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Friday, January 23, 2009

Welcome to Jayne Explains

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first posting of Jayne Explains, the blog of Jayne Groll, President of ITSM Academy. Consider this a virtual water cooler around which I will attempt to explain the latest developments in IT Service Management as well as upcoming happenings here at ITSM Academy. I hope you will find this a valuable and positive ITSM resource.

There is nothing plain about the economic challenges facing us. This is not the time to abandon process development. This is an opportune time to demonstrate that the need for managed, efficient, effective and quality IT services has never been more critical. . I strongly encourage you to leverage the guidance in best practice ITSM frameworks to identify quick wins that can potentially lower or justify costs.

Service Management will continue to evolve in 2009. Here are some highlights:

The long-awaited ITIL® V3 Intermediate Certifications will release throughout the year including the Lifecycle (implementation) and Capability (practitioner) streams. Managing Across the Lifecycle, the gateway course to ITIL® Expert certification will also be introduced. APM Group has released an online Credit Profiler to help learners build a relevant and balanced ITIL training program leading to the ITIL® Expert certification. The Credit Profiler is free and can be accessed at While the Credit Profiler asks for “passed” courses, you can also use it to simulate different educational scenarios.

Interest in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) V4.0 is growing as either a standalone ITSM framework or as a strong complement to ITIL V3 and/or ISO/IEC 20000. MOF has a grassroots, prescriptive approach that I’ve dubbed “service management for the masses”. It is applicable to every company, regardless of platform and, the best part is that the intellectual property is free! If you haven’t looked at MOF, I highly recommend checking it out at There’s a good overview document as well as detailed guidance and free templates (job aids). Microsoft has set up a community forum. Microsoft and EXIN have partnered to offer a MOF training and certification program.

ISO/IEC 20000 is also beginning to gain momentum in the US, particularly in the government sector. More organizations are considering ISO/IEC 20000 certification while others are using the standard as an auditable benchmark for their ITSM programs. itSMF USA has chartered an ISO/IEC 20000 Special Interest Group (SIG) that will be conducting virtual meetings throughout the year in a webinar format. itSMF USA will also be hosting six regional Road Shows this year centered on ISO/IEC 20000. EXIN has introduced an tiered ISO/IEC 20000 certification scheme.

We will take a deeper dive into these and other topics in future posts.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year,

Jayne Groll

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lifecycle vs. Capability Courses

Now that the ITIL V3 Intermediate certifications are available, I am getting more and more questions about the differences between the Lifecycle and Capability courses. While the content may appear similar, the focus and target audience for each stream is, in fact, very different. And while Foundation provides a good overview of ITIL V3, it is in the Intermediate courses that the processes and stages come to life.

For those who are familiar with the ITIL V2 certification scheme, you can translate Lifecycle and Capability into Service Manager and Practitioner. For those unfamiliar with V2, Lifecycle courses are for those individuals working "on" ITSM implementation and Capability courses are for those individuals working "in" the daily process activities.

Let's start with the Capability courses. The four Capability courses focus on executing and improving existing related processes. The syllabus is more prescriptive and covers a detailed view of the inputs, activities, concepts, metrics and outputs of each process. The target audience includes process managers, line managers and those who will execute the daily activities of one or more process. Capability courses are essentially upgraded equivalents to V2 Practitioner courses

  • Operational Support and Analysis (OSA) = Support and Restore (IPSR)
    (Incident, Problem, Request, Event, Access, Functions)
  • Release, Control and Validation (RCV) = Release and Control (IPRC)
    (Change, Release, Configuration, Evaluation, Validation, Knowledge)
  • Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA) = Agree and Define (IPAD)
    (Service Portfolio, Service Level, Service Catalog, Financial, Supplier, Demand)
  • Planning, Protection and Optimization (PPO) = Plan and Improve (IPPI)
    (Security, Availability, Capacity, Continuity, Risk)

The five Lifecycle (Service Manager) modules are more strategic in nature and focus on implementing an entire stage of the Service Lifecycle. Lifecycle courses emphasize stage and process relationships, roles, responsibilities and implementation considerations. There is very little time spent on process activities. The target audience includes process owners, Lifecycle stage managers, ITSM implementation teams, consultants, stakeholders and anyone else involved in an ITSM project.

The big advantage of the Lifecycle stream is that it is modular. In V2, the only option for advanced implementation certification is within the Service Manager course. With the modular Lifecycle stream, your organization can get "just-in-time" implementation education and certification while building credits towards the ITIL Expert. So, if you are planning to implement Service Operation and Service Transition this year, your project stakeholders can take the Service Operation and Service Transition courses this year. I would however, recommend, that at least one individual from each organization take all of the Lifecycle courses to gain a big picture view of the entire Service Lifecycle.

The Lifecycle and Capability streams both culminate in Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC). The MALC certification exam is the final step to achieving ITIL Expert. MALC looks at the dynamics of the Service Lifecycle with a strong emphasis on organizational change.

Can you mix and match courses from both streams to earn enough credits for the ITIL Expert? Yes - but if you are interested in achieving ITIL Expert, you will need to ensure sufficient broad-based knowledge to succeed in Managing Across the Lifecycle. The Credit Profiler mentioned in my last blog is a good tool for ensuring that your knowledge is balanced and your credits are building.

So, the choice between Lifecycle and Capability courses really depends on where you are in your ITSM journey and what you are trying to achieve in the short term.