Lifecycle Vs Capability – what’s the difference?

Lifecycle Vs Capability – what’s the difference?

What is ITIL Intermediate?

ITIL Intermediate is a series of specialised courses enabling individuals to develop ITIL Foundation knowledge; achieve specialist Intermediate certifications or become an ITIL Expert.

The Intermediate Modules are split into 2 areas; ITIL lifecycle theory (3 Day Modules, 3 ITIL Credits) and ITIL practical application (5 Day Modules, 4 ITIL Credits).  A minimum of 22 credits is required to achieve ITIL Expert certification.

The lifecycle and the capabilities stream do have significant overlap of material, however the capabilities stream goes into more detail about the processes involved, thus developing capabilities to practice IT processes rather than just manage them. The capabilities syllabus is more prescriptive and covers a detailed view of the inputs, activities, concepts, metrics and outputs of each process.

Value Proposition – What is in it for you?

ITIL can generate both tangible and intangible benefits for organisations and individuals. From an individual’s perspective, the value of pursuing ITIL  certification further than Foundation is:

  • Setting you apart from the 600,000 delegates who are currently certified at ITIL  Foundation.
  • The enhanced capabilities gained from extra specialist Intermediate modules will lead to greater job performance and enhanced job prospects in the ITSM environment (ITPreneurs, 2010).
  • ITIL can increase an IT professional’s earning potential by up to 40%(Globe One, 2008).
  • It is estimated that there are only around 6,000 ITIL experts globally, making them the most sought after professionals in the IT world(ITILFree, 2011).

Value Proposition – What is in it for your organisation?

Most organisations today rely upon IT to enable them to achieve their company vision, business strategy and goals. Good IT service management is essential to achieve business benefits from IT at an agreed and controlled cost. Without good IT service management, it is common for IT projects to fail or go well over budget at project stage, for on-going IT costs of ownership to spiral out of control, and for businesses to fail to achieve the benefits they expected. Interestingly however, only 8% of organisations currently use their ITSM tools to manage cloud-based services (Axios, 2011).  From an organisational perspective, improving the processes around IT can also begin to:

  • Improve user and customer satisfaction with IT.
  • Improve on project deliverables through increased efficiency and consistency.
  • Improve reliability and security of mission critical IT services.
  • Be more competitive in a rapidly changing environment with effective change management.
  • Generate greater people and knowledge assets and reduce unplanned / unbudgeted work
  • Provide service performance indicators.
  • Improve business processes and reduce costs and plan finances more effectively.
  • Better align business strategy and IT planning to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Improve resource utilization and business productivity.
  • Learn from previous experience and continually improve service.
  • Detect and eliminate problems before they occur – shift culture from reactive to proactive.

Who should take ITIL Intermediate?

Any IT professional directly or indirectly involved in ITSM can gain value from ITIL Intermediate:

  • CIO’s, CTO’s, Managers, Supervisory Staff, Team Leaders, Designers, Architects, Planners, IT Consultants, IT Audit Managers, IT Security Managers and ITSM trainers.
  • Individuals who have attained the ITIL Foundation Certificate and wish to advance and specialise.
  • IT professionals in an organisation who have adopted ITIL and need to be informed about on-going service improvement programs.

Some modules will be more essential than others depending on the individual’s role, responsibilities and career aspirations. For example the Service Strategy Lifecycle module would be essential for a Portfolio Manager due to its grounding in Service Strategy & Portfolio Management. Additionally, despite an overlap of content, the lifecycle and capabilities streams have different target audiences.

Which intermediate modules relate to which common ITSM issues?

Common ITSM Issue Aligned Course
Misalignment Between IT and Business Service Strategy or Service Offerings & Agreements
IT is Considered Poor Value for Money Depends on source of issue – Service Offerings & Agreements
Over-focus on Functionality Service Design or Planning Protection & Optimisation
Poor Change Management Service Transition or Release Control & Validation
Too Many Incidents and Problems Service Operation or Operational Support & Analysis
Problems using External Suppliers Service Design or Planning Protection & Optimisation

Why don’t more people train at Intermediate Level?  Common Misconceptions

Common Objection Proposed Remedy
Premium cost of ITIL Intermediate & Expert Certification.Opportunity costs of individuals, such as consultants attending multi-day courses. The value, cost savings and ROI that ITIL knowledge can bring significantly outweigh the cost and time spent gaining certification
Commitment of time required to achieve ITIL Intermediate & Expert Certification. ITIL Expert certification can be spread-out over 2 years and you can keep on top of your knowledge with PINKATLAS.
Intensive theoretical content of ITIL. Experienced Pink ITIL experts who will provide relevant, contextual application of theory.
Lack of managerial and executive support for ITIL implementation. The most effective ITIL adoptions tend to be led by executives at a practical ITSM level

Case Studies (Source: Cabinet Office (formerly OGC))

  • A nationwide retail organisation made savings in excess of £600,000 per annum by adopting service strategy practices for its financial management.
  • An organisation identified that most of the cost of delivering IT support came from resolving customer issues. By adopting ITIL approaches to knowledge-based information and self-help, it was able to reduce costs of support by over 75% while at the same time increasing user satisfaction with the service, and improving user productivity.
  • A medium-sized IT service organisation invested €2.6m in a two-year programme to improve its IT service management. It recouped the investment within the first year, and achieved annual savings of €3.5m mainly through rationalising unused and under-used resources (people, software licences, IT hardware etc.). It also reduced IT incident resolution times and improved customer satisfaction by over 11%.
  • A large multinational company made annual savings of £5m by introducing ITIL service design practices to its IT supplier management.

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Gijs-Jan Huisman

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