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ITIL 4 education: The story so far and what’s next?

Barry Corless
  • Date: 28 January, 2020

ITIL 4 education has been undergoing its slow reveal for almost 12 months. As the process is passing the halfway point, I’m committing my own and Global Knowledge’s thoughts to print. I’d also like to share with you some tips for continuing your ITIL education journey.

ITIL 4 Foundation – a true bedrock

I’ll admit I have been surprised by a number of aspects of the ITIL 4 Foundation story since its release in February 2019. First has been the almost instantaneous abandonment of ITIL v3 Foundation. The fact that you can still sit for ITIL v3 intermediate classes with the ITIL 4 Foundation qualification, coupled with the 13- year wait for “something new” at this level may be key contributors to the situation. Second has been the strength of the support for the new ways of thinking introduced in the ITIL 4 texts. All those rumors of ITIL’s demise have been grossly exaggerated!

ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition – the “next level expert” one

Just released as I put virtual pen to paper, the ITIL 4 Managing Professional provides those of you who already hold the ITIL v3 Expert (or have 17 points under the ITIL v3 scheme) with a transition to the ITIL 4 Managing Professional designation. It is a wide- ranging 4.5- day course covering many of the new concepts for those who are already likely ITIL devotees. Particularly useful is the extended opportunity to discuss how to improve based on the new guidelines.

ITIL 4 Specialist Create, Deliver, Support (CDS) – the “core ITSM” one 

This is the first of four ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition titles. As with all “next level” ITIL 4 courses, the ITIL 4 Foundation qualification is a pre-requisite. CDS provides you with an understanding of how to integrate different value streams and activities to create, deliver and support IT-enabled products and services, and relevant practices, methods and tools. It gives you an understanding of service performance, service quality and improvement methods. This is the must- have course for any individual either in a support role or architecting new services.

ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, Improve (DPI) – the “don’t try to adopt ITIL 4 without it” one

Alongside CDS, we will be releasing DPI. It affords you the practical skills necessary to create a “learning and improving” IT organization, with a strong and effective strategic direction. It provides practitioners with a practical and strategic method for planning and delivering continual improvement with the necessary agility. Without a doubt this is the pre-cursor to any improvement program.

ITIL 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) – the “collaboration and co-creation of value” one

In early 2020 we will release the DSV course. This is for you if you want to understand of all types of engagement and interactions between a service provider and their customers, users, suppliers and partners, including key CX, UX and journey mapping concepts. Having spent much time in this area in my career I’m really looking forward to helping to develop Global Knowledge’s courseware for this offering.

ITIL 4 High Velocity IT (HVIT) – the “end-to-end go faster stripes” one

When DSV takes to the stage it will be co-starring with HVIT. If your future includes understanding the ways digital organizations and digital operating models function in high velocity environments, then this is your course. It focuses on rapid delivery of products and services to obtain maximum value. This promises to be an exciting course with an eclectic mix of concepts drawn from DevOps, Lean, Agile, Cynefin and ITSM presented as guidance to speed up time to value in your digital capability.

ITIL Pipeline

There are other courses in the Axelos ITIL pipeline which we know less about at the moment. The key title is the Digital and IT Strategy (DITS) which is likely to arrive in 2020. DITS will be the second element of the ITIL Strategic Leader. We are also hearing very early rumours rumors of an extra exciting ITIL title covering “Ethics and Sustainability.”

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Barry Corless

Global Product Director for DevOps and IT Service Management

As a Global Product Director for leading IT and business skills training specialist Global Knowledge, Barry Corless is responsible for helping organisations enhance organisational capability through application of best practice frameworks.  His role incorporates the development and delivery of service management, DevOps, programme and project management, enterprise architecture and business analysis learning and development solutions.  An experienced consultant and IT specialist, Barry undertook additional voluntary roles Director of itSMF International from 2017-2019, and Chair of itSMF UK from 2009-2011.  

An industry champion for ITIL, Barry credits its common-sense approach to endemic IT issues as the reason for his long-term track record with this international service management practice.  He has trained and consulted on ITIL in over 20 countries. Barry continues to act as an ITIL examiner and has been part of the author team that inputs into the ever-adapting ITIL guidelines.  

Barry’s attraction to analytical problem solving began early and his first ambition was to be a weather man.  He became an Assistant Scientific Officer for The Meteorological Office after leaving school in Cheshire.  Barry recognises that passion for the topic is a key attribute for success as a trainer, as well as the ability to bring a subject to life.  He thinks open-mindedness is vital.  “Lifelong learning has taught me that we all have to prepare to unlearn what we previously accepted as best practice,” he says. 

Having spent over 20 years training he has seen many changes in an industry that has embraced virtual classroom and digital learning.  He advocates the teaching of project management and service management skills early.  “In an economy that is 80% service based, we should be teaching these key management skills in schools,” he says.   

As Best Practice department head, Barry enjoys the variety that his role brings him, and he continues to work with consultancy and education clients to ‘keep it real’.  Barry’s ability to identify with learners makes him a sought-after trainer and his passion and detailed understanding of ITIL meant that Global Knowledge was able to develop the world’s first bridging course for professionals going from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4.  Global Knowledge remains the world’s leading provider of ITIL certification and exams.  

A popular commentator on ITIL and a frequent blogger, Barry doesn’t like to think of himself as ‘one track minded’.  “ITIL skills are transferable outside the IT hinterland and lesson learned in other environments should be used in optimising technology solutions” he promises.  “ITIL4 is more focussed on people, agility and collaboration.  With the pressure on IT teams to provide a lightning-fast route to market, it’s vital that all stakeholders across an organisation and throughout the supply chain are working well together.”  

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