Sunday, September 21, 2008

Here comes the silly season....

The offers are starting to come through; more unwelcome emails that tell you what you need with respect to your ITIL v3 training.

I've made the point before and I'll make it again. Make up your own mind.

The 10 new courses (yes 10) that are defined in the ITIL Intermediate level of the certification program will be filtering into the marketplace.

One thing is for sure, if you want to follow the full ITIL v3 track you need to set yourself aside several months - up to a year or even more.

ITIL v3 will be around for a while, so there is no need to hurry. Look for clever offers that bundle a variety of courses together; saving you money. Also decide early on your strategy.

Will you opt for the Service Lifecycle courses, which will give you a solid grounding in the theoretical elements of the Framework or will you decide on a Service Capability track; which is more implementation/operation focussed.

It is true that you can mix and match different programs, but the clever money will be on those that follow a consistent path.

Demand for the ITIL v3 courses will grow over time; which programs attract the greatest interest will be interesting to observe.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

New marks for Intermediate courses

APMG have issued a short paper detailing the expected marking pattern for the upcoming:

Service Lifecycle
Service Capability and
Managing across the Lifecycle courses.

Collectively the 10 courses in this area are referred to as Intermediate level.

All exams will be "Complex multiple choice". 8 questions. The pass mark will be 28 out of a possible 40 marks maximum (or 70%).

5 marks will be awarded for the correct answer
3 marks for partially correct answer
1 mark for the least correct answer
0 marks for the incorrect answer

How will it work... ?

Partially correct answers on all 8 questions - you will fail the exam... (8 * 3 = 24).

Correct answers on 4 questions, partially correct on 2 and wrong on 2 - you will fail the exam (4*5 + 2*3 = 2*0 = 26)

Correct answers on 5 and least correct on 3 - you will PASS (5*5 + 3*1 = 28).

First set of exams is available from October 1 2008. The remainder are available from January 1st 2009.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

ITIL Intermediate and ITIL v3 Exam Dates

Finally some news from APMG about the new naming and timing of programs for ITIL v3.

In summary, the Service Lifecycle, Service Capability and Managing Across the Lifecycle are now collectively the ITIL Intermediate programs. The qualification earned for 22 credits is to stay as the ITIL Expert, but the new Advanced level program will be known as the ITIL Masters.

Confusing - perhaps to start with - but please let's not change it again !!

Now the timing.

Training organizations will again get early access, but for the general public here are some key dates when exams will be available.

October 1, 2008

Service Lifecycle Modules
Service Transition
Service Operation

Service Capability Modules:
Service Offerings & Agreements
Operational Support & Analysis
Release, Control & Validation

January 1, 2009

Service Lifecycle Modules:
Service Strategy
Service Design
Continual Service Improvement
Managing Across the Lifecycle

Service Capability Modules:
Planning, Protection & Optimization

So there you have it. October then January. It would appear that while the wait continues at least there is some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Managing Across the Lifecycle syllabus

APMG, the official accreditor for all ITIL and Prince2 certifications have released the first draft syllabus for the "capstone" course - Managing Across the Lifecycle.

The course, is looking like it will be a 28 contact hour course, with 50% of the contact hours being devoted to practical exercises and assignments.

All the new ITIL v3 course syllabi & exams are based around a "Blooms Taxonomy" Level. Blooms Taxonomy is a system created to help educators plot a progressive path for education. The levels move from basic knowledge and comprehension (Blooms level 1 & 2) through application and analysis (Blooms 3 & 4) and on to synthesis and evaluation (Levels 5 & 6).

The Managing across the Lifecycle will most likely be pitched at Blooms Level 5 (although the current syllabus indicates Level 4).

The exam for the Managing Across the Lifecycle is set to follow the Service Lifecycle and Service Capability programs with a "gradient style scoring system" for complex multiple choice questions. The exam looks set to have a duration of 90 minutes and will most likely have 20 questions.

Like all exams the final test is supervised and will be closed book. The prerequiste for the Managing Across the Lifecycle course will be a ITIL v3 Foundation level certificate (either straight v3 or the v2 + the v2 to v3 upgrade) and 15 credit points earned at the Service Lifecycle/Service Capability layer.

It is too early to discuss the actual contents of the syllabus as it is subject to change. Current opinion is that the program will be a fitting test of competency for those that want to fully appreciate the intricacies of ITIL v3 including risk management, managing strategic change and the associated organizational challenges.

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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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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Service Offerings and Analysis (SO and A)

One of the four Service Capability programs that SO A syllabus outlines the learning equirements.

The course is available only to those who hold the v3 ITIL Foundation certificate or the v3 Foundation Bridge (available to those who hold an early version of ITIL Foundation).

SO and A focuses on process areas related to communication and negotiation. Specifically, the Service Catalog Management, Serive Portfolio Management, Service Level Management, Demand and Supplier Management. Also included in this course is Financial Management and Business Relationship Management.

It is obviously a course for those involved in stratgic planning of IT Services, as well as management of relationships between customers and suppliers.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

NEW Service Capability Programs

The APM Group have released details for the Service Capability programs covering the ITIL version 3 framework.

The program names have changed since the Service Capability level of course was announced earlier this year. The concept of service capability remains unchanged as the courses will be pitched at an intermediate level of service management professional looking to bolster their skills in a particular set of processes.

PP&O = Planning, Protection and Optimization
For those looking to enhance skills and understanding in Capacity, Availability, Continuity, Security, Demand and Risk management.

SO&A = Service Offerings and Agreements
For the more strategically focussed, covering Service Portfolio, Service Level Management, Service Catalogue Mangement, Demand, Supplier and Financial Management.

OS&A = Operational Support and Analysis
Perhaps to be the most popular as it deals with day-to-day issues of Event Management, Incident, Request, Problem, Access Management. Then the functions of Service Desk, Technical, IT Operations and Application management.

RC&V = Release, Control & Validation
Change, Release and Deployment management, Validation and Testing, Asset and Configuration, Knowledge Management, Request fulfilment and Service Evaluation management.

To attend any of the programs you MUST have passed the ITIL Foundation exam.

The exam questions are looking as if they will be radically different from anything we have ever seen before.

9 Multiple Choice questions.. 6 out 9 will be a pass, 7 will be a distinction.
However, there is still questions over the scoring as original reports show that selecting the MOST correct answer from the 4 choices per question will earn you 5 marks, next best answer 3 marks, next - 1 mark and 0 for the incorrect answer.

But if marks are used in that way how can the pass be set at 6 out of 9. Surely it needs to be a number of marks that have to be reached.

Each question will be a lengthy scenario - with 4 quite involved options. Time allowed: 90 minutes.

Things are hotting up in the industry... it's getting exciting!

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Degrees and Doctorates

In a huge shake up for the industry, the APM Group have given the first hints of what is to come with regard to their ITIL certification program. In what can only be described as a bold move the APM Groups appointed Examination panel – chaired by the Chief of all things ITIL – Sharon Taylor – have unveiled their points based ITIL Certification scheme that culminates in the Advanced Service Management Diploma. Below the Advanced Diploma is a “Diploma in Service Management”.

The Advanced Diploma may well be out of the reach of mere mortals; it looks as if holding the Advanced certificate will mean that you either wrote ITIL or you are good enough to be asked to write ITIL or you’ve been a key player for many (many) years. The Advanced Diploma sounds as if it could be a “by invitation only” – perhaps a secret handshake as well.

It is the Diploma in Service Management for most of us. Your existing v2 Qualifications can be used as credits towards the (current thinking) 22 points required to be awarded the Diploma. The Diploma is earned by accumulating enough points.

1.5 points for your existing v2 Foundation, 15 points for your v2 Managers certificate, 3.75 points for an existing Clustered Practitioner and 1 point for a single Practitioner. There will be 0.5 points for passing the v2 to v3 Foundation upgrade exam.

The new v3 Foundation will be worth 2 points and there will be 3 points per exam, per book in the Core of ITIL. The examination panel is pushing the clustered approach for practitioners – with a to be created set of service capability programs.

There will be a “capping” course and Exam in the Service Lifecycle (worth 5 points) that all of us will have to do if we want to get the Diploma (so for those of you with Foundation, Managers and a few clustered practitioners behind you – you will still need to do the 5 day Service lifecycle course).

So, it is big change ahead for Education. We should remember that the new program outlined is under the control of the APM Group. As the “official” accreditor for the OGC they will manage the program once it is endorsed by the Examination Panel (the panel includes Exin, ISEB, APMG, Sharon Taylor and other notables that have been invited). Once approved then the program becomes law for ITIL v3 and it will be interesting to see how Exin and ISEB actually present to the marketplace.

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