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Seven steps to develop an IT service catalog: Template for success

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Effective service catalog management includes focusing on your primary audience

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While service consumers don't have to be your only audience, they are your primary audience. When it comes to service catalog management, always err on the side of making things as easy as possible for them. If you fail to provide information that makes services easy for your primary audience to use, they will go off on some other path, such as creating redundant services.

For every piece of information you add to a catalog page for a service, ask yourself, "Does a consumer need to know this?" After you've done that, ask yourself, "If this consumer were outside my firewall, would they still need to know this?" That latter question will not only help you filter things down to the really important information, but may cause you to add things, too.

If you were the external consumer, what things would you want to see to build up your trust? When we're dealing only with internal consumers, sometimes we leave information out because the tolerance level for inadequate information is higher. That doesn't mean people don't get frustrated, it just means they're forced to deal with it because they have no other choice. Don't take that path. Think external first. Make using the catalog a positive experience for your primary audience and get the added bonus that when the time comes to expose things externally, you've already done all the work.

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