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Define the catalog design maintenance process

Good catalog design maintenance and ongoing iteration are essential to maintaining your world‑class design. Ensure it grows and changes as your organization does.

Key insights

  • Manage catalog item change requests as “services” to service owners.
  • Let fulfillers and owners make minor changes to catalog items without going through development.
  • Track metrics that highlight performance gaps and fulfillment process redundancies.
  • Conduct quarterly “user review board” meetings to evaluate feedback.

Many organizations don’t have a service catalog maintenance process in place for making timely catalog updates. So they call on the catalog manager to make ad hoc changes without a clear mechanism to identify or prevent issues.

To avoid that, create a process to:

  1. Make incremental, minor fixes at the catalog item level
  2. Make proactive, major design changes at the catalog level

Make incremental fixes at the catalog‑item level

Catalog managers don’t always have visibility into the business context or customer needs to maintain catalog items. They must educate service owners on their responsibility to maintain the relevance and actionability of catalog items.

To simplify this, we recommend offering “catalog management as a service” to service owners and customers. Allow service owners to make requests to modify categories and catalog items. For example, all customers can report an issue, but only service owners can:

  • Modify categories
  • Add categories
  • Modifiy catalog items
  • Add catalog items

You must also define user criteria so you can manage who can request changes to catalog items.

Many organizations limit edit rights to the catalog manager and administrators, which often leads to long delays to implement minor changes. Instead, provide catalog editor rights to service owners so they can make changes and manage the catalog items they own. Use the Service Catalog item designer for a structured design and publishing process to ensure consistency.

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Use the “Item designer category request” option from the ServiceNow demo data to allow service providers to request a new category. Once it’s approved, they can create and manage their own catalog items.

Make catalog‑level design changes

A common pitfall in service catalog maintenance is to wait until the design is completely broken before fixing it. This often leads to a complete revamp of the Service Catalog design. Instead, ask your design team to meet at least every quarter and look for trends and insights that indicate whether the catalog is meeting business objectives (see Stage 1). Quarterly design team meetings should:

  • Review their progress toward the project’s measures of success (see Stage 1)
  • Review customer feedback (usually collected by the UX experts in design team)
  • Review predictive metrics that highlight the redundancies and performance gaps (see Table 3)
  • Propose design changes to accelerate performance
  • Create and approve a plan to roll out changes

Track the metrics listed in Table 3 to predict your catalog’s performance gaps and to highlight its redundancies.

Table 3: Predictive metrics to highlight performance gaps and redundancies

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Use the ServiceNow Assessments plugin to gather customer feedback using targeted surveys

“The effectiveness of your maintenance processes depends on how well defined your design principles are, how well the design team works together, and how clear your catalog objectives and measures of success are.”

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Explore additional phases

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