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Oct 22, 2007

ITIL V3 Service Portfolio, Pipeline and Catalogue

In ITIL V3, the customer is more into focus then technology. In V2, customer and his satisfaction were important on a declarative level, but minimum effort was made to point out methods, the whats and hows to improve the customer satisfaction.

In the age of V2, more palpable problems were of technological nature. Also, primary concern, especially in non-IBM IT communities was IT organisation, processes and procedures. So the main hub of all stories was the infamous CMDB, an organisational gadget with a techie name.

Now, the IT mindset is of a grown up, and we turn to what and how we are doing it. Following this thread backwards, we conclude that the main question is Why. We design services according to a market demand, for some of our present and future customers. So why should a customer by a service, why would he buy it from us, what are our competitive advantages, how are we going to charge for the services, what resources do we have... These are some of the strategic questions that need to be answered.

We define, analyse, approve and charter services in this phase. We are at the beginning of the Service Portfolio, in the Service Pipeline.

Thru transition processes, these services are introduced to operation, therefore they are in the Service Catalogue. Have in mind that this is the only profitable phase in this lifecycle perspective. Services that are no more needed are retired through Transition process

The objective is to manage the information contained within the Service Catalog and to ensure that it is accurate and reflects the current details, status, interfaces and dependencies of all services that are being run, or are in preparation to run in the live environment.

It has to be available and comprehensive to all parties involved, therefore it is divided into:

  • Business Service Catalog – A customer view: IT services delivered to the customer, including relations to business units and business processes it supports.
  • Technical Service Catalog – IT Services related to customer – related with infrastructure: supporting and shared services and CIs that support the provision of service. This view should not be presented to a customer.

KPIs , critical success factors and main risks of Service Catalogue Management process remind me a little of a former version Configuration Management and it's CMDB. Service Catalogue is pretty difficult to create and maintain, and yet, everyone already talks about it, and there are some people that say they have it.

Things become even more complex when we know that Service Portfolio encompasses Service Pipeline, Service Catalogue and retirement processes. For all this we have to have operative connections to a lot of acronyms: SKMS, CMS... Better part of it is served via the Service Level Management, the process that gave birth to portfolio and catalogue since the last version.

All this looks a bit confusing at a first glance, but when you seriously get into it you really get scared ;-)

Simplified, ITIL V3 is very customer oriented. There is a Service in every of the five books title (OK, I wanted this to be funny). Most of the stuff is hard to achieve, but in the end of the day, with V3, Service providers know better where to go and what to do. The mark is up there, everyone can decide for himself how close he wants to approach it.

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