The Name on the Badge Is Changing, the ITSM Rockstar Is Staying

From ITIL® Practitioner to Capability and Lifecycle Track, and now ITIL Managing Professional.

ITIL 4 Foundation was long awaited but delivered upon its promise. The next set of programs are expected later in 2019, and in this post, we are looking ahead at what is coming, provide insight and perspective on these programs.

ITIL 4 Foundation was long anticipated but delivered upon its promise. Instead of a long process-oriented training program, a fresh value stream driven course was presented. Kudos for the Axelos team who had to deliver this program in a domain where everyone is an expert and wants their opinion to be included in the design.

The ITpreneurs learning design team has been gearing up now for a few months to prepare for the second batch of programs to be released – the ITIL Managing Professional programs. Three Specialist programs, and one Strategist program. Completing these four certifications provides the Managing Professional designation.

Are the new Specialist modules similar to the old ITIL Practitioners?

The move to only 4 programs, (5 if you include ITIL Leader) can only be appreciated. In ITIL v3 there were just too many programs. With 4 capability programs, 5 lifecycle programs, MALC, and ITIL Practitioner, it was becoming too confusing for people.

Are we moving back to the old ITIL v2 approach now? Well actually In ITIL v2 there were initially 10 practitioner programs, and only Service Desk and Incident Management were really popular. When customers asked for the ITIL Practitioner Financial Management, there was never a trainer available who could deliver that program. 10 programs were later clustered into 4 Practitioners, but unfortunately, that was not working either, as professionals could not associate themselves with ‘Support and Restore’, or ‘Agree and Define’. In those days, people just wanted to go for the ITIL Service Manager program, as Service Managers were Rockstars!

The new ‘Specialist’ programs have similarities to the old ITIL v2 clusters, but there are also relevant differences. If you look beyond the word Specialist (as everyone wants to work in multi-skilled teams, be a T-shaped professional, people don’t want to be specialists anymore) there could be some really nice things coming our way. Let’s have a look.

ITIL Specialist – Create, Deliver and Support

Conceptually this is my favorite, and I believe this could become one of the most popular programs if executed well. This program covers the core of the IT Service Management activities and resembles V2 Support and Restore and Release and Control. In v3 terms, there is overlap with RCV and OSA. So this program has the ambition to be better than the most popular ITIL Practitioner and Intermediate programs of the past.

ITIL Specialist – Drive Shareholder Value

While ITSM became more mature, service relationship management also became much more important. In V2 and V3 a lot of this was focused on SLA management, but as practices matured, it became much more partnership management. In V2 you would talk about Agree and Define, and in v3 about Service Offerings and Agreements. Programs as SIAM are gaining in popularity, so we believe there can definitely be an interest in this program. This is not a program for large audiences, as the number of people in a supplier management role will be limited.

ITIL Specialist – High Velocity IT

There definitely is no relationship between High Velocity IT and ITIL v2 or V3. Digital Transformation was not a word known in those days. Agile was something done by development teams, and the DevOps term was not coined yet. The world has changed, technology has become better and organizations are more demanding. The High Velocity IT program is about digitally enabled organizations, and the journey to get there. From that perspective, it will be relevant initially primarily by consultants who are helping their customers in the transformational journey.

ITIL Strategist – Direct, Plan and Improve

This is where ITIL v3 PPO, Service Strategy, ITIL v2 Plan and Improve, the ITIL CSI book, and later the ITIL v3 Practitioner come to play. Directing ITSM, and working on continuous improvement initiatives – this course is for those in a leadership capacity who need to take their initiatives to a higher plan. Typically a niche audience, but the title ‘strategist’ may be appealing for many, and also the fact that it is 50% of the Strategic Leader designation.

Are Specialists Managing Professionals?

The interesting conclusion that I am drawing is that these 4 new programs are for 4 very different profiles of people. From that perspective, we are back to the ITIL v2 approach to Practitioners, specialists, and professionals in their own field. This can work very well, as these programs become craftmanship programs where you are building the capabilities relevant to performing your job.

Is there a next ITIL Service Manager Rockstar designation?

With 4 very different profiles for the Specialist and Strategist programs, it looks like a long shot for people to go for the ITIL Managing Professional Designation. You have to manage IT ops, lead teams, drive transformational programs, and deal with complex stakeholders every day – that is a big ask.

Time will tell if the Managing Professional designation will become popular. At ITpreneurs we are at least trying to make the journey very easy by offering the ITpreneurs ITIL 4 Managing Professional Bootcamp (5 days classroom, 40 hours online) program in a condensed fashion. We have years of experience in delivering these type of programs by offering the ITIL v3 Expert program in a condensed and blended manner.

It is therefore very likely that Strategic Leader will become the in-demand ITIL designation. The entry criterion for ITIL Leader may become a barrier (3 years of managerial experience), but other than that it has all elements for becoming a very attractive proposition.

Whenever they will come, ITpreneurs is ready!

We have been planning now for months, and have a course design ready for online, blended and classroom programs. There are over 400 experts lined up to support the development of best in class professional courseware for ITIL 4. Just like with Foundation, we will be offering Select, Pro, Premium courseware in a pay per use or all you can eat model. With so many choices, there must be a proposition in there that works for you. Let us know if you want to talk about this with us.

Arjan Woertman
Arjan Woertman is the product portfolio director for ITpreneurs. Since starting his tenure at ITpreneurs in 2001, Arjan has lead a number of key initiatives within ITpreneurs including the launch of the IT Governance portfolio, the ITIL Expert Program, Metricus, and other leading programs in ITpreneurs. In his role as VP of R&D he is responsible for nurturing the existing portfolio of learning solutions and expanding the portfolio to include relevant IT management frameworks.