Joined: Mar 12, 2005 Posts: 255 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:41 pm Post subject: Re: You are a GEM. Thank you
ouldn't agree more with the following - but when you are doing something for the first time it is only natural to look for some guidelines
I have stumbled across this Forum accidently and could not resist getting involved in this catalogue discussion. I have implemented a comprehensive catalogue model in a Fortune 500 Company and was an ITIL consultant prior to this.
There is NO correct TOC, Index, template, blah blah for a catalogue. In case you have not all done your homework, ITIL is not prescriptive, hence what works in one company's IT environment does not work in anothers. Thus...you cannot copy and paste templates and expect these to work. If it was this straight forward these would be provided by the ITSMF and every company would have the same catalogue.
Furthermore, yes SLA's hold this type of information but they also hold all sorts of junk, are usually large and do not concisely extract the information most critical to the services you provide to the end customer...your business units. Also, every agreement is not the same therefore the common language is also distorted. I can go on for years on this, but I strongly recommend you study up before you attempt to present catalogue models to your business units as they will eat you alive if you cannot explain the purpose, benefits, etc to them. Good luck.
I think when you are starting out, you need to answer some basic questions first - a make sure the relevant stake holders all agree,
How are Services Going to be modeled in your organization (what is going to be the basic information architecture of a service entry in your catalogue)?
As a part of the first question, which kinds of services are you going to define (there will not be one 'outline' that fits the information requirements of every service)?
How do service entries in the catalogue differ from service level agreements (In some organizations they are effectively the same thing)?
Does the model you choose support the costing-models you need to use (extremely important in a cost recovery or charging environment)?
How does the Service Catalogue integrate into your IT service management processes, incident management, change management etc, and does your information architecture for the catalogue align with the requirements of related processes?
As an aid to formulating and answering these questions I would recommend the following white paper: "Defining, Modelling and Costing IT Service, (V2.3 Dec 2003), Pink Elephant"
The value of this is not that it provides a template for a Catalogue of Services, but that it outlines quite clearly what sort of process you have to go through to define services in your own organization. It is an excellent resource, and well known among the people I network with.
I would also strongly recommend looking at any good publicly visible catalogues, like the one at the University of New South Wales, mentioned in a previous post on this thread.
Joined: Aug 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Location: Washington, D.C.
Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:47 am Post subject: ITIL Service Catalogue
This is a great thread – several excellent points made above. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic lately, so I thought I’d weigh in as well…
One point that I haven’t seen highlighted nearly enough, although I have seen it mentioned elsewhere in this forum, is the importance of understanding the business view of the services offered by IT. As a starting point, sit down with both the Business Customer stakeholders and the day-to-day Users. Design your Service Catalogue from their perspective, not from the IT perspective.
As ‘Phantom’ pointed out in his post, your business units will eat you alive if you don’t explain the services and benefits in their terms – moreover, if you don’t take the time to understand the business perspective, the Service Catalogue will never get used. On the flip side, if you do focus on this, the Service Catalogue can become a key communication and marketing vehicle for managing IT-Business relationships.
There are a few chapters dedicated to this in the new “Business Perspective: The IS View on Delivering Services to the Business” book from the OGC – definitely worth checking out. I’d also highly recommend the white paper titled “How to Produce an Actionable IT Service Catalog” from Newscale – a great read on this topic.
One of the issues raised earlier in this thread was that the simple tables provided in the OGC books are 'lightweight' and not prescriptive enough. There is definitely no ‘one-size-fits-all’ template out there, but there are plenty of practical examples that you can learn from as you get started. To that end, one of the best real-world catalogues available on the web that I’ve seen is the Merrill Lynch example on the CIO magazine site (from the ‘Run IT Like a Business’ – RITLAB – special report).
With respect to the suggestion of 'sitting down with the business". Excellent idea! However, unless you are in a brand new company that has never had any IT support you most likely already have a good idea of what services you can provide. For example -- bringing new employees on board. Everyone does this and this is one of many "services" in a service catalog. Before you go empty handed to the business i would submit that you can build a current list of IT services and use that as starting point for your discussions.
Once you have a defined list of services, start building SLA's (again in conjunction with the business). Nothing elaborate, some (most?) can be simple one page/paragraph descriptors that simply indicate "upon invoking this service, we agree to provide a response within 24 hours" No need to define the response, the response can be "solved", "still working", (just make sure you are not this terse!, give some more input as required!) etc. Clearly more elaborate SLA's are required for some services and you should focus on these.
The big difficulty is tying it al ltogether. Engaging the business and actually getting htem to use the service catalog as an entry point for IT services is rather important. Failure to do so will mean all yor work was for naught. Even tying it together from an IT perspective. Linking hte service catalog to a monitoring system to track system outages which in turn could affect SLA performance. Also, linking it to the incident management/ problem management and CMDB can be somewhat difficult. What i am suggesting is that a service catalog is the entry point for all IT requests, and in a way it can mask certain IT issues and allow you time to fix underlying problems, if necessary.
Anyway, I will be happy to share an electronic copy of the service catalog we are working with. It simply lists the service, contact means, affected SLA, etc. Please rememebr, this is really just the tip of hte iceberg, there is tremendous amount of work that needs to happen below the "waterline".
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