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Create a Service Catalogue

Updated: Feb 2

How to create a Service Catalogue

Now, here it's important that we don't try to 'boil the ocean' and do too much in our attempt to launch. Instead, it may be better to build and iterate. So, it's an option to simply focus on one service, customer or group of users, publish those services, and build out from there.

For example, if one of your most frequent requests is for new software, or you have a problem with a proliferation of new software, you might want to focus on that first.


an example of a service catalog

So, before you start, ensure you've defined your scope and what you hope to achieve. Getting something out there, seeing if it has value, and then adapting and building upon it can be valuable if you are limited by time and resources.

Key Steps

  1. Develop the workflows & playbooks

  2. Configure the service catalogue

  3. Develop the request provision playbooks

  4. Train & communicate


Develop request playbooks

a procedure template screenshot

Document the work instructions/procedures necessary for each item in your catalogue. For example, New User Setup. As explored in the knowledge management section, having a standard template for work instructions ensures consistency and efficiency across different procedures. Therefore, now is the perfect time to utilise the procedure template shared in the chapter on Knowledge Management.

The more documented, the easier it is to train new staff, slicken the process and ensure consistency of results. However, writing instructions can often meet resistance due to the perceived value of knowledge harbouring by individuals, pushback on the lack of resources to do so, and many other reasons. We need to push through these with top-down managerial support and buy-in. That said, very often, people aren't comfortable with writing, and we should acknowledge and support that, so don't assume that any resistance is due to laziness or insufficient time.


Configure The Service Catalogue

Create a Service Catalogue of customer-facing options using a subset of the service inventory and perhaps expanding on variants under options such as 'software'. Most ITSM tools can offer this as part of the Incident tool or as a module. If not, then other tools like SharePoint can be used to publish the content and potentially automate the workflow. As this is a software-specific thing, we can't dive into the details, but you potentially have two routes open;

  1. Publishing a basic catalogue that triggers a request to be logged in the system, which the IT Team can process manually.

  2. Adding workflows to the catalogue that route new requests for approval and then execution by specific teams.

I cannot tell you the specific steps to take with your software solution to implement the Service Catalogue, and I urge you to follow the vendor's advice. However, I would expect it to follow a similar method to below;

Review tool-specific requirements Understand the specific requirements and formatting guidelines of the selected ITSM tool to ensure compatibility with your Service Catalogue. For example, some tools may require particular data formats, fields, or structures requiring preparation or consideration. Prepare service data for import Format your Service Catalogue data according to the ITSM tool's requirements. This may involve organising services into categories, mapping fields to the tool's schema, or converting data into compatible formats (e.g., CSV, XML).

Import service data Upload your Service Catalogue data using the ITSM tool's import functionality. This may involve using an import wizard, uploading a file, or copying and pasting data directly into the tool.

Configure Service Catalogue settings Within the ITSM tool, configure settings related to the Service Catalogue, such as access permissions, user roles, notifications, and workflows. Customise these settings to align with your organisation's processes and policies.

Verify data and functionality After importing your Service Catalogue, review the data and functionality within the ITSM tool to ensure accuracy and completeness. Then, make any necessary adjustments or corrections to the imported data.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Alan, and have been working within the IT sector for over 30 years.

For the last 15 years, I've focused on IT Governance, Information Security, Projects and Service Management across various styles of organisations and markets.

I hold a degree in Information Systems, ITIL Expert certificate, PRINCE2 Practitioner and CISMP (Information Security Management).

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