For many organizations, creating an IT service catalog is new – and uncharted – territory. Without knowing how to approach it, mistakes are likely to be made. But, being aware of some of the most common errors that are made when companies put together their IT service catalog – and avoiding them – can help put you on the path to success.
Don’t Overdo It
There is such a thing as too much detail. And, if you create an IT service catalog that is hundreds of pages long, your end users will never even look at it. You don’t need to document every single step that will take place during the course of each service. All you need is a brief description of what each service entails, how users should go about requesting that service, who will deliver it, and the estimated time frame for completion.
Remember Your Third-Parties
Many companies employ third-parties to provide certain IT services, such as hardware maintenance and repair. Yet, when it comes to the IT service catalog, these services are often left out. Be sure to include any and all services that are available to your end users in the catalog, even if they are outsourced or provided by an external constituent.
Make It Easy to Understand
Remember that your IT service catalog is not for your help desk staff or your IT team – it’s for your end users. So, avoid technical jargon, or unnecessary details about system architecture, code, etc. Complex concepts like these will only serve to confuse them, and prevent them from properly utilizing the IT service catalog.
Avoid Being Boring
While IT services, in general, may not seem like the most compelling of topics, you’ll need to make your IT service catalog as interesting as possible in order to entice your end users to take advantage of it. You can do this by giving users the ability to personalize it (for example, by role), or by incorporating some automated features such as online service ordering or request status tracking.
Keep It Up-to-Date
Many companies make the mistake of creating their IT service catalog – then forgetting about it. But, the IT service portfolio can change frequently, particularly in large enterprises with sophisticated and mature IT operations. So, be sure to update the catalog periodically, so it reflects any new services that have been added, or existing ones that have been modified.
About Kyle Shepard
Kyle is a Senior Manager of the Customer Success team for ITSM at SolarWinds. He works directly with customers to provide ongoing support in service management strategy for their evolving goals. He speaks on webinars and other educational resources in ITSM. He also played college lacrosse.
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