Monday, November 12, 2007

The v3 Multiple Choice approach

APMG have recently published draft syllabi for all the Service Capabilty and Service Lifecycle programs, along with details regarding the Managing across the Lifecycle capping course.

It is clear from the syllabi that ALL exams for ITIL v3 will be multiple choice.

It raises the question of why depart from the traditional model of multiple choice for the entry (Foundation) and intermediate (practitioner) levels and the challenge of the written response for the advanced (managers) level.

Multiple choice questions support the Blooms Taxonomy that is at the heart of how APMG are pitching the different levels of qualification for ITIL v3. Perhaps this is the reason for going to multi-choice.. OR ... perhaps in an attempt to make all levels of certification more appealing to the mass IT community it is a clever move.

There is no doubt that the ITSM community shudders at the thought of the current exam style ITIL v2 Managers exams. The exam is hard, the marking is hard and the failure rate is high.

On the flip side, the ability to earn points from the markers is there, provided you can demonstrate an understanding, at an advanced level of the theory and its application.

The move to multiple choice really negates the ability of the exam taker to "show their style" as a manager. Now, it is a case of learning the theory in order to give yourself the best chance of passing.

APMG have not helped the industry in the way the new course syllabus support the theory buff. Why not have an element of in course assessment that training organizations can use to ensure that if someone is going to earn the top level certification, that they can in fact communicate effectively? (a must for any Service Managment professional worth their salt).

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SQMF is ISO 20000 Foundation

Exin are to uncover the name of a new program "IT Service Management according to ISO/IEC 20000".

This new program is an extension of the already popular SQMF (Service Quality Management Foundation) that has been in place for well over 12 months. Ideally suited to IT professionals that have earned certification in other frameworks (e.g. ITIL®, MOF, COBIT, ISO 9000, CMMI, ASL) the new Service Management according to ISO/IEC 20000 will offer 4 levels of examinable programs.

The 4 levels offered will be:

SQMF Foundation Level
Professional Level
IT Management Track
Auditing Track

The big news for these programs is that the SQMF (Foundation) level exam will be offered via Prometric & Vue test centres from January 2008.

The SQMF will also be known as the "Foundation Certificate according to
ISO/IEC 20000" and is bound to be a big success for Exin who tend to deliver

The IT Service Management according to ISO 20000 will also offerIT staff who already hold relevant certificates the option of entering the program at an advanced level.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

What is in a name change?

The IT Service Management Diploma has been replaced by the "ITIL Expert" as part of the lauch of the new v3 qualification scheme.

The paper outlining the program (authored by Sharon Taylor) included a warning to indicate that the name ITIL Expert could in fact change if something better came along.

I don't think I can recall such turmoil surrounding an education program and it raises obvious questions; the biggest one being why?. Well if we ignore the name change and look at the other major factor regarding ITIL qualifications; that of the exams.

All exams are going to be multiple choice. Is this a blatant money grab or an attempt to truly create a path for those with a genuine interest in furthering education standards?

It seems hard to be able to say that a multiple choice exam replacing the traditional essay style approach that was created by Exin and ISEB allows true expression of professionalism. However, the saving grace is that in order to take the advanced exams there is a requirement to be able to demonstrate attending an accredited course.

Perhaps the biggest news is that it is not a requirement to attend a traditional classroom course, but that self study is very much allowed.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

New ITIL v3 certification scheme to be launched in UK

The new scheme for ITIL v3 certification will be launched at the itSMF conference in the UK this week. Prepared by Sharon Taylor it is the first time all the discussion has been drawn together into one paper.

The ITIL Diploma or Diploma in Service Management - which was to be near the top level certification for most ITIL professionals is now to be called the ITIL Expert.

That is about the only change for the much publicized and heavily criticized v3 certification program.

22 credits is the magic number to earn the ITIL Expert qualification.

Foundation earns 2 credits, each of the 5 Service Lifecycle programs is 3 credits, 4 for each of the Service Capability and 5 for the mandatory Managing across the Lifecycle.

The most annoying element of the program is still the amount of hours that each program is expected to take.

30 hours for Managing Across the Lifecycle
30 hours for each Service Capability course
21 hours for each of the Service Lifecycle courses
16.25 hours for the Foundation

So how does a training company decide how many days each course should be? It is even more complex when APMG haven't defined how many hours of contact time they consider a full traning day to contain.

Most people would say that a typical day involves 6.5 contact hours.
BUT APMG have said that the hours listed assume an 8 hour day... so now that is just plain silly...

Is a Foundation course expected to take two full days and then 15 minutes on the third... No, but equally would a vendor say that a Foundation is 2.5 days (assuming 6.6 hour days) ??

Why can't APMG just define this so that all ATOs have a common platform? My reason for why they cannot is that APMG are perhaps more interested in online study for each of the courses.

Maybe I am too cynical.... perhaps not!

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Friday, November 2, 2007

What is the buzz, the goss, the good oil on v3 exams?

For ITIL v3 examinations the system basically works as follows:

The system works as follows…

1. APMG create the syllabus and the mock exams
2. The syllabus and mock exams come to the ATOs (Accredited Training Organizations) for review and comment
3. The ATOs give feedback
4. APMG make improvements, based on their own and ATO assessment
5. The final syllabus is released to the ATOs
6. The ATOs develop the courses.

Step 6 can take however long it takes each ATO to develop their variant of the same course.

The situation at the time of publishing this blog.

ITIL v2 to v3 Managers bridge course – is at step 4 and unlikely to get to step 5 until January 2008

ITIL v3 Service Capability (4 courses) is at step 3 and seems to have stalled there
ITIL v3 Service Lifecycle (5 courses) has not started
ITIL v3 Managing through the Lifecycle has not started

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