ITIL Certifications are still in demand – and most probably, in growing demand.

Training organizations are asked, and they work towards “Passing rate” claims; some even with commitments – or Warranty of passing.

But what about Utility of ITIL trainings and certifications? Are they really improving the knowledge level of the people? 

Had an “interesting” experience of interviewing a couple of persons who are Certified ITIL V3 Experts last week: Those have completed ITIL v2 foundation, ITIL V2 Service Manager and ITIL V3 Manager Bridge certification; whose resume boasted of 7-10 years of Service management experience with few of the Largest global IT Companies.

At the end of the interview, I was particularly sad: Not about that persons, or my (and their) wasted time; but regarding the sorry state of ITIL Certification and its value in the Industry…

Note: The objective of this post is not to blame or ridicule those particular persons; I am actually trying to high-light the knowledge level or understanding of a person who is Certified as ‘ITIL V3 Expert’. Enough has been discussed on the internet as a medium about this concern – but here is a live scenario as it evolved.

What will the image or value such a certification be holding across the industry, if the so called ‘experts’ have a knowledge/understanding level such as this.

I am giving below a recollection of a few questions and answers from the interviews (it is not verbatim or exact words used, but as per my memory- However, absolutely no exaggeration is applied here) :

Q1: What are the key changes V3 has brought in compared to V2?

A: See, there are a large number of concepts and processes that are included in ITIL. When you accommodate all these concepts into two books, the books become very big and complicated, and hence in V3 these set of concepts are re-organized into five books covering the whole life cycle.

Q 1a: So, are you saying other than the structural changes in documenting the practices, there are no new concepts/changes brought in by V3?

A: (After a pause) Well, I don’t think so – nothing other than minor terminology changes

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Q2: How do you differentiate Availability Management and IT Service Continuity management in ITIL perspective?

A: When any issues happen, for example: a server crashed, you need to repair and restore the server, which is handled by Availability management. If you are not able to restore the server within the SLA timings in the same location, you will try and restore server from a remote location. That is continuity management.

Q2a: Isn’t restoring a server on interruption to be done through Incident management?

A: Well, I thought you are asking me the difference between Availability management and ITSCM! (The tone stated to me: “Why are you bringing in unnecessary processes here?” So.. I decided to shut up and move to next question).

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Q3: Can you summarize the roles of Change management and Release management in ITSM, differentiating them clearly?

A: If you are introducing a completely new Server or Service, you will follow Release management. If you are making changes to existing service or server, you will follow Change management

Q3a: So in the former case (of new server introduction), you won’t use change management?

A: No.

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Q4: Suppose you are trying to convince the management about benefits of implementing ITIL. What would be the points that you will put across?

A: ITIL is a very flexible and customizable framework that will give you a great level of freedom to do the processes the way you want.

(The further points that were stated all were around the same key benefits of flexibility, customizability and freedom, which made me resign myself from further questions with a note to myself:

“If I am part of that management team, I would decide not to have any framework or process in place – which case will give me complete flexibility and freedom to do the work myself!!!”

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