The main purpose of this article is to show that Service Management best practices and all the wisdom within them is practical and can help any individual on a personal and professional level. Companies can also benefit greatly by having a structured and proven approach of delivering services via well-performing processes by employees who are well equipped with knowledge and skills.

I know that this title sounds like a sales pitch, but I will try to convince you that my intentions are not in this direction. So why should everyone attend an ITIL training? 

Last week I had a seminar and a lady came to me asking about the ITIL Foundation exam and how to prepare for it without taking an instructor-led course. I gave her a bit of advice, but added that she should seriously consider taking the training, not because she cannot prepare on her own, but because I can explain to her a lot more about the practical side of ITIL and about IT Service Management than what is written in the book.

For me, the biggest advance of taking an ITIL course is that a single person can learn some key concepts in just a few days:

  • What is a Service?
  • What is IT Service Management?
  • What is a Process?
  • How do processes support services?
  • What is a customer and a user?
  • How to define a service and sell it via SLA
  • Why do we need SLAs in general?
  • What is a Business Case?

The best way to learn is via proper examples. As an Instructor I try to reach everyone, so my examples vary from Chaos Monkey (Netflix) to Wine as a Service. Yes, this last one is my best practical example. We all know what Wine is, so let’s learn the concepts over it. Not everyone knows what a virtual server is.

Why does it matter to know all this stuff?

It matters because we more or less all work in Service Management organizations, where these topics are discussed on a daily basis and are the key for a good career. Wouldn’t it be great if you can tell your boss that you believe one should optimize the process delivery, by defining clear and understandable SLAs, which can be achieved if working closely together with the requesters on the business case? The biggest benefit for me is that in the end we all have a common understanding where the services are born and how they come to life. We start to have a structured approach, which is repeatable and if needed can be easily optimized.

Even if you work in a product-oriented company, selling software. Wouldn’t it be great if one day a customer asks for an implementation service or even an ongoing support that you are prepared for and can immediately address the key discussion points?

There are a lot of additional key points that reach well beyond the IT universe. Please note that I intentionally left the hard core IT terms out. So I strongly believe that even if you own a veterinary clinic or work in a shoe factory you can benefit greatly from such a course. You can also benefit personally. I always give an example with the CSI approach. For me, this approach is something any person does when he or she decides to go on a diet. You define your vision. Women are very creative in this. They even buy clothes with smaller sizes just to have a clear picture of their vision. Then you define where you are and where you want to be. Then you start and make a plan and keep doing it until you are there. ITIL teaches us that the hard part is to keep up this level and make it your new baseline. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The key point you can take from such a training is to define measurable results, because only then will we know when we can end our initiative. Otherwise, it will continue forever and forever.

As an instructor, I always try to show the students that ITIL is not a collection of random facts, but a source of wisdom that can be used to do your job better, solve problems or at least understand that you are not a one-man army, but you work as part of a bigger organization. This last point is sometimes crucial, because in many companies I see a blame culture, where the next person on the chain goes into a personal vendetta with the previous one, not knowing that they are both part of a process and the issue is, in most of the cases, in the process design not in the process practitioners.

Recently I explained to a customer of mine that the second you start offering a service, you should have Incident Management and Request Fulfillment Processes set as well. It is logical, I know. How do you know this? Maybe you have been in an ITIL course!

 

Tell me your thoughts in the comments and let’s open a dialog. I would be excited to hear other opinions on this topic.

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Nikola Gaydarov

Nikola Gaydarov

Contributing Author

Nikola has been in the IT sector for almost 10 years. He started his career in HP Global Delivery Center back in 2007 and since then has been involved in many different roles: technical consultant, operational manager, transition manager and ITSM implementation consultant. During these years he has worked both domestically and in Western Europe.

Designing and improving processes is his passion. Working with the stakeholders to define all roles and responsibilities is where he finds most of the challenges. Proposing solutions and solving those challenges is his biggest reward.

He has started teaching ITIL® since the beginning of 2015 after successfully becoming an ITIL® Expert. Courses that he has successfully delivered are: ITIL® Foundation, ITIL® OSA, ITIL® RCV, ITIL® PPO, ITIL® SOA and ITIL® MALC.

As a consultant Nikola has gained also a lot of practical experience in Project Management. He used this experience to successfully acquire PRINCE2® Practitioner certification.

 

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