Finally ITIL Expert

Finally - the last ITIL v3 Intermediate certificate (MALC) was passed the other day! The long and winding road to an ITIL Expert in IT Service Management certification has come to an end.

The MALC test is definitely tougher than all the Lifecycle and Capability exams and a worthy finish. Although being a multiple choice exam I think it was close to the managerial level needed for the v2 Service Manager exams.

Some 4 months ago I wrote about the different exams available for ITIL v3 and shared some thoughts regarding my plan to earn the ITIL Expert. After taken, and passed, every exam available in ITL v3 I must say that it feels great :-)

If you have earned your ITIL Expert certification this same way (without bridging) please feel free to leave a comment. It would be nice to hear what you think.


David :-)


Do you think the new ITIL v3 pins are nice?

ITIL® V3 pins from left to right:Foundation, Capability, Lifecycle, Expert, and Master

I happened to stumble upon this at Exin (one of the leading Examination Institutes that are accredited by APMG on ITIL v3). The design of their new ITIL v3 pins has been presented. I received their v3 Foundation pin when i passed my Foundation Bridge exam and to be honest I didn't like the colour compared to the v2 pin. It was less colourful than the v2 predecessor and felt a bit "bleached". Now I realise why. The new pins have all received colours from the v3 Core books. This makes not only (in MHO) the pins look a bit less colourful than the v2 pins but also to have similar colours that are not very distinctive. So far Foundation, Capability, Lifecycle and Expert pins are available. Any readers that have earned any of the new pins? What do you think?

Best regards,

David :-)


What do you think of ITIL v3 certifications?

The new qualification scheme for ITIL v3 has now been out for some time and the leading training providers have begun delivering courses on the new Intermediate level (at least here in Sweden). This new set of courses made publicly available during the next couple of months will probably raise some questions regarding certification and perhaps some interest in some real life experience of this new qualification scheme. I have not found much to read except the "official sources" about this subject and therefor I want to share my personal experience of this new set of certifications.

A couple of months ago I embarked on the long and winding road towards an ITIL v3 Expert certification. I'm well aware of the bridging possibility between the v1/v2 Service Manager and ITIL v3 Expert. This blog post is not about this way of achieving the ITIL Expert diploma. It only covers the "all v3" qualification and is not about the bridge. I thought this to be a fun way of checking my knowledge regarding ITIL v3 against the defined "standards" of APMG/OGC and in doing so also to fulfill a personal goal.
Before any critics of certification stop reading or come barking at me I must say that I do not mean that certification always is a valid proof of knowledge (and even to a less extent of experience) and that I've long time ago realized that a lot of people have the skills without having the diplomas and vice versa.

Credits are earned by attending a course held by an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) and passing the corresponding exam. All who have passed the Foundation level exam on v3 (or added a bridging exam to the v2 Foundation exam) have earned 2 credits. Each exam passed on Intermediate level is worth 3 credits (per Lifecycle course) and 4 credits (per Capability course). The difference between the two streams (Lifecycle vs Capability) is (in short) that focus in the Lifecycle courses is on a "managerial and supervisory" perspective and that the Capability courses have a more "day-to-day" perspective and are similar to the old clustered Practitioner courses from version 2. The Lifecycle course goes through each process/function from that particular phase of the Lifecycle. The Capability course can cluster processes/functions together from different phases of the Lifecycle if they are closely related. The difference shows both in value (3 vs 4 credits) and in time in the classroom (at most ATO's 3 days vs 5 days). If you are one of those holding a v2 Practitioner certification (cluster or single) you are able to count some credits for that achievement.

Because of the overlapping of courses (Capability and Lifecycle) in v3 and also of the v2 Practitioner exams you will not be able to count every credit earned in the scheme. An exact view of how many credits you need to reach the ITIL Expert title can be checked with the Credit Profiler which is an interactive web page where you can click the exams you have passed and get a view of what those are worth on your way towards an ITIL Expert diploma. The truth is that I already have earned more credits than the needed (22) to achieve the ITIL Expert diploma already but I can not account for more than 20.
This is a thing to observe for all you people aspiring to become ITIL Experts. You must earn (as it says in the scheme) "a balanced set" of certifications on the Intermediate level. If your goal is only to achieve the ITIL Expert title you should absolutely use the Credit Profiler to avoid any redundancy in your certifications. I personally think that a lot of people will not focus on the ITIL Expert title but on covering both the Lifecycle perspective and the Capability perspective of some processes/functions. Thus attending both courses (e.g. RCV and ST) and taking both exams. A mandatory course and exam that stands between each candidate and the title is "Managing Across the LifeCycle" (MALC). This exam is (if comparing the Blooms taxonomy rating) a more difficult one than the other Intermediate level exams. Courses will (when publicly available in the beginning of 2009) probably be 5 days long and include a lot of excersices that are to prove comprehensive knowledge in the ITIL/ITSM domain. Having the advantage of working for an ATO and therefore having possibility to take the exam earlier I'm up for this exam in a couple of weeks... :-)

After sharing a bit of my own experience (so far) I'm very interested in hearing comments, suggestions and not the least experiences from you guys and girls out there. What do you think of the new ITIL certifications?

Best regards,

David :-)

P.S. If you don't want to post a comment maybe you can fill in your current level of certification in the form on the top to the right. This is just a little poll of my own... D.S.


Long time and no posts...

I haven't been posting for a really long time. I must admit blogging was both harder and much more timeconsuming that I had first thought. The time to produce a lot of posts has simply not been there. Rather than to produce lots of posts that I don't think are good I have not written any posts. I admit to be a bit pedantic...and fully occupied with family, friends, housekeeping and last but not least work.

Fortunatly I have the opportunity to work with some of the best ITIL experts in Sweden so the ITIL part of my life is really active and flourishing although this has not been presented in this blog. I must say that I'm proud to a be part of BiTA, the leading ITIL training and ITIL consultant firm in Sweden.

Will there be any more posts? I don't really know, but I will try to post some more soon. I hope to find more time this autum to share my thoughts of Life, ITIL and other interesting topics.


David :-)


Another ITIL version 3 book has been published

The book is entitled "The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle" and is written by Sharon Taylor, chief architect of ITIL version 3.

This is an excerpt from the presentation of the book:

"This official introduction is your gateway to ITIL. It explains the basic concept of IT Service Management and the place of ITIL, introducing the new lifecycle model, which puts into context all the familiar ITIL processes from the earlier books. This title introduces ITSM and ITIL, explains why the service lifecycle approach is best practice in today's ITSM, and makes a persuasive case for change.

After showing high level process models, it takes the reader through the main principles that govern the new version: lifecycle stages, governance and decision making, then the principles behind design and deployment, and operation and optimisation."

The book can be purchased here.

Regards, David :-)


3 or 5 stages in the Service Lifecycle?

The question arose at work the other day. I'll present my thoughts on the subject below.

The lifecycle perspective is really not entirelly new. Two ITIL version 2 books, Application Management and ICT Infrastructure Management, definatly had the lifecycle perspective although it was not applied to the service but to the application and the infrastructural components. What is new in version 3 is that it is applied to the IT Service. All 5 ITIL version 3 core books fit nicely in the new Service Lifecycle concept (see image).

Having said that does not mean I think there are necesarilly 5 stages in the Service Lifecycle. On the contrary. I would like to point out that the books should not be seen each as one of five stages.

It is clear when reading the books that Service Strategy (SS) is NOT a stage while Service Design (SD), Service Transition (ST) and Service Operation (SO) are. That is also clearly stated in the ITIL Glossary (v3.1.24). The glossary uses the term "stage" on SD, ST and SO. Here is a quote from the 3rd edition of the ITIL Refresh News on the subject:

"It [Service Strategy] also helps them make the business case for investments in the Lifecycle phases of Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation, and in the ongoing activity of Continual Service Improvement"

If not 5, then how many stages are there? Can we then state that there are 3 stages i the Service Lifecycle? Maybe not. The glossary state that Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is a stage in the lifecycle. I think this is not so strange considering that CSI is essential for the improvement of the service. Another aspect is that CSI is iterative in itself (PDCA, remember?) even if the SD, ST and SO should happen to be completely "linear". Something that has influenced the IT industry in general and the development of IT systems (and services) in particular is the iterative approach. The iterative approach is definitely in ITIL version 3 although I think it is not being used consistently in all aspects of the framework. One thing that the iterative approach does is that it weaves together SD, ST, SO and CSI. Improvement is done until the service is retired.

The difference between SS and the other books would be that SS preceeds the others and is answering the "Why?" more than the "How?". If we apply this on the Service Lifecycle it means that SS is the "base" for the others. Of course one could argue that the decision to "give life" to a service should be seen as part of that services lifecycle, but to me that is to much of a phylosophycal argument.

So the answer to the question as I see it is "No". Neither 3 or 5 but 4. 4 (SD, ST, SO and CSI) highly integrated iterative stages of a lifecycle that is the realisation of a strategy (SS).

What do you think?

I will return with more on version 3 and what I see as important, interesting or confusing in coming posts. Stay tuned.

Regards, David :-)


ITIL version 3 glossary available for download

The OGC ITIL glossary for version 3 has been made available for public download at the OGC site after you've accepted the terms of use. The glossary has been used during the writing of the version 3 books and to my knowledge it was one of the first things that the authors agreed on. It has been both trimmed and extended and it contains references to the books in the version 3 suite. I think it will be of great value in helping us all to use the same definitions and acronyms in the ITIL community.

Regards, David :-)

Copyright disclamer:

"The OGC logo® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce." "ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark, and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office." "IT Infrastructure Library® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency which is now part of the Office of Government Commerce."