ITIL Expert and ITIL Practitioner – partners in IT improvement

ITIL Expert and ITIL Practitioner – partners in IT improvement

Adam McCulloughWhat should the future hold for IT Service Management (ITSM) professionals certified in ITIL® Foundation? If you’re anything like me, it holds ITIL Expert® and ITIL® Practitioner!

ITIL Foundation lives up to its name: it’s a foundational framework that is the first step in understanding and providing IT as a service.

Beyond that, the more advanced ITIL certifications give you greater ability to spot areas of improvement in your organization and – almost like a surgeon – learn new ways to “operate” and perform ever-increasing expert types of “surgery”.

In a practical way, studying other ITIL certifications offers opportunities to do more real-world, scenario-based questions and dig deeper into concepts such as Continual Service Improvement (CSI). Especially in organizations where ITSM is less mature, you need the knowledge available in ITIL Practitioner and ITIL Expert.

Advanced ITIL

When I became an ITIL Expert, there was no ITIL Practitioner. So, “Expert” was the logical next step for me to tackle the managing across the lifecyle (MALC) exam. For practitioners today, ITIL Practitioner complements “Expert” – but more of that later.

Taking the MALC at that time allowed me to adopt a holistic approach for providing IT as a service, something I continue today with any customer engagement I work on.

What I mean by a holistic approach is taking a scenario and looking at what’s going on in the entire organization. This helps you understand where there’s a breakdown, what areas are lacking and how ITIL can enable improvements quickly to show value. However, you still need to recognize that Rome wasn’t built in a day!

ITIL Practitioner

Having become an ITIL Expert, you might wonder how ITIL Practitioner is relevant to me? After doing my own due diligence it became apparent that this certification builds upon my existing skills and adds value. And even more to the point, I was working on a government proposal with a requirement for ITIL Practitioner!

Becoming a true ITSM subject matter expert means that you’re never done learning; at any point you think you’re done, you put yourself at a disadvantage. So, ITIL Practitioner shot to the top of the list of all certifications I could take because of its relevance and reinforcing all of my existing knowledge.

The certification’s 9 Guiding Principles offer a “deep dive” into areas covered in ITIL Foundation and other ITIL modules, while re-emphasizing CSI and establishing a framework to lead teams through practical adoption of ITSM guidance. The principles bolster competencies in communication, measurement and metrics and organizational change management among other things.

In fact, for me, the 9 guiding principles would have been tremendously helpful when I did the MALC. Going deeper into focus on value, working holistically and continual service improvement will help anyone in their preparation.

But why, ultimately, does this matter to an organization? Looking for ways to improve is key to success in today’s world. As your organization matures, ITIL will help you not only grow but also look continually for areas of improvement.

Achieving certifications is, I believe, a way of keeping you thinking. The IT world is forever changing and changing rapidly; what matters 10 years from now will be completely different to today and you need to avoid becoming complacent.

And don’t wait for your company to invest in you! Many times I’ve had to invest in my own education; only you are responsible for your professional development, not your company.

I’m a big believer in the ‘Growth Mindset’ and to always keep learning (or ‘Always Be Learning’ as per one of my previous blog posts with AXELOS – Telling the story of ITIL® for bids and tenders). ITIL allows you to keep learning and putting your knowledge into practical use, making improvements through people, process and technology; becoming ITIL Practitioner-certified will both help answer the “How” question for ITSM and be a useful complement to ITIL Expert.

Remember, if you’re not looking for ways to save or make money for your company, you can bet your competition is doing it for their company.

Read more AXELOS blog posts from Adam McCullough

Telling the story of ITIL® for bids and tenders

Applying ITIL® outside IT

Elephants, mentors and comfort zones: three things that have shaped my ITIL journey

7 tips for performing service transition effectively

Do businesses really need Business Relationship Managers?

Why should businesses do CSI?

A collaborative approach to cyber security

I’m ITIL® Foundation certified - now what?

The real ROI of ITIL training

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