Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creating an IT Service Catalogue

Before I dive into this tricky little topic, let me tell you about what I did Saturday.  9 of us climbed Golden Ears in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada.  It’s a grueling 9-11 hour round trip covering 24km in distance and 1.5km up and down vertical.  DSCN1945 This picture shows our destiny in the background.

At this point, we’re just over an hour from the top.  It’s a scramble, we encounter a significant ice field that we have to navigate around (it’s steep, sketchy).

Here’s some of the crew at the top (about 1700m) chillin’ and taking in the 360 degree view.  We could see to Whistler, Vancouver, Mt. Baker, etc.  DSCN1950We relaxed for about an hour before making our way back down.  Most of the group had never been to the summit so it was pretty inspiring.  By the way, my legs are still killing me…

So what does this have to do with creating an IT Service Catalogue?  Well, I’ve never done it, I’m finding it quite a challenge, and I’m in un-charted territory (for me) – kind-a like a first timer on a serious hike.  Creating the catalogue is one of my department’s goals for 2010-11 to serve as a communication tool with our executive and our customers (teachers, principals, students, support staff, business staff, etc.).  I also intend to implement it as an interactive online catalogue for users to find and request services they need and have the requests feed directly into our service desk system.

To get started, I’ve gathered examples from BCIT, Surrey School District, and read numerous threads in the Service Catalog and Service Portfolio Community LinkIn group I belong to for this topic.  I encountered many a debate about what should go in the catalogue.  Questions about whether there’s a technical version, a business version, or is there just one.  Should it be a document or an interactive tool customers use.  Not a clearly marked trail like I was able to use on Saturday’s hike.  I’ve decided our catalogue will be a business version – primarily designed and written for our user community.

I came up with an index by working mostly with our phenomenal service desk staff who seem to know what it is we actually do for our customers.  I borrowed heavily from BCIT and other examples to create a template. If you wish to see my draft work on this, you can view the index and the described services for Network Access Services here.  The entire work will be reviewed by various committees as well as my staff as it progresses to ensure we have agreement on the contents and purpose.

The catalogue, when finished (before Christmas), will be presented to our executive for their endorsement.  Next I will publish it as a document for communication purposes.  A subsequent task will be to develop it into an interact tool for our customers to acquire services from us.  This will be a formal step for us to have full transparency into the services we are committed to provide and their characteristics.  Finally, we will undertake a gap analysis of our staffing compliment and the services and service levels we’re committed to delivering – this will inform requirements for staff resources.

I would really appreciate feedback and advice on the draft work and any examples people can point me to that I could liberally borrow from.