Saturday, July 26, 2008

An 8 question challenge

As one of the ones on the "inner circle" I am often asked to participate in upcoming ITIL exams, as a Pilot Tester.

The good news is that I get asked and I am one of the first to ever see these new exams. The bad news is that I never get to see my result and I still have to take the test myself, when the actual exams are finally released.

Over the last 4 weeks I have taken 5 of the upcoming ITIL Service Lifecycle and Service Capability exams. The expected format of the exams is well publicized. Eight (8) complex multiple choice exams, to be answered in 90 minutes.

You may be thinking ONLY 8 ! and 90 MINUTES !... I'm here to tell you not to get lulled into a sense of security. Some of the questions are - I wouldn't use the work complex - I'd use the terms of LONG, TIRING TO READ, TRICKY TO UNDERSTAND and SUBJECTIVE.

The answers have different points. So it isn't even a case of one RIGHT and three WRONG. There are grades of RIGHT and WRONG. This is what makes the format hard for me to like.

If you get three of four experienced managers together and ask them to write an answer to an issue you will get COMPLETELY different answers. This is a result of experience, knowledge and even how you felt at the time.

Then you have an independant person say what is the most right answer etc.. Just doesn't sit well with me. I have my views and opinions and because they may differ to the people who write the questions and answers I could fail the exam.

There is no doubt that it is an enormous challenge, but I wonder if the examination panel would be better suited opting for simply MORE simple multiple choice questions and avoid the issues that are simply inevitable with the complex format.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Front Runners for ITIL v3 Certification

The United States still leads the way in terms of numbers of ITIL exams taken AND the percentage of those exams that are ITIL v3.

It would seem that the Service Management professional community in the US has thrown their (considerable) weight behind ITIL v3 certification.

Canada and Australia, as well as the UK are seeing a greater percentage of ITIL v3 exams taken than ITIL v2.

However, one interesting result is that while Japan is second behind the USA for number of ITIL exams taken, it is in last place for the number of those exams that are ITIL v3.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Codifying User Profiles

I am sorry, but if you were looking for a clear and concise description of the concept of codifying user profiles that is documented in the ITIL v3 Service Strategy volume, then all I can give you is my take.

(actually, the detail of the concept causes me to lose faith in the concept)

I can understand that users in an organization have profiles. Different levels of staff, have different requirements and generate differernt Patterns of Business Activity (PBA)... BUT the way it is represented in the text is just plain confusing.

The text tells me that codifying helps multidimenisonal analysis, using criteria like nearness and likeness.. it is heavy duty stuff, so here is my take.

People carry out a variety of different "jobs" within their actual job. A senior executive could one day be firefighting some operational issues and the next day they are involved in strategic decision making.

If we look at each of these "sub-jobs" the requirements for services differs in each one. Next we map each sub-job by how much of a particular service or service element the job requires. Give each of those sub-jobs a unique identifying code.

Next, each person (who has their own User Profile (UP) can be linked to one or more of these sub-jobs.

Now the benefit comes when you look down the list of User Profiles to see which sub-job codes they share. Understanding the level of sharing helps us to better predict demand of services and therefore respond with appropriate capacity.

If we give each of these "sub-jobs" a code then we

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

More Classic Bloopers from ITIL v3 - Service Strategy

It is already acknowledged that there are some mistakes in the ITIL v3 Core volumes.
So this is not a dig at v3, but a service to assist people that have made the investment.

Blooper 1 - Service Strategy book, page 129
Diagram relating to Tight Coupling of Demand and Capacity.
Should read that Production cycle consumes CAPACITY.

Blooper 2 - Service Strategy book, page 31
Column 1 = "Value is defined not only strictly in terms of the customer's business outcomes...
Column 2 = "... value is defined strictly in the context of business outcomes".

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