Having worked in IT service operations for nearly 30 years, I think the most important ITIL Intermediate certifications are Continual Service Improvement and Service Operation (SO).
Training in SO has given me a better understanding of how things come together from beginning to end and a more effective way of doing things: having a plan, an approach to process improvement and a way to simplify processes.
I often tell my team that SO is the “heartbeat” of technology; it’s the “finger on the pulse” and the ability to “keep the lights on”. For example, when people call the service desk they are expecting a solution to their IT problem. And that requires service desk teams to be both knowledgeable and to have good interpersonal relationship skills. IT operations teams are both the “voice” and the “face” of the organization. They are the people who the customer speaks with over the phone and the ones who come to their desks to help them when things fail.
Adopting ITIL Intermediate best practice
Without having the right processes in place to guide you, it will take forever to figure out the right thing to do. So, having standard processes and procedures you can follow and teach others gives you a method to resolve incidents and problems.
Using best practice from ITIL’s SO knowledge also stops operations from overlooking the potential to simplify: there is often a tendency to look for complex resolutions and miss the basic things; ITIL best practice gives you clarity and a set of steps to help narrow down the field of what you need to make a difference.
Transferring value from SO principles
Using principles such as documenting standard operating procedures means you are transferring your knowledge and experience to other people in the team; this gives them a clear understanding of ITIL, of how and why to do things and it means they’re not “reinventing the wheel”.
For your organization, the benefit of applying SO approaches goes way past the service desk. For example, in the change management area you can ask: is the process efficient? How will it affect other areas of the business? What is the remediation plan? If successful, can it be extended further to create something that is even more efficient and effective? The impact of this is huge and means you can put processes in place along with the right resources to prevent any adverse effects elsewhere in the organization.
The relevance of SO today
Any time you can expand your best practice knowledge and continue to learn will benefit you and your organization. Through SO, having greater understanding of how a service is provided to customers and how they interact is critical.
Service Operation provides you with the approaches to plan, identify and mitigate risk and know how you can provide a better resource to the organization.
Read more Blog Posts in our series covering the ITIL Intermediate modules
ITIL Intermediate: Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO)
ITIL Intermediate Service Transition – making IT change less painful
ITIL Intermediate: Service Strategy – towards better business and customer outcomes
ITIL Intermediate v3: Service Design – enabling value creation
ITIL Intermediate – Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)
ITIL Intermediate: Release, control, validation – many happy releases
ITIL Intermediate: a pathway to ITIL 4 – Continual Service Improvement
Read more AXELOS Blog Posts from Steve Levinson
Built on ITIL: taking ITSM to the next level
ITIL Practitioner’s 9 Guiding Principles – part of my vision statement
The content of ITIL v3 Intermediate modules is key for professionals working in ITSM today due to the essential knowledge they contain, creating increased understanding and the ability to handle immediate work challenges more effectively.
Also ITIL-certified practitioners wanting to gain accreditation in the new ITIL 4 guidance can get a helping hand from the existing v3 credit system. By obtaining 17 credits from any combination of the ITIL Intermediate modules or ITIL Practitioner you can take the new Transition Module to achieve ITIL 4 Managing Professional. More information about ITIL 4 Managing Professional will be released throughout the second half of 2019.