IT Governance

Getting Started with a Basic Service Catalog

Whether you have merely not had the time, or you just have thought it to be unimportant, you and your organization are missing out if you are operating without a service catalog. Cataloging a list of all of your services is seemingly mundane, but it greatly helps in keeping things organized. In a post for ITSM Transition, Greg Sanker elaborates on the importance of, and how to implement, a successful service catalog.

Waiting to Be Served

A common problem in large organizations is this idea of “tribal knowledge.” This knowledge exists but is never written down, and it is kept in the minds of those who need it. This can become problematic when your organization begins to lack consistency in processes. Processes need to be well-documented and communicated within the organization and with the customer.

The first and often most arduous task in establishing a service catalog is merely agreeing what the IT services are. This involves talking to an array of different people and acquiring as much knowledge as possible. The IT staff, users, and even old emails and documentation all hold pieces of the big puzzle. Once you gather all of the pieces, the picture will become clear as to what IT services you actually do.

Once the information is collected, it is time to compose a basic service description. This document includes elements such as:

  1. The details that are often argued about
  2. How everything is connected
  3. What goes into the system
  4. What business processes these support
  5. How the customer gets this service

Once the service catalog is completed, it is vital to consistently think like the customer. The customer is ultimately reaping the benefits of this service, so keep in mind what they would want to see and make it happen.

The final step in this process is to keep the catalog current. If you allow for the catalog to become out-of-date, you will be back at square one and have a catalog that is of no use to you. Nobody wants that. You can read the original post here:

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