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Will the new ITIL Practitioner qualification create trained Specialists or Generalists?

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.

specialist v generalist

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.

how google works

“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.

Profit

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?

Screen shot 2015-03-22 at 14.46.02

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.

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Common Objectives for the Business and IT

COBIT 5 was officially launched on Tuesday the 10th of April.

The evolution from COBIT 4.1 shifts focus away from “Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology” to Governance and Management of Enterprise IT.

My take on the evolution of the COBIT 5 framework is that we now have a way of defining and agreeing “Common Objectives for Business and IT“.

The following number of downloads of the COBIT 5 Framework have been processed in just 4 days.

I wonder how many of these downloads have been made by individuals in the Business, Consultants and Trainers rather than IT folk.

Here is the LINK to the COBIT 5 Product Family.

The fresh guidance provided in COBIT 5  will make it possible to align Enterprise (Business) and IT related goals by defining and agreeing common objectives.

Common objectives are required to close the communication / expectation gap between IT and the Business.  In this video the CEO is talking with the CIO.

How are you helping the Business drive revenue?

Is IT focussing on driving our strategic initiatives?

How are you enabling innovation within the Business?

How is IT aligning to the Business and adding value?

Looks like they both could use some help

So how should you address the gap in perception and reality?

A good place to start is to read the new Evaluate, Direct and Monitor processes for the Governance of Enterprise IT, specifically:

  • EDM02 Ensure Benefits Delivery and
  • EDM05 Ensure Stakeholder Transparency

these processes will help the Business and IT to develop a shared understanding of stakeholder needs and value realisation.

The spring issue of ServiceTalk dropped on my mat this week and contained an article by Robert E Stroud entitled COBIT 5 : Delivering Value Through Governance and Management.  The 2 page article, tucked away at the back of the magazine, provides an overview of the COBIT 5 Framework, Enabler Guides and Professional Guides.

You have to a member of itSMF in order to view the article online. LINK

Stroud states that “Value can only be realised when COBIT is adopted and adapted to fit a particular environment.  The implementationmust ddress the specific business challenges, including mnaging changes to culture and behaviour”.

WHY ARE COMMON OBJECTIVES FOR THE BUSINESS AND IT SO IMPORTANT?

There is an expectation gap between the Business and IT because Enterprise and IT related goals are not aligned.

The purpose of Internal or External IT Service Providers is to serve the Business.  A successful relationship can only work if there is a set of shared goals and common objectives. COBIT 5 practical guidance is a great place to start in order to address communication gaps and have the right conversations.

The COBIT 5 framework enables the Business and IT to talk about the same things in the same way.  Tighter integration is required between the Business and IT in order to drive solutions and lay the foundations for a Transformation journey. (from 37 seconds in)  

We are operating in  a Multi Sourcing environment and COBIT 5 will jump start the ability of Service Integrators to implement the right governance processes.

Failure to act and demonstrate value to Business Executives will open the door for the Consulting firms / Independent Consultants who sit at the intersect between the Business and IT.

Making excuses that the IT organisation is too busy to carve out time to understand, plan and implement the COBIT 5 guidance is not acceptable.

Get involved or you will be bypassed and become irrelevant.  

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Which conference will YOU be attending?

I received an email from Danielle @ itSMF this week informing me that there is only four weeks to go until the UK Annual Conference.

There are 10 reasons listed why you should attend:

  1. Best practice guidance, delivered by service management experts at just the right level (Good or Leading practices not Best)
  2. Learning from industry leaders
  3. Inspirational keynotes
  4. Doing more with less
  5. New solutions to familiar problems
  6. Gaining hands-on experience – join one of our experiential learning or simulation workshops, essentially a “game environment” for learning
  7. Catching up with industry developments – Exhibition, showcasing the latest products and services from around 50 service management software, training and consultancy organisations
  8. Being part of an international community
  9. Recognising industry achievements.
  10. Two days, one roof

Conference package prices range from £369 to £1249 exclusive of VAT, while a one day pass to the Exhibition at only £35 plus VAT is excellent value and will enable you to meet Barclay Rae and some of his ITSMtv colleagues.

Unlike previous events, there does not seem to be an overall theme for the itSMF UK conference this year.

In August, I had a conversation with the COO of the company who are on stand E9 in the Exhibition Hall.  In this meeting, we discussed the use of Telestrations as a delivery method to increase the number of eyes that are able to view their eLearning and classroom based training content.  Here is an example of a Telestration:

So the choice is a simple one.  To what extent do you need to attend in person or is it possible to access some of the presentation materials and vendor sales [exhibits] on the Web?

Gartner Symposium IT Xpo (Barcelona 07-10 November)

It is important to note that the Gartner Symposium IT Xpo is being held at the same time as the itSMF UK Annual Conference.  The Symposium ITxpo is about Re-imagine IT : Leading from the Front and Gartner promote the conference in the following way.  These two video clips were created to promote the US (Orlando, FL) conference taking place from 16-20 October.  It is also possible to access the Orlando conference live blog to get a flavour of what good looks like.

Gartner also share a detailed preview of the various tracks.  Here is an example of the Applications Track.

Finally Gartner  make it easier to justify your attendance by providing you with a Justification Toolkit which includes a customisible letter to your manager and a trip report.  They also send out a post event brief.

16th Annual International IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition – “Pink 12”

Given that you may have waited until now to book your place at the itSMF UK Annual conference why not use your budget to attend Pink 12 in Las Vegas – the 16th Annual International IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition (19-22 February 2012).

The Pink 12 conference theme is about “Knowledge Translated Into Results“, showing you how to go beyond just theory to achieve true business value and outcomes

The Last Early Bird Offer is only valid if you register and pay by October 28, 2011:

  • Save over $500! on a Regular Pass: $1,995 – plus stay at the world famous Bellagio Hotel for only $99.00 a night (maximum 3 nights – February 19, 20, 21)

Pink11 opened with this thought-provoking video: is IT ready?

I’ll leave it up to you to decide which conference to attend

should I stay or should I go” [The Clash]

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