Friday, 29 June 2007

ITIL v3 Launch Presentations

Once again I must apologise for the lack of posts. I've not even had time to read my brand new ITIL v3 books. Off on holiday for a few weeks so I should come back refreshed and ready for blogging action!

In the meantime, the itSMF have published the slides that were presented by the ITIL v3 authors at the launch events. You can download them here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

ITIL Refresh v3 - Qualification Scheme

Bruce: And what do points make?
The ITIL Imp: One small step for the individual up the career path for IT service management professionals! (Doesn't quite work does it? ;) )

Today I attended the ITIL v3 Launch in London and I promise to write up my thoughts on what was said and my 'concerns' regarding the deployment of the books and online service (Read: "I'm annoyed my books still have not arrived and my online access does not work!"). However, there is far too much to put into one blog entry so I'm kicking off with the area which particularly interests me - the qualification scheme.

Today the APMG released a press release regarding the proposed ITIL v3 Qualifications Structure. Sharon Taylor gave a half-hour presentation on this and for me personally it was the most worthwhile part of the day. She stressed that most of the structure (a modular points-based system) has not yet been signed off by the Qualifications Board so it IS all subject to change.

First of all, the proposed structure:
Everyone needs an ITIL Foundation in Service Management worth 2 points before progressing onto either:
- The lifecycle stream (built around each of the 5 core books. Each module is worth 3 points)
- or The capability stream (built around job roles - service portfolio & relationship management; service design & optimisation; service monitoring & control; and service operation & support. Each module is worth 4 points).

If you wish to progress (and it seems that as career-oriented service management professionals we are expected to want to) you will need to complete a 'Managing Through The Lifecycle' which will be designed as a 'normalisation' exercise to ensure that anyone who holds an IT Diploma has a baseline of knowledge. This qualification is worth 5 points but is not anticipated to be available until the end of this year.

It IS possible to mix and match modules from both the lifecycle and capability streams to achieve a total of 22 points which, on completion of the normalisation course, will automatically qualify you for the 'ITIL Diploma'. It wasn't stated what the process would be for actually claiming the ITIL Diploma but I expect this to be announced within a few months. It would be great if this were automated rather than the burden being on us to claim it. It also isn't clear whether there will be a published certification register as there is for Prince 2. If there were then I think they could automate sending diplomas out.

Beyond the ITIL Diploma will be an 'Advanced Service Management Professional Diploma'. It sounds like not much has really been done around this yet but reference was made to "tapping into other professional certifications". As you may have read I recently covered the BCS ISEB qualifications change as well as the new IT Professional Competency model. It sounded rather like this proposed qualification would align nicely with the 'ISEB Professional Level qualification'. Whether it does or not remains to be seen.

All that's very well, but how about those of us who have v2 qualifications. Is all the investment wasted? The answer is a firm "No". Sharon mentioned 2 types of bridging qualification: 1. Foundation 2. Managers. At this stage it seems it is not required for practitioners. This diagram summarises the routes from v2 to v3.

I think it is pretty self-explanatory except... are they really expecting those qualified to Manager's level to pay for a Foundation bridge AND a Manager's bridge? That doesn't make sense. Yet based on the points scheme if you don't then you end up short 1/2 point for the ITIL Diploma. By my calculations the Manager Bridge should be worth 5.5 points; am I correct or is my maths asleep on me?

My final word on qualification issues today is that of syllabi. There is now more guidance in these broken down by categories covering detailed learning objectives, section links to the core books, and even how long should be spent teaching those learning objectives.

No mention was made of if/when prometric exams will be available at all levels (or even just foundation). Sharon did stress that they are keen that a wider range of delivery mechanisms be used but it sounded to me like the burden is on the Exam Institutes and Accredited Training Providers to come up with these.

DISCLAIMER: As Sharon reiterated the above information is subject to change. As soon as I become aware of any such changes, I'll let you know.
Diagrams are (I think) copyright by APMG 2007 so I may get asked to remove them.

Sharon Taylor presentation at the ITIL v3 Launch (London)
APMG Press Release

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Women and the long hours culture

Unfortunately I wasn't unable to attend the "Raising your profile for a successful career in IT" event hosted this week in London by WIT (Women In Technology) in association with Microsoft. If any of you did I'd be interested to here what you thought of it.

What interests me is one of the statistics from the survey carried out earlier this year which indicates that 75% of respondents felt their employers had a 'long hours' work culture. Apparently this is one of the factors discouraging women from working in technology and leaving it never to return. Personally I don't mind putting in the hours when it is needed. However I fully expected to be compensated for my time. Is the issue really the long hours, or is it about being adequately compensated to make up for time not spent with family? As a 30-something woman myself, I wonder if in a few years I'll be one of those statistics who want to work in technology but find it women-unfriendly.

Source articles:
Women In Technology