ITIL Practitioner level is being developed to help organizations and individuals increase the value they obtain from using ITIL by offering additional practical guidance to adopt and adapt the framework to support the business. It will be the next step after ITIL Foundation for professionals who have already learned the basics of IT Service Management (ITSM) and the business value of well-designed and delivered services.
Addressing the demand from ITSM practitioners and organizations of all sizes worldwide, the first ITIL Practitioner exam will be available globally by the end of 2015 and will equip ITSM professionals with added practical guidance to enhance leveraging ITIL in line with their organizations’ business goals.
Key points of ITIL Practitioner
Providing practical guidance on how individuals can leverage Continual Service Improvement (CSI) to maximize the benefits of adoption and adaption of ITIL.
Aiming to improve the capability of individuals throughout the business, to adopt and adapt ITIL in their day-to-day roles to generate maximum business benefits.
Making use of technological capabilities, such as automation, real-time reporting and Cloud computing, to increase the quality of service design and the efficiency of service delivery.
Leveraging other frameworks and good practices and methodologies – such as Lean, DevOps, Agile and SIAM – to further enhance the value of ITSM.
There is a well known saying that describes the difference between a specialist and a generalist?
A specialist knows more and more about less and less until eventually he or she knows everything about nothing.
A generalist knows less and less about more and more until eventually he or she knows nothing about everything.
So let’s compare the Specialist with the Generalist?
Specialists typically make more money because they are seen as IT Service Management Subject Matter Experts who are sought after for the value they can deliver.
Specialists get famous faster for the contribution they make to the IT Service Management community and body of knowledge.
Clients trust Specialists more as they have proven experience and credentials that back up previous projects that have been successfully delivered.
Specialists develop deeper skills because they correctly identify which skills will be in demand 2-3 years ahead of need and get involved in the early adopter phase of new initiatives e.g. ServiceNow “Outside the Walls”
Generalists are seen as individuals who are adept at understanding the wider context and what the Business aims to achieve. It is perceived that generalists are better at putting the pieces together to make sense of how it all works so that they are better able to navigate uncertainty.
One way to think of a world of specialists, according to Vikram Mansharamani all the specialist content in the world is meaningless without putting it in the proper context — and that context tends to be provided by generalists. A great generalist’s breadth of knowledge helps link new breakthroughs and technologies to existing ideas.
“Fundamentally, we’re focused on learning animals or generalists as opposed to specialists. And the main reason is that when you’re in a dynamic industry where the conditions are changing so fast, then things like experience and the way you’ve done a role before isn’t nearly as important as your ability to think.
So generalists, not specialists, is a mantra that we have internally that we try to stick pretty closely to. Specialists tend to bring an inherent bias to a problem, and they often feel threatened by new solutions.” LINK
It is generally accepted that new ideas and innovation are the result of connectedness and collaboration across a wide body of knowledge that is not limited to a particular area of specialisation.
Looking ahead a combination of knowledgeable specialists and generalists is required to help shape the future direction of the practice for the benefit of all practitioners for example the itSMFBig4 Agenda item Service Management of the Future for the benefit of practitioners at all levels.
What is driving the introduction of the new ITIL Practitioner qualification given that it introduces a new exam in an already congested certification scheme such that a new Training Navigator is required?
The 2014 ITIL exam results LINK to PDF to view table above indicate that we may have reached saturation point for ITIL examinations.
I have been at several events where I am consistently told that we were told to complete ITIL Foundation training.
I will never forget the animated CIO who told me that “We do ITIL” because he had sent 500 individuals across the globe on ITIL Foundation training.
What do I think is the ITIL Practitioner qualification Revenue Opportunity?
Axelos is working on an Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme which will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications.
Global delivery will continue to be overseen by global strategic partners and Axelos recently announced that the big six Examination Institutes (EIs) APMG, BCS, CSME, EXIN, LOYALIST, PEOPLECERT have extended their contracts for a further three years from January 2015.
This video clip describes the all in $250 price for the ITIL Foundation Course & ITIL Exam Bundle linked to LOYALIST Certification Services.
The new ITIL Practitioner qualification must be immersive so that virtual study groups can be formed to discuss and agree Continual Service Improvement plans that deliver quick wins and chart the 60, 90, 180 day view.
These virtual study teams will connect via Mobile App, e-Learning, Simulation, Gamification and SocMedia.
My rough order of magnitude estimate for 2016, when the new ITIL Practitioner qualification is introduced, is a conservative 200,000 individuals will take the exam so if the ATOs have designed a low cost offering yet charge a £600 combined course and exam bundle that equates to a £120M training market just for one new course.
So metrics drive behaviours and maximizing training revenues is the key driver for Axelos growth plans which is OK as long as the IT Service Management community profit for contributing their ideas, know how to ITIL Practitioner training content and share in the rewards.
In 2014 the need to attend the premier annual conferences [ITSM14, SITS12, FUSION14, LEADIT14, NowForum…] to hear from the “opinion formers” has been less of a priority given the increasing power of individual practitioners to openly share their proven solutions to business issues with whoever is interested across any channel of digital interaction (e.g. webinar, slideshare, blog, video clip etc.)
It was perceived that the format of the UK ITSMF conference was a little tired because the focus was more on Theory (Shoulds and Oughts) with some degree of proven implementation guidance from the practitioners who have delivered outcomes that address real business challenges.
ITSM14 has become a meeting place to connect with colleagues either on the exhibition floor or dance floor with the dinner and industry awards ceremony the main event.
The highlight of the conference was the announcement of the ITSMBig4 Agenda for 2015.
“The Big4 Agenda refers to the set of key professional issues members have indicated they are facing, and the programme of information and activities being delivered by ITSMF UK to help deal with those issues.
In 2014 the Agenda items were Back to Basics (reliability), Skills, Managing Complexity, and Agile ITSM.
At the 2014 Conference four new items were agreed for the 2015 Agenda:
COLLABORATION – how do we work with others?
SERVICE MANAGEMENT OF THE FUTURE – what do we need to look like?
CAPABILITY FRAMEWORK – how do we build it?
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – how do we ensure it is relevant?
we need to have a clear agenda, so as soon as one thing is done, we’re starting the next.”
John Windebank & Rosemary Gurney (Chair & Vice-Chair ITSMF UK) led the discussions on the recently announced ITSMF UK Big4 Agenda topics for 2015
LINK to Twitterchat compiled by Jane Suter @Jane_RTC
Started, Stalled or not Sustained
It was deeply disappointing that community initiatives launched in 2013 were not further developed or sustained in 2014. I did not envisage the level of change resistance and negative knock-back for the inaugural SM Congress core values and declaration.
Charles Araujo, the driving force behind SM Congress, provided an update in March LINK however there has been radio silence since.
The ITIL Manifesto is a SM Congress look-a-like and states the following:
“A community driven effort (with the knowledge and support of the Intellectual Property holder Axelos Ltd) to add structure to existing or new ideas on how ITIL is viewed/used/adopted and to create a manifesto which formalises these principles”.
Here is what the AXELOS declaration has to say:
“The Manifesto, which began life as a Google document before moving to Tricider, has been created to capture the thoughts of the ITSM community and is designed to gather ideas about ITIL – what it should be and what it shouldn’t be – as well as understand the core values of the proposition”. LINK
So as we enter 2015 the community is still fragmented playing into the hands of For Profit (AXELOS ITIL Manifesto) vs Non-Profit (ITSMF and the ITSMBig4 Agenda) with these initiatives covering the same ground and some industry experts Claire Agutter @ClaireAgutter involved in both initiatives.
Tomorrows Future Today – TFT14
Thanks to BrightTALK for hosting these events and for enabling the community to hear directly from Subject Matter Experts. You can peruse an extensive set of TFT Summer webinars here LINK
TFT14 saw a marked increase in submissions but did not have the same impact as TFT13 because viewer expectations had already been set very high and the wow factor had lessened second time around.
Having said that this slide presentation by Jon Hall (BMC) titled “The end of ITs monopoly on trust vital lessons from the consumer space” is worth a look LINK
In addition the Taking Service Forward – Adaptive Service Model has not been sustained.
It was lauded as “Future best practice for governing, managing, providing and consuming services will be dynamic, emerging, empirical and holistic. Bodies of knowledge will continually emerge based on input from real people consuming, brokering or providing real services”.
In May I tweeted the following question:
@TSF_ASM It has been over a month since the last tweet. Are you guys still part of the #Axelos roadmap? http://t.co/iviUIuRVAq #stalled
With respect to the Supplier / Product provider agenda ServiceNow continue to lead the Market.
One example is the NowForum London event which transferred to the Excel centre to accommodate the huge numbers of attendees. Registration at this event is complimentary with KPMG and Accenture as “big time consulting’ premium sponsors recognising the opportunity to generate leads.
How to Navigate the ServiceNow Smartphone Interface
The Service-Oriented Enterprise with ServiceNowLINK
“Every department in the enterprise is a service provider. While service relationships are well defined and automated within IT, they are often inefficient, unstructured or non-existent in other enterprise service domains. Georg Maureder, Solution Architect EMEA at ServiceNow will tell you how savvy IT leaders view this as an opportunity to help their business peers replace inefficient email-based service request and fulfilment processes with a proven IT service model”.
BMC – Smart IT + MyIT
“Make your customers the center of attention, and your service desk the life-blood of the organization. Whether accessing personal applications on a mobile device or requesting a business application at work, people expect it to be easy. BMC helps you deliver a better user experience on both sides of the service desk. Delight IT teams and business users with a personalized IT experience, and intelligent, mobile access to IT services”.
Video: Better together: Smart IT + MyIT (1:13) LINK
HP Service Anywhere
December Update offers an Enhanced Trial Experience
“Trial users can take our new guided tours through the Self-Service Portal, Hot Topics Analytics and Live Support. These tours highlight the differentiated value of these key Service Anywhere features.
The Self-Service Portal uses an engaging user experience and big data driven knowledge to drive self-sufficiency and the move to ticketless IT”
HP Mobile User Experience – Mobile Application Pulse
It was a refreshing surprise to see the marketing campaign and kudos to the AXELOS team.
“Global Marketing Campaign ‘Missing a vital component’ has been really well received and we have had a phenomenal response. As an example, we have run full page adverts in the Economist worldwide and the Financial Times to further raise the awareness of Global Best Practice”.
It would be very helpful if AXELOS provided more detail to support the “phenomenal response” statement and the CEO value proposition. Did any CEOs / CIOs sign-up for ITIL or Prince training.
As to be expected AXELOS placed the needs of the Pupil over Practitioners and imposed stringent controls for training organisations to become accredited by AXELOS.
It will be interesting to gauge community response when the full year training exam numbers and results of the AXELOS Profit Share are released.
After a bumpy start Kaimar Karu made a big difference as Head of ITSM in June he tweeted
@kaimarkaru: A little something I wrote on the future of #ITIL – LINK
There were new and refreshed ITIL White papers from “practitioners for practitioners”.
Maximize the Synergies Between ITIL and DevOps by Anthony Orr @AnthonyOrrAtBMC is a very good read and very much on topic. LINK
For all the good work that AXELOS delivered in 2014 I did not understand why there was such a low key celebration of the 25th Year Anniversary of the ITIL Service Management practices. Here is a blog post from AXELOS LINK
“The CPD programme will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications”.
Moreover the role based focus on Continuous Professional Development is marketing spin to infer that a clear career path has been defined and agreed by the Service Management Community.
It would be very helpful to align the CPD with the Skills Framework for the Information Age
“SFIA is an industry framework (free to use, subject to licence) which contains the descriptions of 96 professional skills, each of which is defined in terms of up to seven skill levels. It also identifies generic levels of responsibility in the areas of autonomy, business skills, complexity and influence.
SFIA offers an invaluable tool to help individuals understand their own strengths and areas of weakness, and to assist employers and HR departments to understand training requirements, potential skills gaps, and specific skills requirements for particular roles”.
Matthew Burrows @MatthewKBurrows has been an evangelist for development and adoption of the SFIA framework over several years and his voice should be heard by AXELOS.
Capita group, which has a 51% stake in AXELOS, acquired G2G3 I guess for their Gamification capabilities. It was a surprise that Ken Gonzalez @ken_gonzalez became G2G3 Americas VP for Delivery given that he had a successful consulting practice.
G2G3 promote the Service Management Office – “We are happy to offer a one-hour complementary Service Management Office (SMO) consultation to help you get started”.
Here is a LINK to the SMO Start-Up Kit and 8 Steps for implementing a SMO
In 2015 it is all about Connectedness
Smarter connected Customers will increase use of Mobile Self-Service Apps for swift and easy information access to obtain immediate resolution that puts the Customer firmly in control.
Smarter Customers are increasingly choosing digital interactions rather than use Voice / IVR calls. They demand consistency across channels so that their Customer record and a full history / notes are always accessible. Digital interactions include voice, text, email, web chat, posting on social media and/or using a connected app.
Smarter Self-Service Portals will identify and know the Customer guiding them along the Customer Journey thereby removing the need to join lengthy call centre queues. Virtual Agents will also become part of an improved Customer Experience.
Smarter peer-to-peer support from always connected practitioners will help to identify solutions for common Service Management and DevOps challenges.
In 2015 creativity will continue to come from random connections, cross-pollination and easy sharing of ideas.
So it is up to you to choose how you connect to the world of DevOps and Service Management industry relevant content that will provide you with the most engaging experience and value.
Listed below is a selection of my tweets from the last twelve months:
@wdgll: @GoNavvia: Maximize your investment in #ITSM
#Collaboration brings ITSM process management to the #Social era http://t.co/C6S4t13ajN
@wdgll: Next generation mobile support tools
Smart IT with support for smartphones
Kaimer Karu @wdgll: Leveraging #ITIL we can create conditions for success; but we still need people to achieve that success and autonomy http://t.co/cMWwwJzD8k
@wdgll: @RobertEStroud: #ISACA BELGIUM video from my recent visit to the chapter http://t.co/HSJ7lk1RvA
Run on a membership model to share knowledge
@wdgll: Improve appreciation of what other group is doing by having Dev and Ops participate in each other’s daily activities http://t.co/2gs5uUq2G2
@wdgll: @AXELOS_GBP: new corporate video
“Always ahead of the curve”
Prince 2 Agile published early next year http://t.co/kLjGQm2EJd
@KaimarKaru Leveraging #ITIL we can create conditions for success; but we still need people to achieve that success and autonomy http://t.co/cMWwwJzD8k
DevOps is a philosophy and movement that sits at the intersection of (software) Development, (service) Operations and quality assurance (QA).
DevOps is considered “Beyond Agile” and institutionalises the idea of what Agile was supposed to deliver.
It is also important to understand that DevOps requires a cultural and mindset shift.
05:10 A culture change is needed in the mindset of the two groups who need to work close together.
Traditionally DevOps is described as a change journey toward the target state of continuous delivery involving continuous integration and continuous deployment
Continuous Delivery is the practice of building software and automated deployment into the target environment for the purpose of testing
Continuous Integration is about integrating software as early as possible and performing testing early in the development lifecycle
Continuous Deployment promotes software into production through an automated build and deployment pipeline of QA/Pre-Prod environments
DevOps – Common Hurdles Faced
It is perceived that IT focuses on what was needed yesterday whilst the Business focuses on what is needed tomorrow,
The business drives demand for increased software release frequency / speed which creates friction between Development and Operations,
Large enterprises have spent years building separate Development and on-going Service Operations capabilities in siloed teams, dividing tasks and organisational accountabilities,
The conflict of interest between the goals of those who create the software product and those who maintain it leads to poor relations,
Development teams focus on building software that meets functional and quality requirements to create effective change whilst Operations teams focus on operability (e.g. availability, stability), service improvement and cost efficiency,
Breaking barriers across the extended Development and Operations organisation will require changes including reshuffle and relocation of several team members,
With such changes one can expect resistance from the functional silos when trying to adopt a DevOps mindset for development and operations teams,
Strong resistance can be expected especially from people who do not see the benefits that might be gained from it who are unwilling to change their attitude or shift their behaviour,
People who are not used to working in cohesive, cross functional teams will find it difficult to adjust to the new normal,
Teams that are culturally not disciplined, which is very essential for Agile methodologies and DevOps, may not realise desired benefits,
Development and Operations teams blame each other when something goes wrong,
Communication challenges could arise between team members due to a lack of common terminology.
Adoption of DevOps practices support the business need to quickly deliver software products / services without sacrificing operational quality,
Enterprise IT has started migrating to Agile methodologies and by performing requirements creation, development, and testing in parallel, development teams focus completely on business value and time-to-market,
Organisations must assess their current state and create a roadmap for the desired future state by applying the values of Agile collaboration to Development and Operations staff,
Formal plan should be put in place to introduce DevOps practices incrementally in order to involve more teams in modern Agile and DevOps practices,
Improve communications to raise awareness of the plan to be shared with the teams about how they will be involved in adopting these new modern practices,
Cross-functional teams should be created to repair the schism that exists between Development and Operations using collaboration tools, job rotation, knowledge sharing, mentoring, etc.
Prescribe the incorporation of operational staff into self-empowered cross-functional development teams. This change will enable teams to identify issues in the development cycle faster when they are easier to fix, thereby increasing the team’s end-to-end velocity rate,
Remove barriers between teams by creating incentive programs which are targeted towards recognising the team’s performance and rewarding “One Team”,
Encourage collaboration across disciplines by introducing revised roles, co-locating team members and established continuous feedback loops,
Focus on the partnership between Developers and Operations staff coupled with automation tools, for an end to end streamlined, rapid, and repeatable release cycle,
Ensure that business, development, testing, deployment and operations staff use a common language while interacting with each other,
Foster an end-to-end service mindset to improve service quality by treating “DevOps-as-a-Service”
The Emergence and Benefits of DevOps
Is your organization dealing with a “digital disconnect” between the Business and Technology?
A recent Gartner user survey shows that, while large IT projects are more likely to fail than small projects, around half of all project failures, irrespective of project size, were put down to functionality issues and substantial delays.
Runaway budget costs are behind one-quarter of project failures for projects with budgets greater than $350,000.
Small is beautiful — or at least small projects are easier to manage and execute. The failure rate of large IT projects with budgets exceeding $1 million was found to be almost 50% higher than for projects with budgets below $350,000.
To optimize success, look for ways to limit the size, complexity and duration of individual projects, and ensure funding has been committed.
Stay on top of costs, especially for the largest projects. Ensure that there are the appropriate mechanisms in place to identify budget variances and/or overruns early. Regularly review how cost estimation is done to understand how accurate and effective your approaches are, and pursue improvement opportunities.
Keep the schedule realistic. Many large projects fail because business conditions keep changing after the project scope has been set, leaving a significant disconnect between the agreed-on scope and budget versus what the business will require and pay for by the time the project is delivered.
Invest in truly capturing and understanding the business expectations and functionality sought from the project, and ensure that there is initial, adequate allocated funding, as well as good processes in place for revisiting the expectations and required funding at multiple points during the project.
Increase the frequency of project status and review meetings, as well as ongoing confirmation of the project’s alignment with business strategy — with an eye toward identifying and cancelling projects at the earliest possible stage that no longer meet company needs.
The survey was conducted to provide insights into IT project performance in organizations across North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Survey data is a useful tool for heads of project management offices (PMOs) to gain a broad perspective on the major causes of IT project failures and to assist in the challenge of identifying, building, and developing the skills and staff required for highly effective project and program leadership.
This research explores the survey results with regard to causes of project failure across three project sizes and provides a tangible reminder for all project and portfolio management (PPM) professionals not to lose sight of the trade-offs sometimes required for delivering projects on time, on budget and with the agreed functionality.1 For the purposes of this survey, small, midsize and large projects were defined as follows (see Figure 1):
A small project was one with a budget of less than $350,000.
A midsize project was one with a budget of $350,000 to $1 million.
A large project was one with a budget that exceeded $1 million.
Figure 1.Distribution of Success and Failure Across Project Sizes
Source: Gartner (June 2012)
Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of success and failure across project size. The respondents were asked to indicate the percentage of their organization’s IT projects over the past two years that were deemed a success or failure by the business.
In analyzing the collective responses of some 150 participants in the 2011 Gartner five-country survey, the failure rate of IT projects with budgets exceeding $1 million was found to be almost 50% higher than for projects with budgets below $350,000.2 At 25% and 28% respectively, the failure rates of midsize and large projects are similar, and in both cases, nearly one-third higher than the 20% failure rate observed for small projects (with budgets below $350,000). Overall, the results of this survey are consistent with what we have observed when we have polled this question previously, and we are seeing a pattern emerging where small IT projects experience a one-third lower failure rate than large projects 3
Many small brooks make a great river. The survey results give a clear indication that, by ensuring that projects are kept small, and as a rule of thumb, not exceeding six months in duration, a much lower failure rate can be achieved. As such, setting clear criteria around limiting project size will be a hallmark for successful PMOs, and the guiding principle revolves around establishing projects whose scopes and functionality can indeed be delivered in the time frame and, thus, maintaining a clear focus of the endpoint.
Rather than taking on large, expensive and lengthy projects, it will be more prudent to view them as programs consisting of a series of small projects, each delivering its piece of the overall initiative. This will also enable the use of regular program oversight reviews to ensure that the big picture is maintained and to rapidly reassess and recalibrate should any of the individual efforts get off track.3
No matter what the reason, no one likes failures, so in seeking to understand the causes behind the project failures, Gartner asked the respondents to distribute the projects that were deemed to have failed in their organizations over the past two years across six frequently mentioned reasons or causes of project failure:
High cost variance
Canceled after launch
Rejected or not implemented for other reasons
Figure 2 explores the project failures shown in Figure 1, and illustrates the percentage of failures that respondents allocated to these six typical causes of IT application project failure (see Note 1 for project failure definitions).
Figure 2.Why Projects Fail
Source: Gartner (June 2012)
It is not entirely surprising to see that the challenges of bringing projects in on time, on budget and with the agreed functionality are mentioned by two-thirds of the respondents as causes of project failure, because this is largely in line with previous observations.4 However, that fact underlines the ongoing nature of these three challenges in the sense that, no matter where you stop and take a snapshot, these three are likely to appear. The key is not to be complacent (we are not the only ones with projects running over), and take steps to understand the particular circumstances in the enterprises so that the right mix of processes, people, tools and skills can be developed or put in place.
Figure 2 also highlights the improvement opportunities that can be achieved simply from improved communications, in the sense that nearly half the projects fial for not doing what they need to do (functionality) or doing it too late to be valuable (late). This hints at project planners not asking the right questions, such as “When is late too late?” or “What scope would you give up to have something delivered sooner?” or reassessing functionality needs with enough regularity that no gap is allowed to develop. Project planners need to be aware of and address changes in the environment, and understand that cost, scope and schedule are not weighted equally. By maintaining close ties to sponsors and stakeholders, and being upfront regarding the trade-offs between functionality scope and schedule, expectations can be recalibrated on an ongoing basis, thus improving success rates.
For organizations at the lower levels of PPM maturity, any effort toward improving scheduling, cost estimation and functionality will yield significant results. For organizations at the higher levels of maturity, we recommend broadening the suite of performance metrics that are used to provide deeper insight into the factors that might be driving the rather persistent greater than 20% failure rate we’ve seen over the years.
Gartner conducted a research study in October 2011 to examine current performance of IT projects in North America (the U.S. and Canada), France, Germany and the United Kingdom (see Figure 3).
Figure 3.Geographic Distribution of Respondents
Source: Gartner (June 2012)
In all, 154 organizations with at least one PMO or related office were qualified and interviewed via a Web-based survey. All respondents were required to manage or work within their organization’s project management function. The resulting sample consists of organizations across various industry segments (see Figure 4) with $500 million or more (see Figure 5) in annual revenue.
Figure 4.Distribution of Respondents by Industry
Source: Gartner (June 2012)
These findings and recommendations from the Gartner survey are in line with conventional wisdom.
So what can we do differently to help ensure project success?
The people side of any change programme must be addressed in order to secure success.
In addition, provide regular feedback to the customer, for example by adopting Agile SCRUM principles of iterative development or implementing new Systems of Engagement practices.
One fresh area to be considered is Cloud based Development and Deployment.
Introducing Enterprise Cloud Development:
the next evolution in managing modern software development across the enterprise.
Three Industry Innovations have emerged – Agile Software Development + DevOps + Hybrid Cloud Development & Deployment
Five Step Blueprint for Embracing Enterprise Cloud Development Blueprint