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Catalog items categories


chrisnutt
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Hi all,

I am going through the switch on process at the moment and I have a question that I'd like to put to the forum.

Does anyone think it would be worthwhile to be able to set categories on catalog items?

We could potentially have hundreds of services in our implementation as we will be using it in other areas of the business, not just IT. It was clear there would be too many just by setting up one area's services. So, talking to our switch on specialist, he suggested grouping services together as one service and have catalog items for each 'Service'. For example, instead of having ITIL style services, we'd just have a service called IT Support and under that catalog items for email faults, software requests and so on. This works well, except that you don't seem able to assign specific categories to different catalog items.

For the time being, I have got around this by setting the category in the business process for specific catalog items I want to categorise, but that will get messy pretty quickly!

Just looking to see if others would be interested in this. Or indeed, suggestions from your experience of similar situations?

Chris

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Hi @chrisnutt

Thanks for the post and for posing the question.

I think there are a couple of things here. 

1. The organisation of your services / catalog items into categories for the benefit of your customers via the portals. 

So here you can group your Services into Service Categories so that on the Portal, a customer can choose to filter their services by say Business Services or People Services (HR), Facilities etc, which makes it easier for a customer to find all the services which are provided by different functions in your business, and then under each Service you can define the options they have when raising requests (Catalog Items)

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 15.25.59.png

2. The Category options on the Service form and per request type, whilst they could be seen as being used to apply a specific category for requests raised against the service and that request type, they actually act as a way of filtering which categories (logging and closing) will be visible on requests which are logged against that service. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 15.29.05.png

So in the example above, i can limit my closure categories to those which fall under the Projects Branch in my category structure - so that when my analysts are working on a Service Request raised against this particular Service, they can only see and choose from one's which are under the starting point i have specified here. 

This hopefully makes it cleaner in environments where you have multiple teams (IT, HR, Finance etc) having their own services, and they see no reason why analysts in other functions who do not support their services, seeing category options which are not relevant to them. 

I hope that makes sense?

Finally i think you are referring to an option on the Catalog Item configuration screen which would allow you to apply a category to the request when a request is raised against this Catalog item?  As you rightly point out this is not currently available, but you can as you say use the BPM option to Update the Request Category so that the Category is correctly set when the related business process is invoked for each catalog item. 

We don't have anything currently scheduled to have this option added to the Catalog Item configuration screen but as and when this progresses i will post back here. 

Just to advise you, if you did not already know - we encourage customers to post these ideas here, so that we can get buy in and support from other Hornbill customers and this helps us prioritise which stories / changes we implement first so please do continue to post ideas and suggestions, and i'm sure you'll see from other posts, other customers contribute and this helps to move those feature requests along

Steve

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

I think it would be really beneficial to have the ability to add a specific category to catalog items.

We have four or five service categories set up and I have also set the category filtering as you describe (I think I described that bit originally very badly!) and I am having real difficulty in ensuring all our requests get logged with the correct category without giving the end user a prompt that doesn't always make sense to them.

The example I have been wrestling with today is I have a service called IT Account and File Management. Technically, this is two services rolled into one - account management and file management - but I felt if I had "permissions" under account management and "errors accessing the file server" under file management users would be confused so I rolled them together.

Under this service, I have a request catalog item called 'File permissions change'. I want it to be categorised simply as "IT -> Account Admin -> File Permissions, (the service is limited to IT -> Account Admin) but I have to either prompt the user to choose a category from a list which includes things like "New starter" and "Leaver" which have no business under this catalog item or do some business process gymnastics. I'd love to just assign the category to the catalog item and move on to next one!

Hopefully, others will feel the same.

Thanks

Chris

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Hi @chrisnutt

We are looking into this option, but i would suggest for the time being the next best option would be to use the Business Process linked to each Catalog Item to define the correct Category - this way you don't need to reply on either the analyst or the customer to make the right choice. 

There are two options here. 

1. If you have a BP specific to each catalog item then you can use the Update Request > Logging Category operation and choose the Category you want it to be assigned to.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 18.51.32.png

2. If you are using a BP which is common across different catalog items then you may need to use the following to get what you need to ensure you are setting the correct logging category.

Use the Request Get Info > Request Details option followed by a Decision node, and then define Custom Expressions against the Catalog item name / id as shown below - here you can see i have extended the number of decisions possible by chaining to two decision nodes together using a no match join.

 Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 19.00.50.png

This can be a little time consuming to remember you can right click then cut and paste groups of nodes between business processes which will save you having to create it time and again (just change the expression conditions as needed per business process).

It can also look a little messy on the BP designer, so you can right click and add a new group, into which you can group all the nodes together, then collapse the group to look like this in the designer

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 19.03.32.png

Expanded it looks like this:

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 19.05.11.png

Hopefully this gives you something you can work with for the time being, and we'll post back here with progress on setting these in the catalog item configuration view

Thanks

Steve

 

 

 

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