Service Catalog as a Knowledge Management Tool

Discuss topics on the fringe of ITIL, including relationships with other approaches.
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Senior Itiler
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Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:16 am


I wanted to share what we've found to be a very strong mechanism for getting buy-in by leadership and employees for Service Catalogs (SC).

It is my experience that ITIL does not stress the importance of the SC as a tool for solving key areas of the Enterprise Knowledge Management problem. However, anyone who has ever implemented a successful SC knows that, at a minimum, it works as a tool to help guide employees to the answer of the question: "Who can help me with a specific problem in a specific problem area?" (Note: I'm using "problem" in the general sense, not the ITIL sense.)

We've found that if you couple the justification of a SC with the fact that it helps enable employees to quickly find which people and organizations can help them with specific problems to get work done, you can point to the fact that having such knowledge readily available reduces day to day operational noise. In many enterprises, this can help eliminate many hours of lost productivity per employee, per day.

So, if I need help with Databases, I know that I can go to the SC and quickly find the organizations and people who can help me with Databases, either in general or for a specific Database. For example:

"Database Services" or "Database Management Services" leads me to those accountable for Databases (i.e. the "Database Management Organization").

In fact, the pattern holds regardless of the Enterprise Service, whether it is ITIL related or not...

- "Print Management Services" points to "Print Management Organization"
- "Application Management Services" points to "Application Management Organization"
- "Financial Management Services" points to "Financial Management Organization"
- "Change Management Services" points to "Change Management Organization"
- "Security Management Services" points to "Security Management Organization"
- Etc.

The above would represent the Service Catalog in its simplest form. It can then be evolved to capture and show much more about each Service area. The more information that exists per Service area, the more powerful the SC becomes, therefore making it a very important tool for solving Enterprise Knowledge Management problems that revolve around the questions: "Who can help me with what?"

As the SC evolves it then goes into specific Instances of each Service area. So, for example, Application Management Services leads to an inventory of every Application, which in turn leads me to the "who" for each and every Application.

Anyhow, we've found these tactics highly productive. I don't know if anyone else is explicitly using and/or pitching the SC as a KM tool but, if so, I'd love to hear about it.

My Best

The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
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Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:21 am

I think it looks really solid, and might use something similar, I think it makes sense to have more data there or at least referrals to where it is. It seems to me that people take all the ITIL a bit too seriously :) Customizing for business is necessary I'd say, and this is on that road..
Mikko Hellemaa
Support Specialist
Indeo Oy
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