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Author  Mark Smalley - ITIL 4 Lead Editor

September 5, 2023 |

 8 min read

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  • Lessons Report
  • Lessons Log
  • Issue Report
  • Issue Register
  • Highlight Report
  • Exception Report
  • End Stage Report
  • End Project Report
  • Daily Log
  • Configuration Item Record
  • Communication Management Approach
  • Checkpoint Point Report
  • Change Control
  • Benefits Management
  • Blueprint Delivery
  • Blueprint Design
  • Closing a Programme
  • Defining a Programme
  • Delivering the Capability
  • Identifying a Programme
  • Managing the Tranches
  • Stakeholder Identification
  • Programme Office
  • Organisation
  • Control
  • Planning
  • Assurance Management
  • Quality Management
  • Benefit Realization
  • Issue Management
  • Transformational Flow
  • The Hexagon
  • Agileometer
  • Scrum
  • Quality
  • Management Products
  • Contracts
  • Kanban
  • Business As Usual
  • User Stories
  • Servant Leadership
  • Tailoring
  • Managing a Stage Boundary
  • Service Level Management
  • Service Request Management
  • Service Desk
  • Problem Management
  • Change Enablement
  • Continual Improvement
  • Service Value
  • Service Management
  • Guiding Principles
  • Service Value System
  • ITIL Practices
  • Business Case
  • Change Theme
  • Closing a Project
  • Controlling a Stage
  • Directing a Project
  • Initiating a Project
  • Principles
  • Plans Theme
  • Progress Theme
  • Exam Questions
  • Risk Theme
  • Starting a Project
  • Managing Product Delivery
  • service agreements
  • Vision
  • Value
  • Training
  • Strategy
  • Stakeholder management
  • Skills
  • Roles
  • Resource management
  • Requirements
  • ITIL4

As a geographic route map gets us to where we need to go when travelling, a professional development route map does the same thing, but for our life-long learning and career aspirations.

ITIL 4 – since 2019 – has updated the skills, knowledge and career progression relevant to the current and expected demands placed on people in organizations providing digitally-enabled services to both internal and external customers.

But while certifying in ITIL Foundation is the necessary first step on this career journey, the various routes to choose from beyond that start point can transport practitioners to a veritable “London Underground” map of career-guiding destinations.

The “Underground” analogy is not an accident – as you will see with the new ITIL 4 job role, certification and career route guide.

Defining the destinations and designations with ITIL 4

If ITIL 4 has been around for a while, why are we doing this now? Because, what was once two defined learning journeys is now three.

The catalyst for clarifying ITIL’s learning and development routes is the arrival of the Practice Manager designation, along with an ongoing programme to refresh ITIL’s practice guides (maybe the best-kept secret among the many tools in the framework).

And so, it makes sense to explain more clearly – and show pictorially – how, respectively, the knowledge within ITIL 4 Managing Professional is for people who manage the work, while ITIL 4 Strategic Leader suits those planning the overall direction and ITIL 4 Practice Manager is for practitioners who do the work.

Having coherent career paths defined is both practical – something people can trust and follow with confidence – and emotional: feeding into the basic human instinct of wanting to know that you’re doing the right things, while giving a sense of identity, belonging and purpose.

ITIL 4 Managing Professional – meeting business goals via IT capabilities

The modules which make up the ITIL 4 Managing Professional designation are about developing the knowledge and skills which enable organizational capability with a focus on aligning IT and digital with business requirements. 

But what competencies does each module in turn provide?

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS):

This covers core service management activities, including the design, creation and delivery of digital services.

Roman Jouravlev, ITIL Senior Architect at PeopleCert, has called CDS the “engine room” of the IT and digital function, helping to design, manage and improve end-to-end value streams.

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV):

For anyone managing customer journeys, experiences or expectations, DSV helps practitioners nurture relationships and co-create value with stakeholders.

Christian Nissen, lead author for DSV, said the module is “built around the customer journey, with both parties engaging, agreeing to work together and interacting to co-create value” based on satisfaction levels, human-centred design, customer experience, user experience and two-way communication.

  • ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI)

DPI is designed to enable alignment between a team’s objectives and organizational strategy, along with embedding continual improvement actions and behaviours.

Lead editor of DPI, Lou Hunnebeck, said the module “looks across the value chain as an entire system, enabling people to understand where they fit and their contribution to the system”.

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT (HVIT)

For IT managers and practitioners operating in digital or highly-automated environments – or who deliver digital products and services – this is for you.

Speaking as the author of this module, it’s a radical re-think of IT service management, based on Lean, Agile and other disciplines; aimed at practitioners who want to become more valuable and relevant in the era of digitally-enabled organizations and apply digital technology for significant business enablement.

And as one ITIL practitioner who transitioned from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4 Managing Professional said: “ITIL 4 Managing Professional is hugely significant in terms of industry direction and the expectation of skills you need.”

Next time: ITIL 4 Strategic Leader – navigating the complexities of the digital era and preparing for digital transformation.