4. Service Design Process
4.1 Service Catalogue Management
4.1.1 Purpose, Goals and Objectives
The purpose of Service Catalogue Management is to provide a single source of consistent information on all of the agreed services, and ensure that it is widely available to those who are approved to access it.
The goal of the Service Catalogue Management process is to ensure that a Service Catalogue is produced and maintained, containing accurate information on all operational services and those being prepared to be run operationally.
The objective of Service Catalogue Management is to manage the information contained within the Service Catalogue, and to ensure that it is accurate and reflects the current details, status, interfaces and dependencies of all services that are being run, or being prepared to run, in the live environment.
The scope of the Service Catalogue Management process is to provide and maintain accurate information on all services that are being transitioned or have been transitioned to the live environment.
The Service Catalogue Management activities should include:
- Definition of the service
- Production and maintenance of an accurate Service Catalogue
- Interfaces, dependencies and consistency between the Service Catalogue and Service Portfolio
- Interfaces and dependencies between all services and supporting services within the Service Catalogue and the CMS
- Interfaces and dependencies between all services, and supporting components and Configuration Items (Cls) within the Service Catalogue and the CMS.
4.1.3 Value to the Business
The Service Catalogue provides a central source of information on the IT services delivered by the service provider organization. This ensures that all areas of the business can view an accurate, consistent picture of the IT services, their details and their status. It contains a customer-facing view of the IT services in use, how they are intended to be used, the business processes they enable, and the levels and quality of service the customer can expect for each service.
4.1.4 Policies, Principles And Basic Concepts
Over the years, organizations' IT infrastructures have
grown and developed, and there may not be a clear
picture of all the services currently being provided and the customers of each service. In order to establish an accurate picture, it is recommended that an IT Service Portfolio containing a Service Catalogue is produced and maintained to provide a central, accurate set of information on all services and to develop a service focused culture.
The Service Portfolio should contain all the future requirements for services and the Service Catalogue
should contain details of all services currently being provided or those being prepared for transition to the live environment, a summary of their characteristics, and details of the customers and maintainers of each. A degree of 'detective work' may be needed to compile this list and agree it with the customers (sifting through old documentation, searching program libraries, talking with IT staff and customers, looking at procurement records and talking with suppliers and contractors etc.). If a CMS or any sort of asset database exists, these may provide valuable sources of information, although they should be verified before inclusion within either the Service Portfolio or Service Catalogue. The Service Portfolio is produced as part of Service Strategy and should include participation by those involved in Service Design, Transition, Operation and Improvement. Once a service is 'chartered' (ie., being developed for use by customers)R, Service Design produces the specifications for the service and it is at this point that the service should be added to the Service Catalogue.
Each organization should develop and maintain a policy with regard to both the Portfolio and the Catalogue, relating to the services recorded within them, what details are recorded and what statuses are recorded for each of the services. The policy should also contain details of responsibilities for each section of the overall Service Portfolio and the scope of each of the constituent sections.
The Service Catalogue Management process produces and maintains the Service Catalogue, ensuring that a central, accurate and consistent source of data is provided, recording the status of all operational services or services being transitioned to the live environment, together with appropriate details of each service.
What is a service? This question is not as easy to answer as it may first appear, and many organizations have failed to come up with a clear definition in an IT context. IT staff often confuse a 'service' as perceived by the customer with an IT system. In many cases one 'service' can be made up of other 'services' (and so on), which are themselves made up of one or more IT systems within an overall infrastructure including hardware, software, networks, together with environments, data and applications. A good starting point is often to ask customers which IT services they use and how those services map onto and support their business processes. Customers often have a greater clarity of what they believe a service to be. Each organization needs to develop a policy of what is a service and how it is defined and agreed within their own organization.
To avoid confusion, it may be a good idea to define a hierarchy of services within the Service Catalogue, by qualifying exactly what type of service is recorded, e.g. business service (that which is seen by the customer). Alternatively, supporting services, such as infrastructure services, network services, application services (all invisible to the customer, but essential to the delivery of IT services) will also need to be recorded. This often gives rise to a hierarchy of services incorporating customer services and other related services, including supporting services, shared services and commodity services, each with defined and agreed service levels.
When initially completed, the Service Catalogue may consist of a matrix, table or spreadsheet. Many organizations integrate and maintain their Service Portfolio and Service Catalogue as part of their CMS. By defining each service as a Configuration Item (CI) and, where appropriate, relating these to form a service hierarchy, the organization is able to relate events such as incidents and RFCs to the services affected, thus providing the basis for service monitoring and reporting using an integrated tool (e.g. 'list or give the number of incidents affecting this particular service'). It is therefore essential that changes within the Service Portfolio and Service Catalogue are subject to the Change Management process.
The Service Catalogue can also be used for other Service Management purposes (e.g. for performing a Business
Impact Analysis (BIA) as part of IT Service Continuity Planning, or as a starting place for re-distributing workloads, as part of Capacity Management). The cost and effort of producing and maintaining the catalogue, with its relationships to the underpinning technology components, is therefore easily justifiable. If done in conjunction with prioritization of the BIA, then it is possible to ensure that the most important services are covered first. An example of a simple Service Catalogue that can be used as a starting point is given in Appendix G.
|Figure 4.3 The Business Service Catalogue and the Technical Service Catalogue|
The Service Catalogue has two aspects:
- The Business Service Catalogue: containing details of all the IT services delivered to the customer, together with relationships to the business units and the business process that rely on the IT services. This is the customer view of the Service Catalogue.
- The Technical Service Catalogue: containing details of all the IT services delivered to the customer, together with relationships to the supporting services, shared services, components and Cls necessary to support the provision of the service to the business. This should underpin the Business Service Catalogue and not form part of the customer view.
The relationship between these two aspects is illustrated in Figure 4.3.
Some organizations only maintain either a Business Service Catalogue or a Technical Service Catalogue. The preferred situation adopted by the more mature organizations maintains both aspects within a single Service Catalogue, which is part of a totally integrated Service Management activity and Service Portfolio. More information on the design and contents of a Service Catalogue is contained in Appendix G. The Business Service Catalogue facilitates the development of a much more proactive or even preemptive SLM process, allowing it to develop more into the field of Business Service Management. The Technical Service Catalogue is extremely beneficial when constructing the relationship between services, SLAs, OLAs and other underpinning agreements and components, as it will identify the technology required to support a service and the support group(s) that support the components. The combination of a Business Service Catalogue and a Technical Service Catalogue is invaluable for quickly assessing the impact of incidents and changes on the business. An example of relationships between the Business and Technical portions of a Service Catalogue is shown in Figure 4.4.
4.1.5 Process Activities, Methods and Techniques
|Figure 4.4 Example Service Catalogue|
The key activities within the Service Catalogue Management process should include:
- Agreeing and documenting a service definition with all relevant parties
- Interfacing with Service Portfolio Management to agree on the contents of the Service Portfolio and Service Catalogue
- Producing and maintaining a Service Catalogue and its contents, in conjunction with the Service Portfolio
- Interfacing with the business and IT Service Continuity Management on the dependencies of business units and their business processes with the supporting IT services, contained within the Business Service Catalogue
- Interfacing with support teams, suppliers and Configuration Management on interfaces and dependencies between IT services and the supporting services, components and CIs contained within the Technical Service Catalogue
- Interfacing with Business Relationship Management and Service Level Management to ensure that the information is aligned to the business and business process.
4.1.6 Triggers, Inputs, Outputs And Interfaces
The triggers for the Service Catalogue Management process are:
- changes in the business requirements and services, and therefore...
- Request For Changes (RFCs)
- Change Management process.
This will include new services, changes to existing services or services being retired.
There are a number of sources of information that are relevant to the Service Catalogue Management process. These should include:
- Business information from the organization's business and IT strategy, plans and financial plans, and information on their current and future requirements from the Service Portfolio
- Business Impact Analysis: providing information on the impact, priority and risk associated with each service or changes to service requirements
- Business requirements: details of any agreed, new or changed business requirements from the Service Portfolio
- The Service Portfolio
- The CMS
- Feedback from all other processes.
The process outputs of SCM are:
- The documentation and agreement of a 'definition of the service'
- Updates to the Service Portfolio: should contain the current status of all services and requirements for services
- The Service Catalogue: should contain the details and the current status of every live service provided by the service provider or service being transitioned into the live environment, together with the interfaces and dependencies. An example of a Service Catalogue is contained in Appendix G.
4.1.7 Information Management
The key information within the Service Catalogue Management process is that contained within the Service Catalogue. The main input for this information comes from the Service Portfolio and the business via either the Business Relationship Management (BRM) or Service Level Management (SLM) processes. This information needs to
be verified for accuracy before being recorded within the Service Catalogue. The information and the Service Catalogue itself need to be maintained using the Change Management process.
4.1.8 Key Performance Indicators
The two main Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) associated with the Service Catalogue and its management are:
- The number of services recorded and managed within the Service Catalogue as a percentage of those being delivered and transitioned in the live environment
- The number of variances detected between the information contained within the Service Catalogue and the 'real-world' situation.
Other measurements and KPIs that could be used are:
- Business users' awareness of the services being provided, i.e. percentage increase in completeness of the Business Service Catalogue against operational services
- IT staff awareness of the technology supporting the services:
- Percentage increase in completeness of the
Technical Service Catalogue against IT
components that support the services
- Service Desk having access to information to support all live services, measured by the percentage of incidents without the appropriate service-related information.
4.1.9 Challenges, Critical Success Factors and Risks
The major challenge facing the Service Catalogue Management process is that of maintaining an accurate Service Catalogue as part of a Service Portfolio, incorporating both the Business Service Catalogue and the Technical Service Catalogue as part of an overall CMS and SKMS. This is best approached by developing stand-alone spreadsheets or databases before trying to integrate the Service Catalogue and Service Portfolio within the CMS or SKMS. In order to achieve this, the culture of the organization needs to accept that the Catalogue and Portfolio are essential sources of information that everyone within the IT organization needs to use and help maintain. This will often assist in the standardization of the Service Catalogue and the Service Portfolio and enable increase in cost performance through economies of scale.
The main Critical Success Factors for the Service Catalogue Management process are:
- an accurate Service Catalogue
- 'Business users' awareness of the services being provided
- IT staff awareness of the technology supporting the services.
The risks associated with the provision of an accurate Service Catalogue are:
- Inaccuracy of the data in the catalogue
- not under rigorous Change control
- Poor acceptance of the Service Catalogue and its usage in all operational processes. The more active the catalogue is, the more likely it is to be accurate in its content
- Inaccuracy of information received from the business, IT and the Service Portfolio, with regard to service information
- The tools and resources required to maintain the information
- Poor access to accurate Change Management information and processes
- Poor access to and support of appropriate and up-todate CMS and SKMS
- Circumvention of the use of the Service Portfolio and Service Catalogue
- The information is either too detailed to maintain accurately or at too high a level to be of any value. It should be consistent with the level of detail within the CMS and the SKMS.