#SMFlashBook – My Best Tip To Build The Service Catalogue

FlashThis blog is part of the first ever service management blogging flashmob organised by ServiceManagers.org.

A large number of bloggers were invited to post an article on their respective blogs, on the same agreed theme, and have them all publish their posts at the same date and time.

An eBook is being created with all the post which were tagged on social media with the hashtag #smFlashBook.

There are many things requiring consideration when building a service catalogue but these are what I would consider some key ones.

The first thing that must be agreed by all stakeholders of the service catalogue is the definition of a ‘service’.

At first, this may seem like an easy question to answer but my experience and that of my peers proves otherwise.

Service provider groups such as ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) often perceive a ‘service’ in terms of something they provide e.g. an application or a piece of hardware, and not the end product or service that the customer consumes.

Gaining agreement on the definition of a service will be crucial to the success of the service catalogue initiative.

A good starting place is to ask the customer. Ask the customers what services they believe they get from you as the service provider. Work with the customer to identify the services that underpin their business processes.

As with any service management initiative, the implementation of a service catalogue should be run as a project. The project management methodology employed should manage project initiation, planning and development, production and execution, monitoring and controlling, and project closure. The project should also encompass organisational change as an integral part.

It is imperative that the objective of the service catalogue initiative is clearly defined and aligned with organisational strategy. If there is no strategic alignment, then you have to ask yourself why you are embarking on this journey in the first place. You have to be able to answer questions such as ‘What is the objective of the service catalogue and how will this help achieve the organisational objectives’? ‘What business need will the service catalogue meet’?

Determine who all the stakeholders are in the service catalogue. These will include stakeholders across the service provider organisation, the customer base and third party service provider groups. In a series of interviews and workshops, determine the requirements of each stakeholder group.

The customer is a key stakeholder but they are not the only ones and it is critical that all requirements from all stakeholders are determined. Engage the process owners who have accountability for the process areas with which the service catalogue will need to interface and /or integrate. This will include financial management, service level management, change management, supplier management, demand management, business relationship management and service asset and configuration management.

Engage the service owners for services that are likely to be included in the service catalogue and gather their requirements.

Remember that there are multiple audiences for the service catalogue including business management, end-users, suppliers, support personnel, service delivery personal, service provider management, financial management and so on. The requirements of each group have to be established.

These tips are extracts from a white paper called ‘Armed and Extremely Dangerous – The Service Catalogue is More Than Just A Tool’.

You can access the complete paper here.

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