Design & Build a User-Facing Service Catalog Create a made-to-order menu of IT services for your users to easily understand what IT offers. Many organizations offer IT services in a very ad hoc fashion: There is no formal structure to IT service delivery. There is little understanding/acceptance of available IT services. This leads to the following issues, which further exacerbate the problem: There are gaps in services. Confusion from customers as to what is available to them in terms of services. Misalignment with service management goals & objectives. IT is not clear on what services they provide. There are pains for both IT and the user, as the lack of understanding of services and how they are accessed and delivered causes a mis-alignment and friction between IT and the business. Only include information that is relevant to the user!A service catalog is a failure if a user looks at it and sees information that doesn’t apply to them or that they do not understand. At a restaurant, a patron does not need to see the ingredients list, cooking instructions, and presentation guidelines on the menu. They simply need to know what their meal will be. It is the same with IT services. Picture yourself going to a restaurant. You are seated at a table and the waiter informs you there will not be a menu… “Can I have chicken?” you ask. “We don’t have chicken,” responds the waiter, with no alternate suggestions. How are you meant to know what to order? You might as well have cooked at home. That’s what the business feels like when not provided with a service catalog. There is only one service catalog! Don’t be mistaken – there are not two separate catalogs for IT and the user, they are merely two sides of the same coin. The user will only see the one side that is relevant to them, as the IT side will muddy the waters of their understanding and the catalog will fail in its mission to convey value to IT’s customers. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Info-Tech’s Service Bundle Methodology will help you control the scope of your service catalog implementation by phasing your deployment with manageable bundles of services. Get it right with the pilot bundle, then continue to add services to your catalog one bundle at a time. Keep it simple!Don’t over-complicate your service records. You are trying to demonstrate the value of IT. The easier it is to understand, the more likely you are to get user acceptance and accomplish your goals. It is important to get off on the right foot. Get your project owner and dedicated team together and come up with goals, metrics, and opportunities to present to senior management to obtain project buy-in. There are various levels of catalog maturity. Let’s take a look at what’s out there, what suits you, and what the benefits and set-backs are of the varying states. Then, let’s assess our requirements around people, processes, and technology. When categorizing services, be sure to engage your user group representatives to get a better idea of what your customers would want. After all, you are doing this for them. How much is too much information in the service record? Ask yourself: “What information will actually help the user access the service faster and more efficiently versus what will confuse them?” The process of creating your service records is CRUCIAL to the success of your service catalog. A lack of clarity will lead to failure. Engage your strongest writers and communication specialists to assist in the composition of your records. Establish a well-documented and straight-forward process for publishing new service definitions to the service catalog. This will dramatically improve the efficiency of future deployments. Info-Tech’s Service Catalog SOP will help you.