Your service catalogue only has value for your organization when it’s up to date. But how do you ensure that your team actually makes time to regularly update the service catalogue? My advice: use the agile principles.

Agile: individuals and interactions over processes and tools

The principles of the Agile Manifesto are very useful for improving your service catalogue. In this blog post, I will focus on the principle of ‘Individuals and interactions over processes and tools’. How does this principle help you keep your service catalogue relevant and up to date?

Use the following three tips to create an agile service catalogue.

Involving your customers after the implementation will be your incentive to keep adjusting your services in line with the customer’s wishes.

1. Collaborate with your customers during the project

The main goal of your service catalogue is to help your customers do their work better. To achieve this, it is important that the selection and description of your services is in line with your customers’ expectations. How?

Set up a customer panel. When designing your service catalogue, ask a broad range of representative customers to come together. At several moments in the design and implementing stages of your project, ask this group of customers for feedback.

You will find that your customers will have lots of practical tips, for instance for names and classifications, because their feedback is based on the search terms they use in their day-to-day work.

2. Assign these 2 roles for maintaining your service catalogue

Once you’ve implemented the service catalogue, your next challenge is to keep it up to date. You do this by assigning two main responsibilities: updating the content, and maintaining the technical side of the service catalogue.

Updating the content means checking a few things, and adjusting them where necessary: does the service catalogue still contain the right services? Should we add or remove a few? Are the descriptions and accompanying images still up to date?

Maintaining the technical side of the service catalogue entails other tasks. This role focuses on questions like: does the organizations categorization still make sense? Is it user-friendly? Can your customers find what they’re looking for? How does the service catalogue integrate with other systems?

3. Keep in touch with your customers after implementation

Once you’ve implemented your service catalogue, you want to keep your customers’ feedback coming. The best way to do this?

Continue to use a customer panel, and have it chaired by the people responsible for maintaining the service catalogue. You don’t have to use the same set of customers as for the implementation phase.

Have the customer panel come together periodically to discuss whether your current service catalogue is still in line with your customers’ wishes – and with the goals of your supporting department. The customer panel does not have to be large, as long as it’s a representative group of customers. Feel free to vary this group’s composition from time to time.

Involving your customers after the implementation will be your incentive to keep adjusting your services in line with the customer’s wishes. When set up right, your service catalogue will become a tool to promote collaboration with your customers. Which in turn will contribute to better customer satisfaction by making your customers feel more involved with your services.

How do you handle requests for services not in your service catalogue?

Want to know more about agile service management?

Check out what we wrote about this earlier:

• Blog: Agile Service Management: the end of ITIL?
• Blog: A more agile Incident Management process
• Blog: Agile Change Management – is it viable?
• E-book: Agile service management: the complete guide