I have often been asked about my lessons learned in implementing an IT Service Management (ITSM) tool. Below is the third in a ten part series examining my ITSM lessons learned. I hope that these lessons help you on your journey to ITSM nirvana.
Lesson #3: Have a Service Catalog. The Service Catalog is the foundation of any ITIL-based IT environment. If you don’t have a Service Catalog, then you don’t have true Service Management. Developing a Service Catalog is not easy and its something that should be undertaken before any discussion of a potential ITSM tool should take place.
There is much literature relative to developing an IT Service Catalog, but a few key points to keep in mind are:
(a) It should be done in conjunction with the business (customers)
(b) It serves as the “menu” for what IT’s customers can order
(c) “Services” deliver business outcomes and are NOT applications or configuration items
(d) An IT organization’s assets (applications & configuration items) align to deliver services
(e) When a customer raises a request for service (an Incident, Problem, Service Request, Change, or Release), the “Service” that the customer is requesting assistance for, should be clearly identified.
Keep in mind that a customer doesn’t care that an application or network is down, they only care that their business outcome is not able to be achieved. Having services defined in a catalog, and then reporting on the availability of them, is the true first step towards IT service management.