In the jungle of ITIL certifications - What do I need and what can I do without?

In the jungle of ITIL certifications - What do I need and what can I do without?

If you look at the certification scheme for ITIL today, you see many different modules and different paths for further training. As an employee, but also as a manager in service management, you can sometimes lose track when it comes to the question: "Where should I start and which certification is really interesting for me? Especially when the question of cost and time is involved, because it can quickly take up to two weeks and several thousand euros. The question does not become any easier for a decision-maker who is concerned with choosing suitable training courses for several employees - quite the opposite. That's why I'm looking at this very issue today.

Of course, there is no general statement about which qualification is the only true one. It's more a matter of being aware of the role you're in and the development you're aiming for. Even though I am aware of my requirement profile, it is often difficult to choose the right training based on a short training description. I would like to support you in this challenge.

Welcome to the jungle: ITIL as it grows

ITIL is the globally used framework for IT service management, more or less a collection of different helpful approaches ("best practices"). It is intended to support organizations in the development, provision and operation of IT services. In many organizations, ITIL knowledge is a "must-have", in others it is at least considered a plus. It is therefore quite a comprehensive framework that should be considered by everyone working in the IT environment. No matter if software development, support, consulting or project management.

SERVIEW GmbH alone offers training courses in which 9 different certificates can be obtained. In total, we have around 50 different ITIL training courses on this topic in our portfolio - and this does not include training courses with the same content in English!

What you need to know in any case: Currently, two different ITIL versions exist side by side, namely ITILv3 and ITIL 4. Since ITIL v3 was replaced by the newer version in 2019, there is currently still a transition phase in which certificates can be obtained for both versions. However, the usual initial skepticism about the new version has now subsided and the focus for many organizations is now on ITIL 4. For this reason, I will only discuss certificates for the new version in this article.

How to get started with ITIL - The ITIL Foundation

Everyone can get started in service management with ITIL 4 via the ITIL 4 Foundation training, regardless of whether they already have previous experience or not. In the ITIL Foundation, you obtain the certification that is most frequently in demand in service management. There is no way around it, because for many service organizations this qualification is an absolute prerequisite. If you don't already have the certificate, it is usually obtained at the latest when you are hired.

In a two- to three-day course, you will learn all the essential contents of ITIL 4. In addition to the general understanding of value creation in service management, the course covers basic principles, the four dimensions of service management, and the practices that were known as the processes in the past of ITILv3. From experience, the last topic is the one participants look forward to the most. Nevertheless, it is not without reason that we deal with the first-mentioned points at the beginning of the training: The core statement of the Service Value System, working with value streams and the 4 dimensions are, in my opinion, rightly emphasized as being so particularly important. Many organizations fail to address these topics. The knowledge gained here is therefore interesting for everyone in the end.

Further training and certificates according to ITIL 4 Foundation

Basically, there are two paths after the Foundation. Either you take the path of the ITIL 4 Managing Professional, which is chosen most often, or you become an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader. To do this, you have to take different modules. It is also possible to take individual modules without achieving one of the described statuses. However, both the certification achieved through the complete path and the development of the contexts are beneficial for the person being trained.

The ITIL courses are then also aimed at directors, managers, leaders and consultants in the IT context who want to deal with the "end-to-end" perspective of service management.

ITIL Specialist - Create, Deliver & Support

Create, Deliver & Support" is often referred to as the "engine room of IT". This is where you gain the knowledge you need to develop, deliver and support services. You internalize knowledge of how to work with activities in the value chain in value streams and integrate them. The fundamental knowledge from the Foundation is taken up and deepened to the necessary extent for the practices, processes and activities.

Among others, this certificate is interesting for those who want to bring services into the customer organization. They can explore new ways of providing support or processing data, and develop software so that it can be used to add value.

ITIL Specialist - Drive Stakeholder Value

Models from marketing are becoming interesting for ITIL? A "customer journey" in service management should support us in our work? Understanding the customer can be an advantage? Yes, definitely - especially if building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders is part of your role. This can involve relationships with customers, but also with users, partners and suppliers.

The Customer Journey gives us the opportunity to understand the entire consumer journey. It lets us realize at which times which contact points and interaction areas exist with the consumer and how we should perceive them. That's why "Drive Stakeholder Value" is an absolute must for anyone who manages external suppliers and communicates with customers.

ITIL Specialist - High Velocity IT

"High Velocity IT" is the certificate for high speed IT and extremely high work throughput. Here you will acquire the knowledge of how digital organizations work and 'operating models in high-speed environments. The focus is on the rapid delivery and development of digital products and services to achieve maximum value.

The topic is particularly important if you see topics of transformation and digitization as your own tasks. Culture plays a particularly important role here, because the high speed targeted does something to the people who have to deliver this performance.

ITIL Strategist - Direct, Plan & Improve

This ITIL certification is about governance: How can I steer an organization with the right policies, guiding values and control mechanisms? In addition to governance, teaching on the topic of improvement and organizational change management also takes place here.

"Direct, Plan & Improve" is especially beneficial if corporate governance knowledge is relevant to you. No manager in IT should miss this training!

ITIL Leader - Digital & IT Strategy

In many cases today, we no longer just support business processes with our IT services. Rather, the IT services themselves have become business processes. Digital products and services must therefore merge with the IT strategy and become an interlinked instrument. The "Digital & IT Strategy" course supports you in this strategic challenge. It is of particular interest to consultants and managers who work in service management.

You can also learn more about the individual ITIL 4 training courses in our 60-minute ITIL webinar.


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