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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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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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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