ITIL Practitioner is best practice guidance I use both in implementation as a consultant and in training people working in IT service management.
Before the arrival of ITIL® Practitioner there was, in my opinion, a large gap between ITIL Foundation and ITIL Expert. However, with the introduction of ITIL Practitioner there is now highly practical guidance for how to use ITIL in a given organizational context.
But how does that work?
The beauty of the guidance is that it’s principles-based, meaning that ITIL Practitioner is about delivering value. Having the 9 Guiding Principles and the three core competencies ensures that the fundamentals of the guidance are very strong, providing a solid foundation for using ITIL to support IT implementations within organizations.
The 9 Guiding Principles of ITIL Practitioner
I have to confess – I am an ITIL evangelist; it is, along with PRINCE2® and COBIT, very close to my heart.
And what excites me when delivering classroom training for ITIL Practitioner is talking about the importance of the principles: For example, Focus on Value is about trying to make companies understand the importance of bringing value to the business and the customer. In addition, Keep it Simple works well against what is a tendency in our industry to make things more complex than they should be.
So, taking ITIL Practitioner principles and competencies back to their workplace means that that my trainees have learned new competencies around change management and metrics that are helping them a lot. Also, in many organizations, IT is treated as separate from the rest of the business and consequently works in a silo. However, after the ITIL Practitioner training, candidates go back to their organizations with a better perspective on how IT should be more aligned with the business.
Aligning IT with the business
While IT has traditionally been an enabler, it needs to shift its approach to being more of a change agent, creating solutions for the business. Above all, this approach needs to have alignment with business requirements and be able to articulate value in terms the business understands.
Focusing on value, quantifying it and communicating it to the business requires the “Five Ws” (who, what, where, when, why) and “One H” (How) approach, which prompts practitioners to think about how to communicate with different parts of the organization when initiating change and seeking value.
Having worked with companies around the world, I know that ITIL translates well and its principles have a practical application across different cultures.
For example, one area where many organizations globally have issues is with incident management. The typical approach that organizations take is to jump into a one-time improvement initiative. So, with one particular company, I worked with them to use the ITIL Practitioner principle of Progress iteratively. This involved work over a period of six months, progressing iteratively to bring down the number of incidents, slowly develop higher quality solutions and increase the first call resolution rate.
Ultimately, this approach delivered a greater level of customer satisfaction. The company’s people were really involved with the changes and could see the results they’d achieved.
ITIL Practitioner guidance provides a great approach for continually improving services and more and more aligning with the business needs.
So, when people ask me about whether or not to choose ITIL Practitioner, my answer is that the guidance gives you a more practical approach to bring in continual service improvements. The method is there to help practitioners help their organization – that is the reality.