Saturday, January 2, 2010

The end of ITIL v2 - or is it ?

ITIL v2 Exams will end this year - 2010. Late last year the timetable for v2 Exam withdrawl was announced by the APMG.

While the v2 exams may disappear from the certification plans for many IT professionals, it is not likely that this move will end the interest and focus that thousands of organizations have on the Service Support and Service Delivery version.

Organizations have invested far too much in ITIL to simply write off the culture change that they have managed and it is likely that the decline in v2 focus will have a NEGATIVE effect on v3.

Senior managers don't like to waste money and more importantly they don't like to be seen to waste time and money. When questioned, in the boardroom about the ITIL project for service improvement, I can see many CIOs explaining how the v2 work has paved the way for ISO 20000 certification. No mention of ITIL v3 as it will simply confuse and complicate the issue.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

ISO 20000 update

I was reading about the new ISO 20000 Foundation course that is being
offered by the ISEB (Information Systems Examination Board), a
department of the British Computer Society (BCS).

The ISO 20000 course from ISEB includes a comment that the three day ISEB ISO 20000 course is not a substitute for the itSMF 3 day Consultant course.

What is clear is that the consumer has another choice for ISO 20000 certification. What is also clear is that EXIN still has the most comprehensive ISO 20000 certification path AND they have their ISO 20000 exam available at Prometric (which itSMF and ISEB do not).

Competition is healthy in this market and from an initial start where there was only one option, IT folk now have a choice of three (for the record I am ISO 20000 Consultant certified).


Thursday, April 10, 2008

ISO 20000 set to take over ITIL ?

It is a question; not a statement.

However, it is a question that should get some of the fine brains that are ITIL entrenched talking. There has been a fair degree of dissatisfaction with the changes to the certification scheme that have been introduced with ITIL v3.

Perhaps this is what has prompted Exin to develop an entire track of certification based on ISO 20000. The first course and exam (ISO 20000 Foundation) is now filtering into the marketplace.

To give an indication of the seriousness that Exin is putting into ISO 20000 it is undertaken the relatively expensive step of listing the exam at Prometric test centres. Self study options are also available for the ISO 20000 Foundation, another indicator that the entire community is starting to look at this ITIL alternative.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

ISO 20000 Foundation - now online

Exin have moved up the stakes in the battle for domination of the ISO 20000 qualification market.

Exin have created a very neat ISO 20000 track of qualifications, starting with the ISO 20000 Foundation exam. The best news is that the exam will be available at Prometric and Vue Pearson testing centres.

Self learning packages can be used to cover the topics in the syllabus. These topics are the definitions and principles of service quality management, the position of ISO 20000 against other frameworks, along with the history of ISO 20000.

The syllabus for ISO 20000 Foundation also looks at how a Quality Management System is defined and built as well as an analysis of the ISO 20000 standard itself.

Could this be the start of the big challenge to ITIL v3? Perhaps it is, but I believe that ITIL and ISO 20000 will continue to co-exist. They have to - if one tries to defeat the other it will simply create support from those who wish to see options.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

ISO 20000 - not for the software application

A recent article from a newly crowned ISO 20000 certificate holder claimed that their software "met best practice guidelines for IT Serivce Providers".

It is perhaps timely to remind you that ISO 20000 CANNOT be claimed for any software system or application. Simply put the standard is NOT for a product or a service.

ISO 20000 is a management system standard and therefore relates to management
processes only.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Change is in the air... (times2)

Well the dust hasn't even settled and OGC is at it again.

Our mighty powers - the Office of Government Commerce - have announced the "Refresh requirements for Prince2".

OGC has announced the requirement for a "cyclical update" on Prince2 and M_o_R (Management of Risk), as well as programme management (MSP).

Citing the last major piece of work on Prince2 happened in 2002 (minor updates in 2005) the statement indicates that the main outcomes expected for the project are:

1. Updated to reflect evolutions in Project Management
2. More accessible framework (less 'red-tape').

I'm sorry, but this reeks of another money grab that will be forced upon an unsuspecting audience. Watch for new publications, new certifications, new just about everything.

I pity the poor folks that are ITIL and Prince2 champions.

EVOLUTIONS in Project Management... what evolutions... I remember a saying.. "THERE ARE NO NEW FUNDAMENTALS".

The cave men hunted in packs - it was a project. Telling me that there are some evolutions in project management is like saying "we're designing new concepts for living well". There are no new concepts for living well; eat healthy, take some exercise and rest.. sure there are a few more basics, but not many.

There are no new concepts, no new fundamentals that cannot be mapped towards something that already exists in some form.

It is seriously getting time to look at alternatives that -although not guaranteed to be static - have a higher degree of difficulty to change. International standards spring to mind.

ISO 20000, Exin's SQMF program; could all be potential ways to save what little hair IT professionals may have as they face this new onslaught of seemingly unprovoked change.

The OGC press release states the input from "public consultation" as one of the drivers for change. Please give me the details of this "public consultation" I would be fascinated to do the numbers on this "public consultation".

Was there a marked increase in complaints and issues with what existed?

Surely, to undertake such a massive operation would require "significant" challenges to what was current; and then an even "more significant" public consultation. I am talking in the region of thousands of people to be consulted in the hundreds of thousands that would have an interest.

What were those numbers? OR - as I suspect is it all a bit immaterial - the change is going to happen, new books, new certification schemes; all the things that pry open the IT budgets of the many organizations that have adopted Prince2.

It's another victory for the bean counters; but one that must have people starting to think about the pattern that is emerging.

I guess, when you have the market cornered for defacto standards then you can do what you want. However, as mentioned earlier, this may be simply the excuse that IT professionals have been looking for to move to national or international standards (e.g. ISO 9000, ISO 200000, ISO 27001, etc.)

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Latest from Exin...

Things are really heating up in the battle of Examination Institutes (EIs). Exin have outlined their plans for the future and while ITIL and the relationship with APMG features, it is certainly not dominant.

Exin have for many years offered a variety of certification programs, but the latest news from them can be seen as a focussed effort to break away from relying too heavily on ITIL.

First bit of news. In the past if you wanted to take the Exin Service Quality Management Foundation (SQMF) exam, (which is Exins answer to the itSMF ISO20000 program) - you first had to pass the ITIL Foundation exam.

That requirement is now gone. So now anyone can take the globally recognized ISO 20000 Foundation certification exam - very good news and well done to Exin. This move demonstrates that understanding ISO 20000 does not require ITIL theory knowledge, but Exin still state the ITIL understanding will help or the participant should have some good working experience in IT; but it is no longer a pre-requisite for taking the exam.

Secondly in the ISO 20000 field, Exin have published the long awaited second level - Service Quality Management Advanced (SQMA) syllabus and certification.

Pilots for this program were held in the Netherlands (makes sense as this is Exin's Head Office location) and Australia (also makes sense as the Aussies are big adopters of new initiatives and proud to lead the way !!).

Exin state that the SQMA program will involve theory elements, but also practical work assignments. However, it yet another attempt to completely confuse the market the way that Exin are describing their program leaves me trying to work out how to position it all.

Yes, there are explanations, but the fact sheet on the Exin Service Quality Management program ISO/IEC 20000 is a combination of both ITIL and ISO 20000 certification.

Here is an example of where the confusion comes from.

Exin "The ISO/IEC 20000 SQM Foundation program is targeted at a ....."

Exin "Exin's SQM program consists of two Foundation exams: Foundation in IT Service Management (based on ITIL) (ITILF) and SQM Foundation (SQMF)."

Deeper reading and analysis uncovers the strategy.

Exin are looking to create a certification for ISO 20000 consultants, based on ITIL and ISO 20000 certification. This could be seen as competition to the APM Groups Diploma in IT Service Management, as the complete Exin track is 4 courses...

1. ITIL Foundation (ITILF)
2. ISO 20000 Foundation (SQMF)
3. ITIL Managers
4. ISO 20000 Advanced (SQMA)

Either way Exin are putting up alternatives and this can only be a good thing for the marketplace.

So, in summary - you can now take an ISO 20000 Foundation certificate without having to first take the ITIL Foundation course and exam.

Next, Exin have announced end dates on all their single practitioner exams.

In effect, all the single practitioner Exin courses are now defunct. So for those vendors that invested heavily in the development of material and the accreditation; well perhaps that work can be used as part of developing the Clustered courses that Exin bought in several years ago.

It would appear that all the single practitioner exams will disappear effective immediate EXCEPT Serice Level Management and Security Management (both expire 1 January 2008).

Next on the "Exin news" is the statement that Exin will offer the APMG ITIL v3 Foundation exam. We knew this was going to happen, but interestinly, and in an even more apparent move to stamp their mark on the ITIL certification world, the certificate issued will be an APMG certificate.

Now perhaps this is by agreement between Exin and APMG or perhaps APMG have dictated that all ITIL Foundation certificates will carry the APMG stamp - but the days of Exin certifications for ITIL Foundation are at an end. I wonder if this is the case for ISEB as well?

Exin take great pains to point out that passing the APMG exam - whereever it is taken is recognized and acts as a starting point for the "broader IT Service Management certification program".

So, the wheels are turning in what was always going to be an interesting few months.

Exin's decision to broaden the availability of the ISO 20000 certification (SQMF) can only be seen as a good thing and APMG have no way to prevent that from happening. However, it would appear that the move by Exin is a clever one in terms of starting to give the marketplace a different path to travel when it comes to certification.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Continuity Standards - the wheels keep turning.

The British Standards Institute have announced that they are to develop a standard on ICT Continuity, hot on the heels of their Business Continuity Standard (BS 25999:2006).

The ICT Continuity (tipped to named BS 25777) will no doubt be a rehash to the Business Continuity standard - with a simple search and replace to convert 25999 to an ICT centric document.

Reading through 25999 it is easy to see how this could happen, as the document is generic enough (like all good standards) and already makes reference to ISO 20000 and other standards (BS 17799, ISO 27001) well known to IT professionals.

The release of ITIL v3 must have the "standards makers" rubbing their hands together...

Standard for the Management of a Service Portfolio
Standard for the Release and Deployment of Services
Standard for Management of Knowledge
etc. etc.. :-)

Where will the development of what I call "derivative standards" end. Do we need to have standards for every element, activity, process and entity that are documented in other standards?

Where will the line be drawn between allowing common sense interpreation of existing standards and the seemingly unstoppable quest to "standardize" everything?

Is there a crying need from the general public to create a standard for Continuity or did it "seem like a good idea" and with the added potential of raising funds through the sale of a standard?

Having the name should not entitle an entity (BSI, ISO, etc.) to simply create new standards without due care and attention for the potential confusion in can cause in the marketplace. With an emergecy standard for ICT Continuity emerging that references ISO 20000, what do people do with regard to their interpretation of the Availability and Continuity element in ISO 20000?

I am sure my comment will be waved away as "the specific standard will give more detail than there is in ISO 20000" (BS 15000) - that's an easy dismissive to make.. but it does nothing for the folks that have embarked upon an ISO 20000 journey...

I am sure those people will not be looking forward to the development of standards in Business Development Relationship Management! and Budgeting and Accounting Management!

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