Review of Service Catalog, by Karen Ferris, itSMF Australia Board Member


Karen’s comment:

One of the testimonials on the back of this book says “at last a practical independent hands on guide to design, develop, maintain and almost universal service catalog!”

That about sums it up. I love this book. Anyone who is working in (or about to work in) the area of service portfolio management and service catalogue management should have this book on their desk. This is one of these books that you will see dog-eared, well worn and notated through by the owner.
This book provides a full understanding of key concepts and definitions including assistance with the burning question, what is a service?
In addition to the knowledge and experience of the author that is included in this book, Mark has undertaken extensive research and referenced many frameworks including:
MOF, USMBOK, ISM, COBIT, as well as ITIL and the ISO/IEC 2000 standard.
Whereas ITIL tends to talk about the service catalogue on the singular and therefore lead people to believe that they must develop a single catalogue, this book describes how there are a number of service catalogue types that can exist within one organisation. Eight service catalogue types are described in detail and the service portfolio pyramid shows how all the pieces of the service portfolio. Service catalogue puzzle fit together.
A framework for creating a service catalogue is provided including the elusive business case to justify the investment. The activities for designing and developing the catalogue are explained in detail.
The inclusion of the comprehensive guidance for the on-going management of the catalogue is one aspect the sets this book apart from some of the other publications on this topic. The service catalogue prices and the service level management process along with the interdependcies and interfaces between them are explained in detail to ensure the reader has all the information required to ensure the service catalogue and the services contained within it are maintained and managed.
The chapter on technology includes discussion of SaaS and cloud computing. All the repository types, from spread sheet to specialist software are compared and contrasted allowing the reader to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The book includes practical examples throughout and has a real down to earth approach to the subject.
In the Epilogue of the book, Mark writes “as a final thought to quote the maxim “you cannot manage what you do not measure. It is better to look ait this different way “you cannot affect what you do not manage” Manage service catalogue (and service portfolio) well to ensure that the services used by the organisation and its customers are providing the best possible value at the best possible cost achieving the best possible results”.
The book will help you achieve that goal. It has prime and place on my bookshelf.
Add to all that the 8 white papers offered for free by the author HERE that has earned the review an extra 1/2 star!

You can purchase this book from Van Haren Publishing HERE

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