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Friday, October 30, 2009

Retirement of V2 Examinations

On October 29th, the OGC announced their plans for retiring ITIL V2 products and examinations by June 2011. This is a global product withdrawal, meaning that all languages will be removed at the same time.

Here are the final dates for first time exam takers:
  • V2 Foundation - June 30, 2010
  • V2 Service Manager - August 31, 2010
  • V2 Practitioner exams - Dec 31, 2010
  • V2/V3 Foundation Bridge exams - Dec 31, 2010

Re-takes for all of the above will be available until 30 June 2011.

The V2 Service Manager Bridge exam will also end on 30 June 2011. At this time, there are no re-take extensions (although myself and others are still pressing to have this reconsidered).

All V2 books will be unavailable after June 30, 2011 and some may be withdrawn before that date based on demand. Service Support and Service Delivery publications will be not be available after June 30, 2011 although OGC states that "in the later period these may only be available as ‘print on demand’ or in electronic formats." I am not quite sure what this means but suspect that if demand does not justify printing, they will make other options available until the end date.

So, if you are planning to obtain a V2 certification, you must achieve it by the end dates described above. This is particularly important for those with existing V2 certifications who would like to take advantage of bridging courses for Foundation and Service Manager.

ITIL V2 Service Managers have the unique opportunity to fast-track to ITIL Expert by taking the V2 Manager's Bridge course and passing the exam. If you have taken the Service Manager course but did not pass one or both exams, I would highly recommend that you plan for a re-take before the end dates. Becoming an ITIL Expert via the Manager's Bridge route is much faster and less costly than navigating the 22 credits required of the V3 scheme.

If you have a V2 Foundation Certificate, you can upgrade your certification and meet the pre-requisite for entry into the ITIL V3 Intermediate courses by taking the V2/V3 Foundation Bridge course and exam.

From a knowledge perspective, the guidance from V2 Service Support/Service Delivery is alive and well in V3. There may be some new vocabulary and processes, but the core concepts are essentially the same. The V3 service lifecycle just puts those processes into context while bringing forth other considerations. Some of those considerations (such as Security Management or continual service improvement) actually build on other books in the V2 library that were not as widely read as Service Support and Service Delivery.

Most organizations do not implement ITIL in its purest form. In the end, each will develop a custom framework based on a combination of ITIL (and/or other ITSM frameworks or standards) and successful internal practices. So, whether you call it ITIL V2 or V3, what really matters is that you have the knowledge, training, experience and resources to manage your services to meet the needs and requirements of your customers.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Truth About The Updates to ITIL V3 Core Library

The OGC recently announced updates to the ITIL V3 Core Guidance under their continual improvement “Mandate for Change”. The update is intended to be a new “edition” not a new “version” in that the framework will be largely unchanged.

The Mandate for Change also clearly states that “new concepts are not to be added.”

I had a chance to speak with representatives of the OGC and The Stationary Office (TSO) publishers at the recent Dallas Fusion 2009 conference, Both emphasized that the project is in the early stages and that the updated books will likely not be published until 2011.

So why the need for the update? First published in May of 2007, each of the five books in the ITIL V3 Core Library was written by a pair of authors. From the start, readers and training organizations identified many inconsistencies across the lifecycle stages and processes. Some of the new roles were not clearly differentiated; others did not appear in related sections. Standard terminology and formatting was not uniformly applied. Most importantly, feedback on the Service Strategy book repeatedly indicated that the concepts were difficult to understand and apply. The updates are in response to reader and training organization feedback and is part of OGC's continual improvement cycle.

The OGC has set the following goals for the update:
  • Remedy inconsistencies between the five books
  • Align with other relevant OGC frameworks (PRINCE2, M_o_R, etc.)
  • Clearly explain roles and responsibilities
  • Standardize the use of glossary terms and definitions across the books
  • Update the glossary
  • Examine the definition and usage of Product Manager and Service Owner roles
  • Ensure that the Service Catalog Manager appears within Service Operation
  • Simplify Service Strategy
  • Redesign content according to OGC’s updated style guidelines

A Change Control Log managed by OGC’s Change Advisory Board currently contains 312 recommended revisions. A link to the Change Log is within the Mandate for Change. The Mandate also states that training organizations and others will be invited to provide additional feedback and recommendations.

As the project progresses, further details of the update together with a more precise publication date will be announced.

To read the Mandate for Change go to