours.  Remember, you cannot afford to rush through your Service Catalog, because sooner or later it will catch up with you.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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