A career in ITSM: life-long learning in ITIL

ITSM professional sat at desk with computer, laptop, notebook and pen, telephone and anglepoise lamp planning certification journey

IT service management – at the turn of the century and before ITIL® v2 – was as difficult to manage as landing on the moon and finding a state of anarchy.

But – in my career post-ITIL v2 – I discovered a common language, a glossary, definitions of service level agreements and the ability to be “on the same page” in an organization. It also showed me how to put a value on service delivery and processes to connect IT strategy with services.

Fast forward to 2019 and ITSM contains ITIL, DevOps, Scrum, different standards like Lean and also compliance. However, the only method to standardize this variety of frameworks and compliance is still ITIL.

Mapping ITIL processes with Scrum and DevOps gives management a single point of control; this remains key, as the board is unlikely to understand the differences between Agile and DevOps.

ITIL training and certification – a career move

From a career perspective, training in ITIL and eventually achieving ITIL Expert-level certification has given me the chance to work in complex projects in Vodafone, the European Space Agency and, today, in a subsidiary of Volkswagen designing European-wide processes.

As the only ITIL Expert in the organization I stand out from the crowd and CIOs understand the effort that I’ve put into gaining this capability, which gives me visibility and a return on my investment.

On a practical level, which began at Vodafone in 2004, ITIL concepts helped me to implement service operation processes and understand the connection between single events and the impact on the business. Previously, designing a service delivery process was based on personal knowledge and approach; ITIL, instead, enabled collaboration with a common framework and create strategies that supported the business.

Combining ITIL with PRINCE2®

As a senior engineer managing projects and seeking IT roles in the UK and Germany, certifying in PRINCE2 offered the perfect combination with ITIL and the ability to connect project management processes with the ITIL structure.

Adopting these best practice approaches meant I didn’t have to “reinvent the wheel”: I used ITIL as a starting point to customise processes based on company needs and PRINCE2 to set up a PMO structure for ITSM. And, for implementation, PRINCE2 gave me a step-by-step approach using stages.

Best practices – a lifetime of learning

I believe that, in the job market, many people aren’t making an investment in certification. This is a problem because, in complex environments, it’s not enough just to claim “I’m an expert”. A certification demonstrates that you’ve passed a number of exams in knowledge that is widely recognized.

The market is demanding, so learning and developing provides benefit both to you and your company.

I still study five days per week and have three certifications in the pipeline for this year, including the new ITIL 4 and a target to apply for the ITIL Master title.

The only way for a professional to remain competitive, create opportunities and stand out is a lifetime of learning: showing you have the knowledge and skills is to be always on the right side of an approaching wave.

Find out how you can enhance your career with the new ITIL 4.

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