What are good groupings for a Service Catalogue

By ITIL from Experience©

Groupings here refers to categories1 of Services and usually appear as headings in a Service Catalogue.

Good groupings should:

  • Be relevant to the organization and audience thus, people must be able to relate to it (I.e. Reviewers must be able to say “Yes that describes what we offer/do”)
  • Whenever possible, align the service to one service owner for accountability
  • Avoid referring to a specific organizational unit to avoid changes due to organizational changes (a generic function like Service Desk is fine)
  • Not contain a product name to avoid changes due to changes in technology or procurement decisions unless users would not understand the generic name (e.g. RSA Security Tokens vs. SecurID)
  • Convey the intent of the service (e.g. Managed Desktop instead of computers. Remote Access instead of Networking)
  • Be easily understood at a glance by the reader (e.g. Distributed computing may not be appropriate to describe the Service providing Desktops, Laptops and Tablets to users in a law firm).

Ultimately, the groupings must be meaningful to the Catalogue’s audience. Therefore, before starting to determine groupings, define the audience for this catalogue. Will the catalogue be used to communicate with Customers, Users or to describe internal services, (e.g. a Technical Service Catalogue).

The following can be used to ensure that the groups are appropriate for the catalogue’s audience.

  1. Identify a few trusted customers and users from the catalogue’s audience like from the various business lines you provide services to. The more varied the sample audience the better. Identify some in the finance, HR, manufacturing, sales, etc.
  2. Show them individually the list of services or the main headings of the catalogue and ask them to describe/explain what they expect to see in that section of the Catalogue. Don’t argue! Listen carefully, to the words used. New and better names might be discovered. Individual meetings are preferred over focus groups to get the individual’s “first impression” without being influenced by others. After all, the service names should be self-explanatory
  3. Next explain the content of that section. Ask them what term would best describe what you just explained.


From Around the Web:
IT Service Catalog - Know Your Audience

ITIL Process > Service Catalogue Management

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