New Posts Coming Soon

Apologies for not posting on the ITIL Crowd blog for some time. Promise to update more. Been crazy busy, primarily as a Service Knowledge Manager for a large client, in their Change and Release Management (Service Transition) program.
Have been conducting more ITIL training and workshops and often comments for more information or resources arise. Would like to assist more than those in my sessions by sharing and collecting information via this blog.
I am conducting an ITIL Foundation class the weekend of July 23 and 24 in Orange County south of Los Angeles [ http://laITIL.eventbrite.com to join us]. Shall post more prior to that class, as well as some after.
See you around soon!

ITIL Foundation Classroom Course in Seattle Area this April

The ITIL Crowd is offering an exclusive certification preparation class for those planning to sit for the ITIL® v. 3 Foundation certification exam.  This one time (currently) course will take place in Issaquah, Washington – a east side suburb of Seattle and Bellevue/Redmond.

The course details and registration is posted at http://itilseattle.eventbrite.com.  The 2 day class is being offered at super-generous $499.  If you don’t pass, you can have all your money back.  So, if you are in the Seattle area, what do you have to lose?  Join the ITIL Crowd!

Register for ITIL v3 Foundations 2 Day Classroom Training in Issaquah, WA  on Eventbrite

The course is currently in the accreditation process.

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.

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.

Starting with the Foundations

If I am going to share my experiences and help you on your path to ITIL v. 3 certification, I might as well get you up to speed on how I got here.

Let’s lay the foundation – pun intended.

Yes, all ITIL certification journeys start with the Foundation exam.  My exposure was a bit serendipitous.  I had never heard of ITIL before it was presented to me.  No clue what it stood for or what it meant.  Do now 🙂

I was a Project Manager Professional instructing courses on PMP exam prep and the multitude of project management and general management course topics out there.  Noticeably, a lot of my participants were in the IT field or technical in nature.  Few had mentioned this ITIL thing.  Then my company had someone who was an ITIL Expert brought in.  He wanted to advice and support.  He did not want to instructionally design entire courseware and subsequently teach it.  That was to be my job.

It was late January, 2009.  Version 3 was still relatively new.  Did not matter, I did not know version 2.  I was busy updating my PMP material to the newly announced 4th edition PMBOK (which coincidentally I am a contributor).

I flew to our corporate offices. He presented some ad hoc powerpoints laying out the ITIL topics and concepts.

Sitting for the ITIL Foundation certification exam does not require any formal training.  This was definitely not formal in anyway.  My mind was swimming.  The management topics were easily digested.  Management best practices are fairly universal.  That is why the are ‘best’.  Slap a different title or purpose on somethings, it still works if done right.  The vast IT and ITIL terms where the bitch.

So many terms.  So many disconnections (ok that had to do a lot on how it was presented to me).  And so much to memorize.  Alas, 2 days in a board meeting room and many more hours of reading whatever I could find – which was limited and mainly the reason I put to together this blog, so you don’t have to search everywhere for advice and learning help [note: I plan to post lessons and excerpts from my training and publications].

A few weeks I sat for the exam.  Hard exam, in a way.  It was because it definitely was not written by English majors. The language and verbiage was horrendous!  I took it thru EXIN from a Prometric proctored site.  Not sure if it was the Dutch that wrote it or someone technical that never wrote an exam before.  Knowing the answers is one thing; not even knowing what the heck they are asking is a different story.  Fortunately the Intermediate exams are better written – or maybe because I am going thru APMG instead.  It may boil down to better quality control than anything else.

Anyway, I passed on my first attempt.  Which was a relief.  Did not feel like paying another $165 to try again.

This post was originally posted on my previous blog