Importance of ITIL version 3.0
Choosing the right trainer
Your previous experience counts
During the training
The examination format
After the exam
The ITIL service delivery standard has grown to become the most widely accepted service delivery standard in the world. One of the major reasons for this is that it is the only standard which closely links IT strategy to business strategy and provides clear and predictable processes wherein lasting value is created for business investments in IT.
The IT landscape has been undergoing a rapid transition over the last 2 decades which has meant that ITIL processes have also needed to evolve to account for the current business reality.V3 marks a huge evolutionary change over V2 which makes it very important to know about the same. Any IT professional who is “IT responsible” in his job profile in any way needs to have a firm grounding in ITIL processes and the Foundation examination helps him do just that. It introduces the fundamental building blocks of ITIL which once understood will give him the required impetus and confidence to proceed ahead and understand the individual areas in greater detail as per his need.
The 1st step in this endeavor is to attend a 2 to 3 day long training course in which an experienced trainer will explain the entire standard keeping the Foundation exam in mind. The challenge would be in finding the right trainer. The ideal trainer should be a senior IT professional who has loads of practical experience to share. Ideally, he should have implemented certain ITIL processes from scratch some time in his career. If you find someone who has had the experience of implementing a Service Desk from scratch it will serve your purpose. Usually such people will have held high positions in their respective organizations and would have practical knowledge to share.
Theoretical trainers who are basically training specialists will present the concepts well but will not be able to connect the theoretical concepts with the business reality since they lack the experience to do so. Moreover, many lesser experienced IT professionals set up the IT structure as recommended in ITIL only to discover later on that no “business value” has been generated. This is where experience, leadership and overall expertise play a major role. Ideally the trainer should be an Advanced ITIL diploma holder.
If you have prior experience in working in a structured organization where ITIL processes are already followed to some extent you will be at an advantage. 2 years of structured experience will score any day over 20 years of unstructured experience in organizations where a structured service delivery mechanism did not exist. In this scenario, the concepts being presented have already been validated in practice at your workplace.
On the other hand, if you come from an unstructured environment, where adhocism and confusion rules, you will have a tough time convincing yourself why it makes more sense for an end user to contact the service desk rather than the actual engineer who is going to work on the problem he is facing. This is where the experience of the trainer will play a crucial role.
During the training get a firm grasp of the 5 pillars on which ITIL stands:
Service Strategy Service Design Service Transition Service Operation Continual Service Improvement
All the other concepts flow down from these pillars. In fact, a good strategy is to create hierarchical charts starting from one of these pillars at the top and drilling down to the concepts at each subsequent level. This will greatly aid in exam preparation. A day prior to the exam you only need to go through the charts you have built. The 3 day training followed by your study of the course material basically completes your theory preparation for the exam.
The examination consists of 40 multiple questions which has to be completed in a time period of 1 hour. The time available is more than sufficient to clear the exam. However, do not underestimate the exam. You need to correctly answer 26 of the 40 questions to clear the exam. Whether you choose the correct answer or not primarily depends on how well you have understood the concepts. This is an exam which tests your level of understanding and not your memorizing ability.
If your instructor is good he will conduct some mock tests at the end of the course on the last day. Your target should be to score at least 26 out of 40. Doing well in the mock tests will give you the required confidence to attempt the exam.
At no cost should you delay giving the exam beyond 1 week of the training. Many people convince themselves that they need to understand the subject matter better and keep delaying. Months pass on but the golden hour never comes and for no valid reason, the candidate does not give the exam. Do not lose the momentum created after attending the training, finish the job fast.
Enjoy your moment of glory after clearing the exam. Start checking out the ITIL governing body website and you will soon realize that the Foundation is just the beginning of a long journey in mastering service delivery. You need to clear a host of examinations at the Intermediate level which will eventually lead to getting certified as an Advanced Service Management Professional.
The links below present a wealth of information: