Project Portfolio Management

Three Essential Elements of a Service Portfolio

A service portfolio is essentially three distinct things: a pipeline, a catalogue, and a set of retired services. Each service will move through 13 phases that comprise the service lifecycle. A service portfolio represents the full set of services being offered by a provider, and is presented in the form of a structured document or database that acts as a tool for service strategy and enhancement. That definition is brought to you in a post by Professor P. Ross Wise at his blog. From here, let’s delve into the details of this layer cake called the service portfolio.

#1 – Pipeline

When a service is “in the pipeline,” it is being considered for development. A common pipeline hopeful is the investment opportunity, offered to the business as a potential benefit, a “vision of the future” to phrase it differently. In the pipeline, the service may move from consideration to a development phase. When it moves on to operations, it becomes part of the catalogue.

#2 – Catalogue

The catalogue is the set of all active IT services. It is viewable by all customers, and includes a) services available for use b) intended use for services c) business functions enabled by the services, and d) a warranty that explains what kind of value customers can expect from said services. There are, of course, often dependencies between services, which may be represented by bundling services in ‘packages’ or ‘units.’ Then there are two distinct views of the catalogue: one, a customer-facing view, and the other, a technical view.

#3 – Retired Services

The term “retired services” is fairly self-explanatory. These are the services that are no longer actively available for use, though they may continue to accommodate old users while inactive. Retired services may be visible in the catalogue for some time, until management agrees upon an appropriate transition.

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