Can’t help it – but to reinitiate the topic.

ITIL V3 documentation could have handled these topics much better.

I introduced this topic in a previous blog here – on the confusion created about positioning the service porfolio – either in Service Strategy phase or Service design phase.

My discussions with one of the authors of ITIL V3 – Service Design – Mr. Colin Rudd has clarified the same to a great extent- and I blogged about that too.

But the ITIL V3 documentation has much more confusing elements such as below:

  • Designing Supporting systems, especially Service portfolio (Sec 3.6.5 – Service Design): After talking about the statuses a service can undergo through out the life cycle (and as should be updated in the Service portfolio) , the section explains that those Services which are between ‘chartered’ and ‘operational’ will be included in the Service catalog. So we have to understand that even the services in the stages of ‘design’, ‘develop’, ‘build’, ‘test’ etc are also to be included in the Service catalog.

  The same section goes ahead and explains – Service pipeline contains ‘those business requirements  that has not become services released to live environment’. Does this indicate that the services in the design/develop stages are part of Service pipeline also? So where is the clear differentiation/boundary between Service pipeline and Service catalog?

The same confusion has been pictorially enhanced by the diagram in the Service strategy book – which explains the services in service portfolio (Figure 4.11- Service Strategy publication) – which clearly shows overlap between Service pipeline and Service catalog; as well as between Service catalog and retired services! But why?

If such overlap exists – an explanation of the same would have helped.

  • The same section in Service Design book (Sec 3.6.5) gives the following confusing statements. ‘Although Service Portfolio is designed by Service Design, it is owned and managed by Service Strategy within the Service portfolio management process.’ And, a few lines below, it states that: ‘Service Catalog management must ensure that all details in Service portfolio are accurate and up-to-date…’

  Now let us read the section of ‘Service catalog management’ in the same book. It says nothing about portfolio in the objective or scope.

 The scope clearly says ‘..all services that are being transitioned or have been transitioned into the live environment’. Doesnt this mean it doesnot include services in the design stage? But the further section titles ‘policies, principles and basic concepts says: ‘Once a service is chartered, the service design produces the specifications of the service – it is at this point, the service is added into the service catalog’!

So at this moment, will the service be in both ‘Service pipeline’ and ‘Service catalog’?

  It is confusing to me at least!

I don’t think a single -plane service catalog concept can address/explain the indicated overlap satisfactorily.  My experience has shown that there should be (at least) two levels of Service catalog (a practical derivation – could not see if it is indicated in ITIL) :

  • A Service catalog which lists and defines the entire set of Services offered/delivered by the Service provider – as  ‘chartered’ within Service strategy.
  • Another Service catalog(s) – customized ones for each customer showing the services ‘agreed’ with that customer.

  I feel a single service catalog scenario can only be satisfactorily explained in a ‘Internal Service provider’ case.

Will blog in detail about this view point soon!