Owning ITIL's Catalogues
In the IT Skeptic’s model, there are four levels of catalogue, which represent levels of maturity. Because ITIL2 and ITIL3 use “catalogue” slightly differently I thought about using another name, but “catalogue” exactly describes what people expect to find in such a document.
• Current Catalogue: an “as-is” snapshot that defines the current set of services being delivered. This includes legacy services which we have no intention of offering to any more users. It forms an essential artefact to focus staff on the service-oriented mindset - a touchstone - and it defines the “as-is” state. Target audience: IT.
• Brochure Catalogue: a high-level document written in business terms that defines what is on offer to the business. It is used by Relationship Managers to provide a basis for discussions. It is used by staff as a point of reference. In ITIL3 terminology, this is the Service Pipeline, plus those parts of the Current Catalogue that we want to continue to offer . It provides a definition of the “to-be” objective. Target audience: Customers, Users.
• Technical Catalogue: a union of Current and Brochure catalogues to describe all services actual and potential, with extensive supplementary information. It is used in the ITIL processes. The SLAs - once you have them - form a part of it, and there is much else: critical components, related services, escalation paths, available training etc. Target audience: IT.
• Automated Catalogue: an interactive tool that allows users to browse and order services. In the most advanced manifestation, services are provisioned in response to user ordering. This idea is all the rage in late 2008, although the technology has been available for a decade – think ASP. As with all of these things the technology is the easy part. The business model, the means and terms of chargeback, and most of all organisational acceptance and uptake are the real issues. And the automated tool still needs to be backed up with the three documents above. These levels complement each other, not replace each other. Target audience: Users.