Let’s assume you have just taken your ITIL Foundation Certification exam. Or, even better, you have yet to take it and are currently thinking about how best to take what you learned in college and apply it in the workplace. It is important not only in the work that you personally undertake, but also in improving the wider IT services and support options of your IT department.
And if you even took and passed your ITIL exam a few months ago, then parts of this blog will still work for you. Read on to receive our 10 tips for putting what you’ve learned in your ITIL studies into practice.
Note: This article was written before the release of ITIL 4, but the tips also apply to this certification!
1. Do not think that your ITIL learning and qualification is the “result”.
Most employers, unless they bring in more customers by the level of their employees’ qualifications, will see little value in a new employee qualification that is not “ used in anger. ” You have to use your learning ability and make a difference.
2. Start with the ‘why (s)’.
This was blatantly stolen from Simon Sinek. Maybe you just undertook your ITIL studies to gain an additional qualification and advance your career. That’s fine (especially if you self-funded it). But if your employer has sponsored your studies, hopefully they expect to receive some form of business benefit from your new ITIL qualification. So what’s your “why”? Ideally, you have agreed this with your boss before starting your studies. If not, try adjusting it afterwards – by trying to understand how your new knowledge can help your employer improve in the future.
3. Articulate your “why (s)” in terms of business value.
And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Something called the “Eight Field Model” is a proven technique to help managers and their staff improve the value of their investment in training. Ideally this should be used prior to the ITIL studies, but again it can still be used afterwards.
4. Check what you have learned before trying to change anything.
When “cramming” for the ITIL exam, it is easy to become focused on the ITIL processes and what they entail. Don’t worry, this is all good stuff. However, doing this easily gets sucked into a common ITIL mistake – thinking it is about processes rather than better delivery and support of IT services and the focus on quality services and business value creation ( or co-creation). So make sure you are focused on the “goal” (the required results) rather than the “means” (the processes) when trying to deliver ITIL-based improvements.
5. Have your ITIL study materials available.
Do not assume that you will remember everything you have learned to pass the exam. You not. And to make matters worse, you’ll probably think you remember (or even understood) something well when the reality is that you didn’t. So it is good to be able to refer to the study material when necessary.
6. Don’t blindly follow the ITIL “learning journey” in the real world.
Instead, focus on what will help your organization the most. By this I mean it’s easy to start with incident management, then move on to problem management, then change, etc. – according to the ITIL study material. This may be what your organization needs, but it probably isn’t. So instead, try to apply what you’ve learned to the things that will have the greatest positive business impact.
7. Don’t try to effect ITIL-based change in a vacuum.
You are not the first, nor the last, ITIL student to want to use what they have learned in the office. So try to learn from the experiences of others – again, instead of reinventing the wheel. This could include networking with your fellow students after the course, collaborating with colleagues, looking up the customer successes of your ITSM tool provider, or something else.
8. Do not overestimate the value of your ITIL Foundation certification.
Okay, it’s great that you passed the exam, but be realistic about what this means – you have been able to understand and remember much of the ITIL Foundation syllabus. But it doesn’t make you an ITIL expert. Especially when it comes to realizing ITIL-based organizational change. So stay grounded and humble, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from more experienced colleagues.
9. Don’t think you have to go it alone.
Or, to turn this around, realize it will be hard to get an ohp To bring about ITIL-based organizational change as a ‘lonely voice’. So try to get support for your suggested improvements (and ideally help identify and formulate those improvements).
10. Don’t underestimate how long the change can take (bar ITIL-based “quick wins”).
Some of the planned changes may require organizational changes where teams and reporting lines intersect. So understand that it will take time to get a buy-in, and it can take even longer than implementing the change itself.