ITIL® is a set of practices that aim to align IT services with the needs of the business through a framework specifically designed to provide service value, continuous improvement and best practices to IT departments. To this end, ITIL® provides a certification journey that takes professionals from foundation to master level. In total there are 5 levels, each one building on the previous one of which is the ITIL V3 Practitioner certification. But what is this certification, exactly? Read on to find out.
ITIL® is managed by Axelos, a joint venture between the UK cabinet office and Capita plc. This joint venture manages some of the most sought after certifications in the world including Prince2 and ITIL®. Founded in 2013, it aims to be a global leader in providing best practices with a mission of increasing effectiveness through content, guidance, and qualifications derived from the experience gathered in the field.
ITIL® follows a progression path which allows students to build upon their knowledge. The ITIL® V3 Practitioner certification sits right after the Foundation certification and precedes the Intermediate certification. From there on, students can go on to obtain the Expert and Master certification levels sequentially. To this end, those looking to sit for the Practitioner course and subsequent examination must hold either ITIL® V3 or V4 Foundation certificate.
Whilst Axelos is currently upgrading the ITIL® certification to its fourth iteration, when it comes to the Practitioner certification the Version 3 is still more than valid, with Axelos stating that 17 credits acquired in doing V3 courses will allow you to fast-track your V4 certification when this becomes available. This is due to the fact that a number of principles, activities, and processes covered in the v3 are required to better comprehend and understand the updated framework which is covered in version 4. In fact, there is no ITIL® V4 Practitioner standalone certification, with V3 playing a key role in acquiring the V4 certification when this is launched.
The course itself covers the CSI (Continual Service Improvement) as well are three separate crucial areas that should be taken into account when undertaking improvement initiatives which include Measurement and Metrics, Communication, and OCM (Organisational Change Management).
The Continual Service Improvement module is one of five certifications that falls within the remit of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. Apart from CSI, the ITIL® Service Lifecycle includes Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation. The CSI is an approach on how improvement initiatives can be structured including strategically reviewing services and/or products by way of organization and execution. Furthermore, the CSI can guide ITIL® practitioners on the technology and tools that can be employed to support any such initiatives including risk evaluation and identifying the critical success factors.
As an IT professional knows, introducing changes, even if they are towards improving an existing system can wreak havoc and chaos if not managed properly. Teething issues, bad requirements, and lack of clear strategy are some of the issues that beset many improvement initiatives. To this end, ITIL® offers a seven-step process that can quell the mishaps that such implementations can bring forward. The seven steps are as follows;
- Identify the strategy for improvement
- Define what you will measure
- Gather the data
- Process the data
- Analyze the information and data
- Present and use the information
- Implement improvement
The three other areas covered in ITIL® V3 Practitioner aim to improve the service levels IT departments are able to deliver to their users when undertaking initiatives aimed at improving both products and services. Together, Measurement and Metrics, Communication, and OCM (Organisational Change Management) can really help professionals deliver better at a much higher standard.
Measuring and taking note of metrics is the key to growth as ultimately you cannot improve what you cannot measure. Selecting the right metrics is equally important as tracking the wrong ones can do more damage than good by giving the false impression of improvement and as such forgoing any opportunities for improvement. Being able to communicate is equally crucial as teams and members must be able to work together on the same wavelength rather than as disparate hubs to ensure that requirements, strategy, and implementations are communicated accurately.
Having a change management structure ties everything up together nicely by having a common system and set of principles to ensure smooth implementations and correct communication throughout organisations which are often made up of people with different backgrounds and ideologies that somehow must be able to communicate and equally importantly understand each other to ensure the success of the initiatives being undertaken.
To help with this, the ITIL Practitioner certification offers a set of guiding principles that when implemented allows practitioners and professionals to work cohesively and in harmony with each other. Whilst some companies may have their own set of values and principles, following the principles championed by ITIL can go a long way in ensuring success.
Moreover, having a framework, or a set of guiding principles can really help in ensuring you are able to deliver consistently at a service level that is of the inline with the demands of today’s industry. To this end, ITIL Practitioner offers 9 Guiding Principles that allow you to better handle the demands difficult decisions in service management typically ask of people.
- Focus on value
- Design for experience
- Start where you are
- Work historically
- Progress iteratively
- Observe directly
- Keep it simple
Many professionals would do well to heed the principles set forth by ITIL, not just those in the IT industry but anyone offering a service. This goes on to show how much value ITIL can bring to its students and the organizations they work for, more so in a market where every little advantage can help companies succeed.