The Service Portfolio and Portfolio Management

The Service Portfolio represents the complete set of services that is offered and managed by a service provider.  It corresponds to the entire lifecycle of all services and is made up of three sections.  The first, the Service Pipeline (proposed or in development) denotes the future stance the organization is going to take in meeting customer requirements and aligning to the future business strategy.

Next is the Service Catalog (live or available for deployment) which is what the service provider is currently delivering and maintaining to meet the organizations current and near future goals and objectives. 

Finally we have the Retired Services, which have been deemed no longer valuable enough to sustain their continued delivery, but may need to be continued to be supported for some defined time to meet some regulatory or legal requirement.

The Service Portfolio is an integral tool in helping us define perspective and position. It is a tool for our customers/business and acts as a means for comparing our services against our competitors. What’s that? You’re an internal IT service provider and therefore are not in competition?  Just remember, you are always in competition.  There will always be someone knocking at the door saying they can do it better, faster and cheaper.  The Service Portfolio is not only a tool for your customer but for you as well and should be the basis of a decision framework which allows you to answer the following strategic questions:

  • Who are my customers and what services should I be offering to them?
  • Why should a customer buy these services?
  • Why should they buy them from us?
  • What is the pricing or chargeback structure?
  • What are our strengths, weaknesses, priorities and risks?
  • How should our resources and capabilities be allocated?

Given the above, the purpose of Portfolio Management is to ensure that we are providing the right mix of services to align and balance with the overall investment in IT and that those services ensure the ability to create the appropriate business outcomes. In this way we also align the design, transition and operational activities with the value of our services.

Portfolio Management also provides the organization an accurate and up to date mechanism to analyze services based on risk and return, evaluate how each service will enable the business to achieve its overall strategy and track the investment in each service throughout its entire lifecycle thus ensuring efficient and effective use of limited resources throughout the entire service lifecycle.

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