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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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Service Transition says it nicely

We often talk about the difference between IT Service Management and ITIL. My comments are bound to strike and accord with some and bound to be violently rejected by others. Anyway, I have an opinion and I'm entitled to it.

IT Service Management is the broader view of the elements that IT professionals need to be interested in. In the first pages of the new ITIL v3 Service Transition text the authors promote 4 types of IT assets that have to be managed: infrastructure, applications, information and people.

To me, the procurement and management of these assets can be considered as the focus area of interest for IT Service Management.

ITIL has a primary focus on one element: process management of the infrastructure. I will grant in that in ITIL v3 there is a strong recognition that all elements need to be considered together. However, if we assume that ITIL is part of the solution then we can start to understand the difference between IT Service Management and ITIL.

ITIL is not an application/software development methodology, nor is it a tool that has a speciality interest in knowledge (information) management. ITIL does not provide guidelines for people management; but it is an very useful set of guidelines that can assist IT people understand the things that have to be done when it comes to managing infrastructure.

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