Friday, 11 April 2008

Moving your ITIL Implementation Forward - part 4

It's here, the final part in the series! This covers the question and answer session from the itSMF e-symposium entitled: 'Moving your ITIL Implementation Forward - what are your next steps?' on 18th March 2008.

Round Table - Questions and Answers
I didn't catch the names of everyone who asked questions, suffice to say it was worthwhile hanging on until the end.

Q1. How do we measure the ROI of ITIL v3 adoption?
A1. Rob Stroud observed that the last 60 days have seen a massive move to v3 and went on to say that IT needs to measure things at a different level in a way that the business see as important, i.e. the provision of service. He states that the ROI of ITIL is not necessarily tangible in bankable cost-savings.
Malcolm lightened the mood by informing us that he often thinks of the ROI of ITIL as the 'return on insurance', i.e. the potential cost of not doing it.
Sharon was quick to point out that there are other benefits aside from the financial.

Q2. Can you drive COBIT and ITIL agenda from middle management or does it have to be C-level?
A2. Harvey was strongly of the view that it doesn't need to wait for higher level management. He has been fortunate in his role to take what he needs and get on with it. He did note that for funding senior management do need to be involved.
Georges echoed Harvey's viewpoint stating that you can always start within your own area of responsibility. The organisation can then look at your area as a centre of excellence and adopt in the wider scene (why does Zapp! come to mind?). He did advocate the need to sell to senior management to expand beyond your own area.

Q3. ITIL certification is always on individual basis. Will it ever be organisational?
A3. Sharon sees no need for ITIL certification to go beyond the individual as for organisational certification there is ISO 20000 (ITIL v3 is aligned with ISO 20000). One of the drivers for individual certification is to promote ITSM as a profession within the IT industry. Harvey reiterated that "ISO 20000 is the quality standard for ITSM".
Rob informed the delegates that he often is asked for products that are actually ITIL accredited. (ITILImp: Currently there is only the PinkVerify scheme which has recently been updated to take account of v3).

Q4. Why do you need to know what level something is at?
A4. Georges picked this one up but I didn't make many notes other than the comment that COBIT certification is for the individual only, not the organisation.

Q5. v3 exams are now multiple choice rather than written. Is this a dumbing down of the qualification?
A5. I've heard this comment a lot since the itSMF conference last year and the answer hasn't changed.
Sharon stated that it is not a dumbing down and that there is a misconception regarding multiple-choice. The exam formats have been based upon research into undergraduate and postgraduate university examinations. The ITIL exams will use a blend of simple multiple-choice at foundation level whilst the higher level exames will use gradient, complex multiple-choice (e.g. one answer is the most correct, another is less correct, etc.). Apparently this challenges the application of what someone knows rather than their ability to write a paper. Exam pilots suggested that this format is actually harder than the v2 essay format for the manager's certificate. She also made the valid points that it removes the objectivity in terms of the exam grading and will benefit those writing in non-native languages.

As an academic himself it is not surprising that Georges stressed the benefits of multiple choice commenting upon their adaptability to the complexity of questions you want as well as being easy to mark.

Malcolm isn't a fan of these and believes that they lack the interpretation... the why. I liked his suggestion that for the new v3 Advanced ITSM Diploma candidates could write a white paper or say 30 pages as a way of demonstrating that they are a proven practitioner. The end result could then form part of the ITIL v3 complementary guidance. Sharon interjected to say that something akin to this IS part of the advanced service professional certification.

Q6. Will the business guys be worried that IT want to take over the business?
A6. Rob didn't think so, "Communication is the key".
Georges pointed out that ITSM benefits from the business as it positions IT to deliver capabilities. A service is not worthwhile if it is not delivering what the business needs. He also said that it helps accountability with clarification betweeen business failures vs it failures.
Sharon wrapped up by paraphrasing from a Harvard study, "CIOs have to be business leaders, not IT-centric".

All in all, a good set of questions and answers. Although I'm sure there were lots more questions that didn't make the cut. I put a few in (one being a request for Harvey's full workshop as it was really good stuff) and had one answered but the one that I thought would be a quickie that wasn't answered was: "When will the ITIL Live Portal be going live?" It's mentioned in all the books and it now almost a year since they came out. Since then, on a little adventure this ITIL Imp notices that the address is now redirected to The Stationary Office (TSO) which assures us that it is 'coming soon' (Perhaps that is June, or the next eclipse of the moon, who knows?). Register for updates to find out.

There we have it... the final in this series. I wonder where my next adventure lies...


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