Tuesday, 29 May 2007

ITIL Refresh v3 - Complementary Guidance

Apologies for the lack of posts this month. Suffice to say it's been a tough one and I'm back.

I last wrote about the changes to qualifications which I came by through a presentation from Sharon Taylor, Chief Architect of ITIL v3 hosted by Axios. I meant to follow up a little sooner for you on the other area that I thought particularly interesting - complementary guidance. If you're feeling cynical read: 'cash cow'.

Sharon gave an overview of the 'Complementary Portfolio' and reiterated quite strongly that it was not being written just by the OGC. The portfolio is to have the ITIL brand, be supported through formal research and be 'industry developed and owned. 'All stakeholders' (I wonder who defines a stakeholder in this case?) will have an opportunity to contribute content which must naturally support the core of ITIL v3. A phrase she used frequently was 'living library'. It appears that the new core material is expected to have a shelf life of about 5 years and that the complementary portfolio will help to ensure it stays fresh in the meantime.

As for the anticipated content of this living library; Sharon mentioned the following:

- Official study aids
- Case studies & templates
- Key element guides to replace the current pocket guides
- The book 'ITIL small scale implementation' is to be updated
- Industry specific guidance for public and private sectors
- Business sector specifics, e.g. Financial, Manufacturing, etc.
- Integrated Service Model to be published online including integrated process mapping (I wonder if this was inspired by the excellent Computer Associates Tube-style maps?)
- Available in multiple languages (apparently books are currently available in 17 languages and they are looking to expand upon this.
- Online content / books with supporting material around qualifications

She suggested that we will see the first additions to the living library in June 2007. I don't recall her saying exactly what this will be. However, I'd be personally very surprised if as a minimum it didn't include the study aids and online templates for download to those who take up the online subscription option.

Time will tell... just a week until the official launch!

Friday, 4 May 2007

ITIL Refresh v3 - Qualifications Update

I attended a webinar hosted by Axios systems yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to hear some information direct from the horses's mouth (Chief Architect Sharon Taylor) that I had not heard previously. Today I will focus on the key qualification related points.

Existing qualifications will remain valid and recognised by each EI (Examination Institute). You should not end up in a situation where taking the Foundation exam with one EI does not qualify as the pre-requisite for the next stage of examination with another EI. v2 exams will be phased out at some point in 2008.

There will be 'Upgrade / Bridging' qualifications for those that wish to take them. As the v2 qualifications remain valid there is no requirement to upgrade.

Focusing on v3 qualifications Sharon provided an overview of the Global Panel of Examiners who are appointed by AMPG. The panel is responsible for setting competency standards and actively auditing the EIs and TPs (Training Providers). Membership of the panel includes:
Training providers
End Users

One of the key points Sharon made was the creation of a single-exam standard. All the EIs (currently ISEB, EXIN, APMG) will draw their questions from a single exam bank. It is hoped that this will help maintain the quality and consistency of the certifications.

Examinations will be available in multiple languages although no date was provided.

This is where it began to differ from what I have heard (and published here) previously. The progression through the exams in no longer the old 3 levels (which we knew already). What I didn't know is that they are changing to a 'career path' oriented system. There is a desire that ITSM be seen as a valid and worthwhile profession within the IT industry and it is hoped this may go some way to achieving this.

There will still be a foundation exam introducing the lifecycle approach. The first ITIL v3 Foundation exam will be available for sitting on 13th June 2007.

Following the foundation it sounds like there may be two streams of 'Intermediate learning'.
1. Service Management (aka Manager)
2. Service Capability (aka Practitioner)

To this end a modular system will be introduced. This will enable us to customise career paths to our own needs. Sharon said that there will be a phased delivery on examinations at these levels, no dates as yet.

The other major change is the approach to training itself. Instead of training being primarily the domain of the classroom there are going to be self-paced online e-learning courses and virtual classrooms. Exams will be available on demand and we are waving goodbye to the long handwritten 3 hour examinations (maybe I don't want to take the ITIL v2 manager's after all!).

Finally, ITIL v3 revision guides will form part of the complementary publications suite.

The title of her presentation was 'ITIL v3, The Future is Now.' I'm certainly encouraged by the changes (implementation of them remains to be seen of course). The future is just 25 days away!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

ITIL Refresh v3 - Qualifications

At the BCS SMSG Carol Hulm mentioned a possible 3 tier structure for ITIL v3 examinations. Today this has been confirmed in a statement from Richard Pharro of the APM Group.

The levels proposed are:

* Basic Level equating to V2 Foundation
* Management and Capability Level replacing the V2 Practitioner and Manager
* Advanced Level

Apparently this has been inspired by Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning where:
* Basic Level - assess knowledge and comprehension
* Management Level - assess comprehension and application
* Advanced Level - assess application and analysis

They have also confirmed that there will be 'upgrade' examinations for those already certified in ITIL v2.

The hope is that the foundation exam will be out shortly after the books as work on the examination questions is in progress. However, it is likely to be some time before the qualifications at management level are agreed and syllabus determined. I suspect that the advanced level may cover the entire lifecycle; I look forward to hearing what the examination panel decide.