Nicola Reeves, Service Management Consultant at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, describes the value ITIL® Practitioner brings to organizations, especially when it comes to change management.
Having completed my ITIL training to the highest level, I was keen to understand what additional knowledge the new ITIL Practitioner course could give to professionals like me, so when I got the opportunity to complete the accreditation, I jumped at the chance.
I quickly realized that ITIL Practitioner is less about gaining knowledge and more about achieving wisdom and understanding how to do something, not just what something is, and it’s this ‘how’ that truly adds value to a business.
Frankly, ITIL Practitioner is a turning point for the industry, giving IT Service Management (ITSM) professionals confidence in their ability to make proper change and provide better value to their business and customers.
How ITIL Practitioner differs
The major difference from other ITIL courses is that Practitioner focuses on taking what’s learnt in the classroom and translating it into good practice and better decision-making.
While processes, roles and functions are absolutely critical in our industry and fundamental knowledge that IT Service Managers need, we have to think beyond these areas day to day to make sure we’re really sharing and using our expertise.
The existing ITIL core publications are fantastic in giving guidance, but Practitioner goes beyond this. For example, within the course, all nine guiding principles of ITIL are laid out explicitly, alongside formal guidance on how to use them.
The ITIL Practitioner course also explores the CSI approach in detail, encouraging professionals to think about how to make a change and have the right structure in place to ensure it happens.
With this clear and straightforward guidance, organizations can reap the rewards of ITIL training much more readily and in turn, get a faster return on investment.
A structure for change
The structure for change is the biggest benefit of the ITIL Practitioner and, in my view, where the course gives the industry something it’s previously been missing and needing.
While ITSM has improved since the latest version of ITIL, I think most people will admit that there’s still some way to go, especially around the impact and management of change.
A new mindset
Quite frequently, IT Service Managers underestimate the effects of change on their organization, failing to recognize that you can’t just document a process and expect it to happen in reality.
Essentially, people are resistant to something new, often seeing it as a threat to their normality or position within an organization. Therefore, if change isn’t managed effectively, it won’t happen at all or, worse still, it can have a negative impact.
Effective change management needs robust people skills, yet unfortunately IT people don’t have a reputation for being the most people-focused, so this challenge becomes even harder.
With this in mind, ITIL Practitioner has been developed to help ITSM professionals think differently so they can implement CSI initiatives. Fundamentally, the course encourages a new approach – it’s a mindset change rather than a knowledge change.
Empowering ITSM professionals
ITIL Practitioner offers enormous benefits for businesses that rely on consultants to deliver improvement and change initiatives.
Working with a consultant helps organizations make change happen faster and more effectively. Yet, it shouldn’t be in isolation.
In an ideal world, every CSI initiative would be supported by a robust, long-term improvement structure; yet when companies need to opt for a lower level of consultancy support for budgetary reasons, they often find projects cease or fail to meet expectations – and this is often because the expertise and impetus leave when the consultant finishes their contract.
By upskilling existing ITIL trained employees to Practitioner level, organizations can help maintain momentum once the consultant leaves the building.
Within the course, attendees are given a fantastic toolkit with sample structures and documents on key areas that are incredibly helpful in practice. Yet what’s most beneficial is how the course empowers ITSM professionals, making them feel they are the ones in charge and able to lead and embed change themselves, without outsourcing every responsibility.
By encouraging this approach, ITIL Practitioner has a real potential for change in the industry.
See our ITIL Practitioner section for more information.