Designing the service catalog - The four essential building blocks

This is the third in a five-part series on Service Portals in educational settings. The fourth post will be published Wednesday, April 27, 2022.  Read the previous posts:

Post 1: Improve Self-Service to Increase Student and Faculty Satisfaction

Post 2: Building a Self-Service Portal

Now with the portal’s approach decided and its components finalized, it is time to build the service catalog.

designing the service catalog While working on your service catalog, there are a few important components. As suggested by Educause’s report “The Higher Education IT Service Catalog,” the four major service catalog components include:

  1. The service category, which is a division of closely associated services. Typically, a service catalog has anywhere from six to ten service categories, and this categorization makes it easier for end users to find the service they are looking for. There is no exact rule on how these services have to be categorized, so we have provided you with a glimpse of how various universities have categorized their services below.
  2. As defined by ITIL, a service is a means of delivering value to the end user. Examples of services include setting up a new email account, requesting a software license, etc.
  3. The service offering is the means or technology options available for the end user during the time of availing a service. 
  4. The service attributes include all key information about the service. Some key attributes listed by portals across universities include the following:
    • A brief introduction of the service along with its description
    • The advantages the service delivers to the intended user
    • The availability of the service
    • The intended audience of the service
    • Any pricing associated with the service, if applicable
    • The SLAs associated with the service
    • Means to request the service, such as a link to the web form, the contact details, or access to platforms
    • List of related services and knowledge articles, which we will explore in more detail in our next post


So, now that you have learned about the four critical components your service catalog must have and have seen examples, you can kick-start your journey toward an effective service catalog.

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