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Service Catalogs, Requests & SLAs

Updated: Apr 26

Introduction to Creating a Service Catalog

In this section, I'm going to explore a couple of things that are interconnected. These things don't have to be delivered together, but you will start to see the parallels as we go through and why you might want to consider them as an entity.

  • Request Management - The process that handles requests for new services

  • Service Catalogs - Which capture those requests

  • Service Level Agreements - These outline the expected levels of services


The approach;


1. Define a Request Management Process

a woman looking at steps on a board

Request Management will help ensure the efficient handling of user service requests.


The process should involve logging, categorising, prioritising, fulfilling, and closing requests and leveraging the Service Catalog and SLAs as reference points when ready. Incorporate tools and automation to streamline request handling and improve overall service desk efficiency.


2. Build a Service Catalog


We'll start by developing a comprehensive Service Catalog that lists and describes all the IT services offered by the organisation, along with their features, functions, and related costs.


The Service Catalog will serve as a reference point for users and the help desk team, helping set expectations, streamline service request submissions, and improve communication.


It provides detailed information on each service, including its purpose, features, prerequisites, request processes, and related costs, if applicable.


By presenting this information clearly and structured, a Service Catalog streamlines service request submissions, enhancing communication between users and IT support and improving overall user satisfaction. Additionally, a well-maintained Service Catalog is vital in efficient IT service management, enabling organisations to understand their service offerings better and identify opportunities for optimisation and improvement.


3. Create Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

people agreeing a contract

With the Service Catalog in place, establish SLAs for each service. SLAs define the expected service quality, performance targets, and response and resolution timeframes, among other metrics.


By setting SLAs, the organisation can ensure consistency in service delivery, manage user expectations, and track performance against agreed-upon targets. This step may also involve developing Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) and Underpinning Contracts (UCs) with internal teams and external vendors, respectively, to support the delivery of services under the SLAs.


Assumptions

I wish to clarify some assumptions I must make before going forward with creating a service catalog.


These areas are within your remit


From an ITIL perspective, Service Catalogs and Service Level Agreements sit in the Service Design stage of the lifecycle. In a larger organisation, these may fall outside a Help Desk to define, implement and maintain.


However, I'm assuming these items are valuable to the Help Desk Manager and can be implemented without deferring to another team to get it done (note: That is not the same as involving other teams, which is a given.)


Your ITSM tool allows you to publish a Service Catalog.


Of course, there are other ways to do it, but having something that can automatically create service requests for your analysts and allow for automated process flow will be massively advantageous. Therefore, I'm not going to evaluate software options.


Service Catalogue, SLAs & Request Fulfilment Maturity Model

Level

Description

Criteria

1

Ad-hoc

  • No formal service catalogue, SLAs or request fulfilment processes

  • Services are not well-defined, inconsistent or unknown to users

  • Requests are handled manually and inefficiently

2

Basic

  • Initial development of a service catalogue and basic SLAs

  • Some standardisation of request fulfilment, but still largely manual

  • Services and SLAs may not be consistently applied or understood

3

Structured

  • Fully developed service catalogue and defined SLAs

  • Standardised request fulfilment process, with some automation

  • Regular review and update of the service catalogue and SLAs

4

Managed

​Comprehensive service catalogue linked with SLAs

  • Automated request fulfilment with tracking and reporting

  • Data-driven decision-making for service improvements

  • Regular review and update of the service catalogue, SLAs and fulfilment processes

5

Optimised

  • Service catalogue and SLAs fully integrated with business objectives

  • Advanced automation and self-service capabilities for request fulfilment

  • Continuous improvement of services based on user feedback and data analysis

  • Strategic, long-term planning for service evolution




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