New ITIL Practitioner Qualification: Should I care?

In case you missed it, a new ITIL® qualification was announced March 13th. It’s goal is to equip practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully “adapt and adopt” ITIL in the real world. The question is: What’s it mean to me; should I care?

In Why I don’t Care ITIL Has Been Sold (and you shouldn’t either) I gave my reasons why the sale of ITIL to Axelos should not concern practitioners

I said:

  • The company who bought ITIL (Axelos) intends to be profitable. Damaging the loyal ITIL customer base will not serve this purpose
  • Likewise, Axelos can be expected to increase the market for ITIL and related products – increasing the value of your ITIL involvement.
  • ITIL Certifications still have the same value – they stand as verification of demonstrated capability in the subject matter.
  • Your organization needs you more than ever to maximize business value of IT.

I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but the announcment of ITIL Practitioner completely support all of these points.

Listening to the community

ITILPractitionerLast year I had the opportunity to meet up with Kaimar Karu, Head of ITSM at AXELOS in a Seattle café at Pike Place Market. We talked about Service Management, ITIL, and the future of the industry. He listened as I described the challenges I see as a long time ITSM practitioner.

We talked about the gap I see between ITIL training and certification, and the ability to adapt and adopt the guidance to meet the needs of the organization. I told him about the times I was the next “ITIL Guy”, on the heels of some ITIL Zealot who had insisted that ITIL must be implemented by the book, in whole, “or else”.

Over the years I developed what I call a multi-phase adoption that encourages starting small, and using Continual Service Improvement to incrementally mature the processes over time. The approach starts and ends with a focus on business needs, and the outcomes required (from the processes) to maximize business value.

I also described reality-as-I-see-it. That out in the real world, we use multiple frameworks and methodologies (Agile, Cobit, DevOps, etc) if, and as needed, together to meet the business need.

After lunch, I headed home; Kaimar continued his US listening tour.

Just what the doctor ordered

Fast forward to March 13 when Axelos announced the ITIL© Practitioner Qualification. Imagine my delight when every single concern I raised was specifically identified as key to the new qualification.

NewITILPractitionerDon’t get me wrong. I have no delusion that my input weighed any heavier than anyone else. But this I know. Axelos listened to practitioners, consultants and trainers all over the world. Many of the challenges we face are universal.

The ITIL Practitioner certification is intended to close the gap between “ITIL Island” (theory) and successful practice in the real world.

What’s the message?

I see two very important messages in the announcement:

  1. The ITIL guidance is solid as-is. The most pressing need is not a new version of ITIL.
  2. The real and perceived value of ITIL in the industry is shaped by practitioners, who up to this point have been left largely on their own to figure out how to best use it.

I find both of these messages very encouraging. Existing investments in ITIL qualifications not only retain their value, it is reinforced by the new focus on practitioner success. The focus here is bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

What will it look like?

Well, there’s the million dollar question. At this point it’s still in development, so no one really knows. But this we do know:

  • It’s based on the Continual Service Improvement model
  • It will focus on maximizing business value
  • It Includes guidance on utilizing emerging technology, and
  • It emphasizes the coordinated use of multiple frameworks and methodologies

What’s not to like?

I couldn’t be happier with the new qualification. It is the best possible move Axelos could make to increase the value of ITIL.

How about you? What are your thoughts about the ITIL Practitioner qualification?

Photo Credit: marfis75 via Compfight cc