step-by-step-service-catalog-implementation

STEP 1: ‘Service’ Definition and Organizational Structure Analysis

When one faces the building of a Service Catalog, the first task is understanding the purpose and for what it is going to be used. The Service Catalog can be used as a relationship model between the contract parties, as an internal model to manage demand, for marketing purposes, etc. 

Depending on that use and the parties that are involve, firstly we need to write and agree upon the ‘Service’ definition, that is, what exactly we are looking for.

Also it is very useful to analyze the organizational structure of the company or department for whom we are going to define their Service Catalog. Sometimes we find that they have an organizational structure built for attending to the services that they provide. But other times we find that there isn’t any service orientation. For example, the lack of service orientation has been very common in IT for the last several decades. In this case, as a result of the Service Catalog building process, it will be also be possible in the end to propose a new organizational structure.

STEP 2: Service Identification and Dependencies Analysis

With the previous step we have understood what is a service (the service definition) and the organizational structure or departments involved. With the last point, we also need also to gather the interlocutors for creating the working groups required to perform this second step. 

By having specific meetings with each of the departments or teams involved, we will work over the Services identification. During this seasons, we will review with them the service definition agreed upon and we will try to identify with them all the tasks or capabilities they provide (or participate in its provision) that match that definition.

During this process we will also find also a lot of dependencies between the services identified. We will find that there are some services built over others or that they use another. So in this step we can separately draw each of the services and dependencies identified.

STEP 3: Services Map Construction and Relationships

Now it’s time to draw a map with all the services and relationships. A best practice is using a Mind Map for performing this step. We will draw them in an structure of services, where there are business services as the parents, and technical or support services as the children. Also we will draw the interconnections between them. For example the same technical service can support several business services.

At the end of this step we will have the overall view of all the services involved in that environment.

STEP 4: Services Characterization and Data Gathering

Now it is time to go inside of these services. In this step we will firstly define the attributes or fields that will have the service definition sheet. Another again, the best practice is to agree upon this service definition sheet with the parties, to insure that it covers all the required data for the purpose for which the Service Catalog will be used.

Once agreed upon the service definition sheet, we will have to meet (the second project meeting) again with each of the parties to gather the data for the services.

STEP 5: Service Catalog Construction

The purpose of this last step is to build an actionable (or clickable) Service Catalog where we can choose to search and find each of the services.

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Author: angelberniz (All Rights Reserved by the author).
Source: Original Text (based upon first hand knowledge).
Image: © adam121 – photodune.net
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