Service Catalogs: Avoiding Shelfware

Store and control your services – The services definitions in your catalog should be protected, formally documented, stored, and only changed through your change control processes. The service documentation is not only an external, customer view of what the service does, but it also includes the internal, technical documentation necessary to understand how the service is delivered. Change control insures proper governance around changes to your services. It also gives your change control process a solid way in which to evaluate changes and understand the implications of a change to a service.

Integrate with your processes – Capacity, availability, financial management, and all of your service management processes are tasked with delivering services to the customers. Make sure they are prepared to deliver the information they need to provide into the catalog, and they have the proper level of visibility into the catalog to support it properly.

Implement continuous improvement – Make sure your services are monitored and measured and regular reviews are held with your customers to discuss the performance of the service. Not only does this give you visibility into customer perceptions, but it also allows you to market the things you are doing to improve the service performance.

Document a service on-boarding process – Make sure all of your processes are ready to support the newly launched service. A formal process for on-boarding helps to verify that each of the process owners has evaluated the defined service, understands the effort from their area to support that service and has taken steps to ensure it is ready for launch.

Alan Houghton is a principal consultant in PA Consulting Group’s IT Consulting practice, specializing in analyzing and rationalizing portfolios of applications and projects either for investment planning or for the development of sourcing strategies. He also brings significant service management experience, having recently co-led the successful ISO 20000 certification and ITIL v2 implementation processes of a major European bank

Augusto Perazzo is a consultant in PA Consulting Group’s IT Consulting practice. An ITIL certified practitioner, Augusto has developed an expertise in IT service management, application development management and project management.

Derek Lonsdale is a managing consultant in PA Consulting Group’s IT Consulting practice. With more than fifteen years in the industry, Derek is an ITIL manager and has contributed to the design and deployment of ITIL processes for numerous ITIL programs.

John McCord is a principal consultant in PA Consulting Group’s IT Consulting practice and an acknowledged expert in the financial aspects of IT costs, with particular emphasis on benchmarking, outsourcing, and the issues of strategic demand management.