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  1. Coffee Addict coffeeking's Avatar
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    #1

    Default some info on ITIL

    Hello Folks,

    Following are some of the questions I have about ITIL certs, will appreciate the answers, thoughts, suggestions:

    1- Are ITIL certs more for the IT managers than a regular IT guy, I am just starting out in the filed with a degree in IT as my background.

    2- Do you need to have a certain number of experience to make a move for these certs.

    3- To me it seems that these certs are more focused on everyday IT stuff then on a certain technology in IT, is that correct?

    4- Do you think its compulsary to have some tech certs before moving on to ITIL certs?

    I will greatly appreciate your response. It would definately help me decide to make a move, and who better to ask than someone who's been through it.

    Thanks in advance.
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    #2

    Default Re: some info on ITIL

    Hi Coffeeking,

    I'll do my best to answer your questions. These are excellent questions that I think many people often have about ITIL certs. Although ITIL v2 certs are still being offered, I'm going to answer in terms of ITIL v3 because v3 is where everything ITIL is headed.

    Also, an authoritative source for ITIL v3 qualifications is http://www.itil-officialsite.com/Qua...tionScheme.asp

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeking
    1- Are ITIL certs more for the IT managers than a regular IT guy, I am just starting out in the filed with a degree in IT as my background.
    1 - Yes and no. Certifications for ITIL v3 are granted at 4 levels.

    Foundation Level
    Intermediate Level (Lifecycle Stream & Capability Stream)
    ITIL Expert
    Advanced Service Management Professional Diploma and/or ITIL Master

    Foundation level is intended for anyone in IT. The point of foundation level knowledge is that everyone is speaking the same language relative to IT and how the business uses IT.

    Intermediate Level is also intended for anyone in IT, but this level of knowledge is likely more useful if you regularly conduct work in a specific process or lifecycle area. For example, if your function in the organization is first line incident response, a certification at this level focused on incident management can likely be had. The knowledge gained in such a class would primarily be related to gaining efficiency and effectiveness in incident management by employing ITIL best practices.

    ITIL Expert this level of certification is intended for those people implementing ITIL in an organization, those people in an organization who are accountable for the delivery of IT services, or consultants.

    Although I have listed three target groups here, it is likely that the true target audience is consultants. If someone holds there ITIL Manager v2.0 certification, there is a method by which taking a 4 day "bridging class" and passing an exam at the end will earn the "ITIL Expert" certification. This is exactly what I did in April to bridge my ITIL Manager v2.0 cert to ITIL Expert. I am told (but unable to verify) that this bridging class will not be offered after 2008.

    Under ITIL v3.0, to earn ITIL Expert from scratch, requires a total of about 30 days of training (actual in-class training). This doesn't include all of the study outside of class required to pass the exams. In my opinion it is unlikely that many organizations will find value in having key people attend 30 days of training outside of the office when they could hire a consultant to do the work for them. Missed work + ~12k training + travel and expense = not cost-effective, especially when that person might complete the credential and leave for more money.

    I am told that there are currently less than 100 ITIL Experts in the world.

    Advanced Service Management Professional Diploma and or ITIL Master

    They keep changing the name of this one. This is the new top level ITIL v3 certification. It will likely only be held by consultants. Currently no one holds this credential, as the requirements are currently undefined.

    In summary, Foundation - everyone, Intermediate - everyone specific to their function, Expert - likely only consultants, and Advanced - definitely only consultants.

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeking
    2- Do you need to have a certain number of experience to make a move for these certs.
    Foundation - Experience is not required.
    Intermediate - Experience is not required, but it would be helpful to have some experience.
    Expert - Experience is required. I question the verification practices, as it is often left to the training providers to conduct verification (at least it was in v2, and I don't see anything indicating a change). Just my opinon, but do the people selling the training have an interest in disqualifying candidates that are willing to pay $10k+?
    Advanced - It's unlikely that anyone will be able to achieve this without having worked through at least one verified implementation.

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeking
    3- To me it seems that these certs are more focused on everyday IT stuff then on a certain technology in IT, is that correct?
    I agree, nothing about any of the certs discussed in this post tells you what technology should be used to solve a specific problem. We would be on ITIL version 3000 if this were the case. (However, there is some component of the ITIL library that does talk about specific technologies, but that's a wormhole we shouldn't get into in this post).

    The basic intent is that IT cost-performance and quality improve through the implementation and regular use of best practices. ITIL (regardless of the version) is a a set of best practices. For example, one best practice that can be taken from ITIL is that IT releases should be tested before release into the live environment. Not groundbreaking stuff, but it's really amazing to me what some organizations do and don't do, and how simple improvements can make a huge difference. Another best practice is that technology organizations should have a "Service Catalog", that explains what services they offer, the cost, and how the customer can receive the service. Also not groundbreaking stuff, but very few organizations do a good job at this one thing that sounds very simple.

    I like to think of ITIL as a collection of "things" that have been shown to help different organizations improve efficiency and effectiveness of their IT. Additionally, there is plenty of detail available in v3 as to how to achieve these "things".

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeking
    4- Do you think its compulsary to have some tech certs before moving on to ITIL certs?
    No. I don't even believe it is compulsary to have tech certs to do technical jobs. I interpret "compulsary" to mean that the certs are required by employers and that having the cert implies some level of performance that the employer can expect.

    However, my personal opinion is that moving into the high-level ITIL certs without hands-on technical experience is pointless. These people are easy to spot, because they are simply theorists who have a lot to say about what should be done, but little to say about what it actually means in an organizational context.

    I have a favorite quote about this very topic -
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert A. Heinlein
    Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.
    I have been involved in implementations where consultants will propose things that sound great, without realizing that the organization doesn't have the capacity to achieve those things. For example, I was involved once with an organization that wanted to define their desktop as an IT Service, and mange it according to ITIL processes. A consultant had convinced this company that to do that would require knowing the real-time capacity available on all of the 40,000 desktops in their organization, simply because ITIL says that you have to manage capacity. What was missed is that even if this organziation was capable of doing that, what is the benefit to the business? There is none. This particular consultant was getting about $225 an hour for gems of wisdom like that. The true metric that was important to the business was how quickly they could have a new desktop that met a standard requirement deployed.

    Because that particular consultant was incompetent (and I don't think he knew he was, as the most incompetent never do), he sought to obscure his lack of knowledge by sending the organization towards and unachievable goal. He could bill an unlimited number of hours, and always point to the ITIL books as proof that his advice was correct. A lack of technical experience early in his career led to his incompetence.

    This is one of the many reasons why I much prefer results-based or fixed-rate billing, because, as a consultant, if I bill hourly what incentive do I have to ever help my customer reach their goal? Let's save this dicussion for another post....

    My opinion, get the technical experience and keep it and use what you know technically to achieve results in things like ITIL above and beyond what others are able to do.

    Summary

    I hope I've answered your questions.

    If I were recommending something for you, I would recommend taking a Foundation class. First, this is the basic level of knowledge about ITIL. You know much more after this class than before, and with that knowledge you can decide whether pursuing any other ITIL certs is right for you. Second, the fact is that having an ITIL Foundation cert is a good thing to have on your resume, especially if you're just starting out.

    But...if I were paying myself and my choice were between ITIL Foundation and VCP...I'd pick the VCP. You'll get more bang for you buck out of it.

    If on the other hand, implementation of best practices suits you, then my recommendation to you is to go for it, but in a manner that makes you as multi-disciplinary as possible. Particularly if you intend to start your own company or work as an independent consultant. The more things you have done, can do, or can prove that you can do the greater chance you have at booking yourself the best engagements.

    MS
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  4. Coffee Addict coffeeking's Avatar
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    #3

    Default Thank you

    eMeS,

    Thank you so very much for replying in such a great detail. It was very informative and cleared a lot of things, I hope other people can benefit from it as well. Thanks for taking you time out to answer.

    I like the idea of ITIL certs. Let me tell you the reason I had been looking into these, in a long run in my career I would like to move into IT management. Right now is just a start and I know that need to gain a lot of technical experience to make the right decisions in future. For that, I am totally into technical stuff at moment, but would like to understand an organization's techical infrastructure as well and not jus stick to the everyday tech stuff. ITIL sounded like something that would give me a good idea of what I am trying to learn. I will definately start with the foundation course, but not any time soon, since I only have a few months of experience under my belt. Once I am in for like a couple of years, I think then it would be the right time to go for it. But, I might read the course work before I actually start getting ready for the exam, this way I can compare what the ITIL teaches to what goes on in my organization.

    Thanks again for you response, very helpful.

    -coffeeking
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  5. Drops by now and again astorrs's Avatar
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    #4
    sticky candidate?
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    #5

    Default Re: Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeking
    eMeS,

    Thank you so very much for replying in such a great detail. It was very informative and cleared a lot of things, I hope other people can benefit from it as well. Thanks for taking you time out to answer.

    I like the idea of ITIL certs. Let me tell you the reason I had been looking into these, in a long run in my career I would like to move into IT management. Right now is just a start and I know that need to gain a lot of technical experience to make the right decisions in future. For that, I am totally into technical stuff at moment, but would like to understand an organization's techical infrastructure as well and not jus stick to the everyday tech stuff. ITIL sounded like something that would give me a good idea of what I am trying to learn. I will definitely start with the foundation course, but not any time soon, since I only have a few months of experience under my belt. Once I am in for like a couple of years, I think then it would be the right time to go for it. But, I might read the course work before I actually start getting ready for the exam, this way I can compare what the ITIL teaches to what goes on in my organization.

    Thanks again for you response, very helpful.

    -coffeeking
    I think you have a good plan. Understanding how the "rubber meets the road" from a hands on technical perspective will likely serve you well in IT Management.

    The one caveat that I will add is this: You will be in the minority. This will likely result in one of two outcomes for your in your career.

    1 - You'll land in a place where your hands on experience will be highly respected and valued within the ranks of other managers that do not.

    or

    2 - You'll be marginalized in the ranks of management and technicians. Knowing too much about both sides and trusted by neither, you'll eventually land in the ranks of independent consultants. Throw in a healthy dose of actual customer-facing business experience and you will really set yourself apart.

    It's somewhat easy to guess which path I took (here's a hint, it's not #1 ). I have an opinion about which outcome is more likely for most, but every situation is different.

    Best of luck to you,

    MS
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  7. Senior Member goforthbmerry's Avatar
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    #6
    I second the sticky. Not a lot of activity here yet but this is a good post for people to start with.
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  8. Are we having fun yet? UnixGuy's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by astorrs View Post
    Sticky candidate?
    .......

    +1
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by astorrs View Post
    You've just got to love those spammers... or not.
    Yeah, I guess sales are down this month....got to make some forum posts to catch up!

    Seriously, companies like that one are a large part of the reason that things like ITIL fall falt and fail in many organizations...all they can see is the money they will make if they get people to sign up for training, as opposed to the value they could create if they actually helped their customers achieve some kind of useful result.

    MS
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    #9
    OK, people, you got your sticky.
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  11. Coffee Addict coffeeking's Avatar
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    Default Well Deserved

    Thanx JD. This one deserved it. Thanx for you again eMes.
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    #11
    I was always wondering what ITIL is, once a year a guy comes into the company and checks our knowledge. I always have a few stupid answers like "the company ensures that I get to work in time", "sick leave needs to be announced before I start working", "where do I see myself in 2 years" and so on.

    Is this also part of this certification? HR for IT staff? Sorry for my bad knowledge in management...
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by disi View Post
    I was always wondering what ITIL is, once a year a guy comes into the company and checks our knowledge. I always have a few stupid answers like "the company ensures that I get to work in time", "sick leave needs to be announced before I start working", "where do I see myself in 2 years" and so on.

    Is this also part of this certification? HR for IT staff? Sorry for my bad knowledge in management...
    This sounds more like some audit of employee satisfaction/time management.

    ITIL best practices are guidance about how to manage IT's business contribution from the standpoint of the customer.

    MS
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  14. Junior Member waltaw's Avatar
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    #13

    Thumbs up Great Info!!!

    I am about to start preparing for the ITIL V3 Foundations and would like to know the status of your book emes? I will try to find you on indeed so i can use your questions also.

    Thanks all for your posts!!!
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by waltaw View Post
    I am about to start preparing for the ITIL V3 Foundations and would like to know the status of your book emes? I will try to find you on indeed so i can use your questions also.

    Thanks all for your posts!!!
    Delayed beyond my control for the moment. The status should change within the next few days. How quickly will you need something?

    MS
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  16. Junior Member waltaw's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by eMeS View Post
    Delayed beyond my control for the moment. The status should change within the next few days. How quickly will you need something?

    MS
    I plan to start at the end of the month. I would like to be certified by the end of march.
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  17. Member Norrlands Turk's Avatar
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    #16
    Thank you for the highly informative post. I will be looking for your book on the shelves as I am planning to sit for foundations cert this year.
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  18. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #17

    Unhappy ITIL certification

    Hi All,

    I have seven years IT experience, I was completed my first certification ITIL V3 Foundation. I plan to go for CompITA Security + certificate.
    I don't any other certication. I am working as Release Manager with Incident,Change and Problem Managemant responcibility.
    I was work on Linux/windows administration.
    Please advice me " Which certification is perfect for me "
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  19. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #18
    Hi imtiyaj
    It really depends on what you want to do in future. No perfect certification. Just depends on what you are working in now,where you would like to go and finally the opportunities that you get.
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  20. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #19
    Being in Release, Incident, Change and Problem management I would recommend you do ITIL Intermediate Service Operation and Service Transition paper. You will be specializing in these two area. My second advice will be to look at doing project management training & certification - Either PMP or Prince2.
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  21. Member krucial85's Avatar
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    #20
    This was a great breakdown of ITIL. I've started some of the training in Skillsoft(I'm in the military) but I will get serious about it when I complete the CISSP exam next week. I have completed the Security+ and SSCP certification(not sure if I needed to do both) and my goal is to get back into the Information security world after I retire next month. It seems like ITIL is an advance form of SDLC that we used years ago; kinda.

    ** UPDATE*

    I passed the CISSP exam last month and tody I passed the ITILv3 Foundations exam! It didn't seem that difficult. I'm considering getting the intermediate level ITIL certification but not real sure that's the direction I want to go at this point. So far I've been able to pass each of the exams but now I'm getting more concerned about the current experience since I've been out of IT for over 15 years.
    Last edited by krucial85; 03-05-2015 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Update
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    #21
    ITIL formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.
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