Writing an ITIL Foundation Book

After writing for this blog and my many course documents/study guides, I have decided to also write a stand alone book for those wishing to learn the foundations of ITIL v3.

It is currently titled, ITIL® V3 Foundations in Plain (American) English. Being American and most of the ITIL documentation and study guides in British English or Dutch, I decided there needs to be a colloquial American take on the topic.

Using a conversational approach and my hand drawn illustrations,

ITIL Crowd customer
Sample illustration from upcoming book
I aim to bring a light, entertaining presentation of the complex – and often boring and abstract – ITIL v3 information.

Years developing course materials and comprehensive learning environments for project management, risk management, conflict resolution, quality management, emotional intelligence, project leadership, organizational theory, general how-to, and general management theory, beyond IT service management topics, I have found this formula to work well. Studying research on effective learning strategies and cognitive science as part of my Doctorate program, there is plenty to support the concept of presenting data in comfortable, conversational format. With graphics and supporting material coupled closely to the written text, reinforcing the concepts, the learner is absorbing the complex material in many formats – making retention easier and more lasting. I hope my efforts benefit many who desire to either take on the ITIL® v. 3 Foundation certification exam or simple familiarize themselves with the ITIL framework, purpose, and the processes involved.

Writing a book takes much longer than one thinks. Especially when producing one’s own illustrations and supporting material (not to much contributing to my other projects). With luck, this book project will be completed and published within the next few months. I will see how long I can work for free – I mean “invest” – my time on this endeavor over other projects.

I am in need of reviewers. If you are interested in reviewing rough drafts or advanced copies, please contact me or comment on this blog. Former participants in my PMP and ITIL training classes are accustomed to my style and published study guides. I may have to give a shout out to all of you!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Advertisements

An analogy of Why ITIL

In trying to explain why implement ITIL (IT Service Management) best practices within an IT organization, I played out a scenario of an IT professional speaking with an IT manager knowledgeable of ITIL frameworks. Here is essence of what I ad libbed. Want to throw it out there and seek critique because I wish to use this or similar in my books, trainings, etc.

IT professional does not see the point of changing the way we have always done things. He announces, “Business will use IT Tool X and Y because that is the tool we have and they will like it.”

“Ah, that is the fundamental problem of IT,” chimes in the IT Manager presenting ITIL v3 to the group. “That is why best practices such as ITIL are so important. IT is a powerful component of a business. But we are here because of the business.

“Our business has options. If we are not doing the best and striving to the aims of business, then what good are we? What is stopping senior management to outsource or find some other means? And the few customers outside our company we provide service for, aren’t there 100 other places or ways they can meet their needs?

“We are the backbone of business because we provide the support for the business. Allowing business to achieve its needs and value. We must place ourselves in a position to strive for better support to our business. This is done by delivering better quality at increased cost effecitiency and the best fit. Imagine if your backbone was bent and bent on doing its own thing. You cannot have your backbone sticking out. Your backbone certainly cannot survive without you. A misaligned spine is not going to do you well. If you were business, would you care about a backbone that was crooked and did not support you in the way you needed?

“Now business can swap out all or part of their backbone – us, IT. Physically, we cannot do it as easily in our bodies. Maybe some adjustments or paying attention to our posture a little better. Or a painful surgery. Getting rid of our IT department may be painful at first, but if the business sees more long term advantages of it, why not?”

ITIL at its core is providing an alignment to the needs of business with the capabilities and resources within IT.

Reading Kotter’s Change Book

As noted in another post, I failed to clear the Continual Service Improvement -CSI- of the the ITIL v3 Intermediate certification exams. The only one remaining in my goal to clear all the Intermediate Lifecycle modules. All the others I have passed. Not only passed; but with distinction. Alas, for some strange reason this CSI exam eludes me.

Determined to pass this one soon, I am trying to find inexpensive ways to enhance my preparation. Very little resources are out there to prepare oneself for the CSI exam. I have taken multiple practice exams (oddly have passed each one on the first attempt) and have read the CSI core publication. I will read the core book a little more closely once again and take extensive notes. In the meantime, I thought I might complement my studies with a side book.

The CSI book stresses the 8 Steps to Transforming Your Organization theorized by John Kotter. Hence, I thought: let’s read it straight from the source. Grabbed a copy of Kotter’s “ground-breaking” book Our Iceberg is Melting Sadly, this has been the lamest professional book I have read since… Who Moved My Cheese. Maybe because they take the same lame ass way of presenting the data. And yet people eat this stuff up. I think it belittles people’s intelligence. I guess I might be in the minority when I think professional books should be… more professional?

Only 147 pages. With pictures. Then add ample white space . And 16 point FONT! I think the entire book is no longer than my entire blog.

What was most annoying, was the feeble attempts at using an analogy, but not sticking with it. He went from penguin actions to human actions. If you are going to use an analogy, then stay in the analogy. This book was so disconnected. Î guess I should not be too harsh. I am working on an ITIL v3 Foundation book using an analogy/story. I might have to take other’s criticism.

But it is a short read. Don’t waste any money buying it. You can finish before you leave the bookstore. Keep the change. The lesson on the ‘change’ is worthy. Knowing the 8 steps is good. At least for those considering sitting for the CSI certification exam. I have also produced a GoGogh podcast/radio show on the topic. I will link it once it is up.

I have also received the new book by Chip and Dan Heath entitled, Swith. The topic is also change management. I have higher hopes for this. I really enjoyed their last book, Made to Stick. I’ll give you my review once I am finished.

Until then, I need to re-read the CSI publication in preparation for my exam Monday.