Best practice for categories & subcategories

I'm interested to see how other firms have their categories and subcategories. I'll start....

Category (What you want to achieve)

Subcategory (The particular application, asset, request you are looking to achieve)


  • Howdy !

    I love these kind of thought leadership topics. I think what you've suggested is a great way to approach things. I have some additional suggestions from other points of view.

    When we think about these categories, we should go back to where and why we have them. Let's start with ITSM(IT Service Management). Focusing on that last part, Service Management, we're here to... Manage Services. (support them, too)

    With that in mind, it's beneficial to link your Category/Subcategory lists to Services that you manage and support. And use the Cat/Sub in the context of Broad/Specific.

    A great example, which you have listed, is Hardware

    One of the most common services that IT will manage/support is Hardware, but that's pretty broad. While you can discern from all of your tickets you address how many are attributed to supporting Hardware, it would be nice to see what specific kinds of Hardware are attributing to that total. That's where Subcategory comes in!

    Subcategory can help you continue to identify what services you're supporting at a more granular level. You can stay somewhat broad here, but you're still narrowing down. (it's up to you)  A good example would be saying Laptop. It's a Subcategory of Hardware. This is much more specific, considering I might support dozens of different Hardware types. But... I may want to get even MORE granular. Here enters where Custom Fields can help. 

    When we enter the realm of Custom Fields, we're getting very open to the requirements and maturity of the organization. Or even just how much the Service Managers love collecting data. But there are nearly INFINITE scenarios where you can apply Custom Fields. Let's continue with our previous examples.

    We identified the Category of Hardware, the Subcategory of Laptop. Now to define, "Well we support many different makes and models of laptops and I need to know which ones are generating the most support tickets..."  So we can make a Custom Field, for example, Laptop Type. And within that, we can support values such as HP, Dell, Mac...etc.

    This enables you to collect, down to the manufacturer, what specific Laptop Type is generating the most tickets in your organization.

    There are many more things that will enrich this data that are separate from Categories, such as Resolution Codes. I hope this was helpful! I'd love to hear more from the rest of the THWACK community.