ITSM for high-velocity teams

Service catalog

It’s easy to fall behind when your team is working on a large number of service requests. Some of the most common derailments are requests that are out of scope for your speciality or meant for another team. Loosing just a few minutes can put you behind for the rest of the day. So how do you keep your service desk organized and not clogged up with random requests?

An efficient way to improve service request management is to implement a service catalog. A service catalog helps your customers understand what issues your team can solve resulting in less off-base requests and clear expectations of how you can help. This article shares what a service catalog is, tips for catalog management, and more. 

What is a service catalog?

A service catalog lists the set of services offered by an organization, this can include IT support services, IT Operations services, as well as services offered by non-IT service teams like HR, marketing, facilities and beyond. Customers select a service from your service catalog and submit the required information to set the IT team up for success. Service catalogs are a feature of service management software, like Jira Service Management. Modern service management provides clarity on what services are offered and how they will be delivered. Most teams that invest in a service catalog increase their quality of service and enjoy quicker request resolution.

Let’s say that your team specializes in the setup and provisioning of software solutions within your organization. You’ve noticed an increase in hardware-related tickets which need to get routed to another team. Your team commits to a service strategy and arrives at four distinct services you can deliver. Customers now have concrete descriptions they can use to select the right service and a helpful message redirecting them if they do not see the service they need

JSM Screenshot

Benefits of a service catalog

As a manager, you get great data when investing in a service catalog. You can see which services are most valuable and most time-consuming and adjust your resources accordingly. Your customers will also feel more confident that they have found the right team to solve their problem. This is because a service catalog will  set customers on the correct path to solve their problems. 

Differences between a service catalog and a service portfolio

A service portfolio is the complete record of past, present, and future services offered by an IT organization. Referencing a service portfolio will help your team understand what’s worked in the past and what you are offering today. Many teams will also add aspirational services to their service portfolio while they develop the capabilities needed to offer them to future customers. 

Many IT teams adjust their service offerings over time. If a business leader asks you why you don’t offer a service that you used to, your service portfolio should have the answer. Services are discontinued due to a variety of factors which should be documented in your service portfolio. With a quick glance at your service portfolio, you can answer that business leader's question with confidence.

Service catalog management

Roles and responsibilities for managing a service catalog

The teammates you need to execute your service catalog will vary based on the services you offer. Most IT teams are led by an IT manager and break out roles based on functional areas. Many IT organizations include procurement, infrastructure, architecture, operations, engineering, security, and business intelligence services. Some teams focus on having experts in each functional area while others train up generalists who can handle anything offered in your service catalog. Modern organizations also extend service management beyond IT, so teams like HR, facilities, finance and more, will collaborate with central IT to implement their service offerings. Thanks to the data you’ll earn with a service strategy, an IT manager can allocate resources to the functions most in-demand.

Service catalog governance

IT governance is all about making decisions on the future direction, resources, and goals for an IT organization. A current service catalog and existing service portfolio are incredible assets for these future-forward conversations. An IT manager can confidently point to which services create the most value today, and look back at which services did not. Decisions made in governance could alter which services continue to be offered and which services need to be revisited or removed. In a perfect world, governance would be up to you and your team but that is not always the case. Having a solid grasp on your service catalog will help decision makers know what is at stake when changes need to be made.

Performance metrics for service catalog management

A simple starting point when measuring performance of your IT organization would be usage, SLA performance, and customer satisfaction data. 

  • Usage data would tell you what services are in-demand and what the volume of tickets is. This is easily accessible by filtering your tickets by “issue type.” 
  • SLAs, or Service Level Agreements, dictate what the customer can expect and how long the issue should take to resolve. Your goal is to use SLAs to gauge how successful you are in delivering service within the time you and the customer agreed to. 
  • Customer satisfaction is an excellent metric to help you stay focused on not just the problems, but on the customers that have them.

Service catalog and ITSM

How the service catalog supports ITSM processes

IT service management, or ITSM, is how IT teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. It’s tempting to think that your service catalog is just the beginning of your IT process, as it’s often the very first thing that a customer interacts with. However, your service catalog is one of the most important components of ITSM as it touches every stage of your IT service lifecycle. When adding a new service to your catalog, ITSM fundamentals will inspire you to build repeatable processes that create efficiency.

Service catalog and change management

Let’s again focus on software provisioning as a service and imagine a customer who wants to spin up a new software solution for payroll. Given the complexity of change management, you’ve designed a change management workflow that these service desk tickets follow step-by-step. Modern change management workflows break down silos by notifying other teams, provide context and transparency in the ticket, avoid bottlenecks, and minimize risk. A service catalog and service desk can run workflows to make sure that services that need a high level of care get it every time.

Service catalog and incident management

Incident management is the process used by development and IT Operations teams to respond to an unplanned event or service interruption and restore the service to its operational state. A service catalog aids your incident management efforts by helping surface incidents earlier so teams can respond faster. Identifying a spike in request types can alert your team to an incident related to service. A service catalog that kicks off an Incident Management workflow helps ensure that your team doesn’t miss any steps along the way.

Getting started with a service catalog

You’re not alone when getting started with a service catalog. Thousands of teams have adopted a service strategy and have learned some incredible efficiencies along the way. Atlassian has collected service request management best practices that make a great foundation for your service catalog design. Jira Service Management offers a flexible service management solution so you can implement a service catalog that fits the unique needs of your organization.