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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?

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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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