Section 6.10.3 Training of the Service Strategy core volume states the following:
Training in service management helps service providers to build and maintain their service management capability. Training needs must be matched to the requirements for competence and professional development.
The official ITIL qualification scheme enables organizations to develop the competence of their personnel through approved training courses. The courses help students to gain knowledge of ITIL best practices, develop their competencies and gain a recognized qualification.
In this item we will review the business benefit of gaining the ITIL Expert Qualification from a delegate’s point of view.
In late 2008 the organisation I was working for decided that they wanted to embrace the ITIL V3 standards and decided it would be good to have on the books a bona fide ITIL V3 Expert. I was approached to see if I was up for the task and accepted with little hesitation. I could not pass up the opportunity for a raft of recognised qualifications to add to my CV for free, and so my ITIL V3 journey began.
Between then and early 2011 I completed all five lifecycle courses and passed the Managing Across the Lifecycle exam to gain Expert status. So, how was my journey?
In terms of my learning experience there were, as with most things, positives and negatives. For all the Lifecycle Stage courses and the Managing Across the Lifecycle course I used the same training provider. The individuals delivering the training were on the whole very passionate and helpful.
I observed an area for improvement whilst attending a public course where delegates were joined by two new recruits into the Training Provider who were sitting in to observe how the presenter taught the same material as their previous employer. In principle this is a sound approach to take to ensure that the training delivery method is standardised however throughout the course there were multiple occasions where these individuals were challenging the learning style of the presenter as opposed to the content of the course.
This type of classroom based learning is always a good opportunity to network with similar minded professionals and gain an insight in to how other organisations approach the same challenges. It also serves as a mechanism to obtain feedback on other people’s experiences of the same journey of discovery. One interesting observation I took from this was a reflection on the V3 qualification scheme as a whole.
There was a delegate on the Service Operations course who quite openly expressed frustration throughout the course as they had very recently undertaken the Operational Support & Analysis capability course. Although the ITIL Official Site describes the content overlap as ‘moderate’ the feedback from this delegate was that the content was c.90% overlap even to the extent that when it came to sit the mock exam paper 7 of the 8 questions for Service Operation were identical to the ones used on the previous mock for Operational Support & Analysis.
Overall I am pleased that I now have achieved ITIL Expert status but to what extent does the qualification actually help me be more impactful or productive?
Throughout my journey I have progressed my career within my own organisation but still do not envisage that I will be using all of the concepts that I learned.
A concern that I have is that I don’t think anyone would claim to be involved in the strategic decision making of an organisation as well as being concerned with the execution of operational processes such as Event Management and Access Management.
In voicing this concern I question whether I am in fact an ‘expert’ in ITIL at all. As the perceived Subject Matter Expert in Service Management Practices I get regular queries from internal stakeholders on “what good looks like”. Where these queries are not directly related to my primary area of work I find myself having to refer to the books to answer the questions.
In conclusion, the positive to take away from this journey is that I now have a set of recognised industry relevant qualifications on my CV. Although this gives me a snese of personal achievement and may open doors for me in the future I did not end my journey with an overwhelming sense of enrichment obtained from my own learning experience.