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Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) – Tick Tock!

It is a new day! The world of IT has changed from solely provisioning technology and services to actually being integral in the fulfillment of all business operations. It is time for staff and leaders to learn, get certified, evolve and most importantly to move forward with XLAs. As the climate of business operation changes it makes sense (or should make sense) that the way we measure and fulfill the provisioning of services must evolve to meet new challenges. This does not mean that SLAs are gone and XLAs are taking over. They can co-exist!
Traditional Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are sometimes rigid and can be restrictive in a world where the ability to shift and change with dynamic business needs are prevalent. Many of you can relate to those organizations that are meeting and exceeding SLAs only to find Customer Satisfaction (C-Sat) Scores are tanking. Internally the staff celebrate while the organization loses market share!

There is still a place for SLAs in the world and t…
Part of ITIL 4’s value proposition is that it embraces newer ways of working, such as Agile, Lean and DevOps.

I was recently asked whether there was a compelling argument for individuals to go to ITIL for information about these approaches, vs. going to ‘the source’. Here’s my answer and I’d love to hear yours.

3) What source? Yes. There is a massive amount of information available about these topics. There are many ‘definitive’ sources of knowledge. For lifelong learners such as myself, these sources are a joy. They can also be overwhelming and at times a challenge to apply. A search for information about Lean, for example, may take you down a manufacturing route which then requires translation. Looking to learn more about Agile? Which method? Scrum, SAFe, extreme programming … you get the point.

2) The source is evolving. As an example, DevOps practitioners often pride themselves in the fact that there is no definitive body of knowledge; rather, there is an evolving collective …

ITIL 4 – High Velocity IT (HVIT)

There are high performing organizations in the world that are exceeding speed to value, safety, and reliability expectations and they are provisioning co-created services fast

Not there?! That is ok, you are not alone. I think that we all agree that we must at least be on that journey. Service providers should be capable of generating and sustaining relentless improvement with high velocity for the conversion of demand to consumer value.

The ITIL 4 High Velocity IT (HVIT) certification course explores the ways in which digital organizations function in high-velocity environments. We must move fast, and we have to do the right things fast. Velocity not only refers to speed but also to direction! Understanding these operating models helps practitioners, leaders, and organizations to improve and succeed.

The ITIL 4 High Velocity ITmodule and certification course incorporate known and working practices that focus on the rapid delivery of products and services such as Agile, Lean, Cloud…

ITIL 4 - Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV)

Think slow and hard about that statement; Drive Stakeholder Value! Sometimes we see and use terminology so much that the power of the statement gets lost. This is one we must hear and ignite if we have any hope of meeting the evolving door of consumer requirements. 

The Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) certification course is available within the ITIL 4 Managing Professional stream of certification. 

Therefore, DSV is also a module and one of the focus areas in the Managing Professional Transition (MPT) class. 
Confused? Take a look at this graphic:
ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition is a course that provides ITIL Experts or those that have at least 17 ITIL v3 credits a fast-track way to obtain the ITIL Managing Professional certification. This course excerpts key concepts from ITIL 4 Foundation and from each of the four Managing Professional modules.
The Managing Professional stream of certification courses targets IT practitioners working within technology and digital teams across b…

ITIL 4 - Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI)

Every successful organization in the world must strive to create a “learning and improving” culture that permeates all areas of operation. 

The ITIL 4 Qualification Scheme has two main streams for advanced learning and certification:
The ITIL Managing Professional,The ITIL Strategic Leader
Direct, Plan and Improve is so critical it has become the universal module, that stars as a key component of both, ITIL Managing Professional and ITIL Strategic Leader streams. 
The ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI) training and certification course provides individuals with the real-world skills necessary to create a learning and improving IT organization. This class will focus on working holistically and aligns with principles from AGILE, LEAN and Continuous Delivery optimization. Leaders, practitioners, and all service management professionals understand that strategy is key and will walk away with a strong and effective basis for strategic direction.

Learners acquire an understandi…

ITIL 4 – Create, Deliver and Support (CDS)

Create, Deliver and Support (CDS) is one of many content areas of focus within the ITIL 4 guidance. It is included in the ITIL 4 schema for ITIL Specialist certification and is one of the many modules contained in the Managing Professional Transition class


Create, Deliver, and Support (Training and Certification) is an advanced course that requires the ITIL 4 Foundation knowledge and certification. It takes a deeper dive into core areas of holistic thinking and application by understanding clearly; the Service Value System, Service Value Chain and the Anatomy of a Value Stream.

To create, deliver and support services, specialists need a broad set of competencies to meet the dynamic need and demand for digital services.

Proficiencies gained will help professionals optimize end to end value and must expand beyond tech to include such things as: 
Radical soft skills that take communication, leadership, and innovation to the next levelAbility to provide opportunities for…

Transition to ITIL 4 – Managing Professional Transition (MPT) - 17 ITIL V3 Credits Required

If you have ITIL Expert Certification or 17 ITIL v3 Credits you are eligible to transition UP! 

The Managing Professional Transition certification classes are filling up quickly, and are only available for a limited to, so we recommend that you grab your seat..."while the getting is good" :-). 

ITIL 4 Foundation is NOT a prerequisite. However, the Foundation course provides exposure to concepts and practices which aren't covered in MPT. The ITIL 4 Foundation Module of MPT will give you a good introduction to the Service Value System, The Service Value Chain, Service Relationships and more. Reach out to the Academy team for your discount on your ITIL 4 Foundation training.

Managing Professional Transition will start you on your journey for new ways of thinking and new ways to approach best practice and like any other bridge or transition class, it has a short shelf life!

The Managing Professional Transition Course covers:
Key ITIL 4 concepts And from the advanced courses:…

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles - Optimize and Automate

Henry Ford did not invent the car. Providers of automobiles during the 1800’s were ok creating cars as toys for the very rich. Henry Ford, on the other hand, was interested in the experience of the common man and created an automobile that was within the economic reach of the average American. Ford developed a method of manufacturing that optimized his resources and lowered the cost of manufacturing. His motto was to simplify, simplify, simplify! Henry Ford knew how to apply common sense to new ideas. His ability to simplify and to optimize solutions to otherwise complicated and insurmountable problems made him the great pioneer of his time. 
This blog is one in a series for the seven guiding principles from ITIL 4best practices. To optimize means to make the best or most effective use of a situation, an opportunity, or of a resource. Get started on your journey today! Optimize and Automate! 
The idea to “Optimize and Automate” is not new to manufacturing and the same concepts tha…

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles - Keep It Simple - Take Two

If there is a way to make something complex it seems like we as IT Service Providers have that technique down to an art. Last week an ITIL 4 Foundation student asked, “Why is that?"
The human brain is an intricate organ weighing on average about three pounds. There are about eleven billion neurons and one hundred trillion connections in your brain. The brain is the command central of everything that we think, everything you say and yes, of every solution that we might come up with. Our brain is thirsty for information. The more information we allow in the more eager our brain gets. This cycle generates a demand for stimulation. The more complex something becomes, the more stimulated our brain becomes. Hmmm, this might explain why so many become addicted to tech!    
This guiding principle “Keep IT Simple” is just that… SIMPLE! The difficult task is going
to be how do we ensure that we have “Just Enough” process and governance moving forward but also how do we take very comple…

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles – Keep It Simple

Keeping it Simple is one step towards creating a world where people get up in the morning and are inspired to go to work and love to do the work that they do. The more complex something is, the more there are ways for it to go wrong. We as an industry of service providers must become educated and stop the insanity! Getting the education and the certification is a wonderful first step but once qualified we must adapt those learnings to make it simple and “Keep IT Simple” 

“Keep it Simple”, one of the seven ITIL 4 Guiding Principles is a topic we have written about many times over the years.  It is anything but simple. We must acknowledge that IT services are comprised of many complex systems and if there is a way to make them even more complex IT Professionals in general seem to have that idea down to an ART. 
So; How did we get that way. Business requirements are dynamic and are consistently evolving even as you read this line. Over a period of years and in many cases decades t…

Three Golden Keys to Unlock the Power of Your ITIL Qualification

These “Three Golden Keys” are powerful! They can unlock the power of your ITIL 4 Qualification and will accelerate your journey in the right direction as you achieve one goal after another!

Believe in Challenging the Status Quo With ITIL 4  Get out of the box. It is a new world. Leaders and teams will succeed by creating an environment to challenge the status quo. You are free, give yourself permission to question the status quo of your organization and invite others to join you. We must stop doing the same thing over and over again and yet expect a different result. Use the idea of a Service Value System, Value Steams and the four dimensions and apply the ITIL Guiding Principles as you “Challenge The Status Quo”. Real change begins with YOU! 
Keep The Momentum Going!  Getting your ITIL 4 Qualification is a huge milestone in your learning and career path. Once there, the real journey begins. Be sure to get the most value from your accomplishment and the best practices that you ha…

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles – Collaborate and Promote Visibility

Communication has always been a key principle for service providers and this ITIL 4 Guiding Principle “Collaborate and Promote visibility” takes us to new heights. Encouraging staff and giving stakeholders the opportunity to develop this skill, will amalgamate teams in ways we never thought possible. 

This guiding principle also represents the influence of Agile, DevOps and LEAN on ITSM and best practices. A pillar of Agile is to be “transparent” and LEAN encourages making work visible in order to remove waste and increase flow. Both collaboration and being transparent are a key focus of DevOps integrated teams in order to ensure a continuous delivery pipeline. To understand this further let’s look at the two elements of this ITIL4 Guiding Principles.

Collaborate 
When we communicate, we are notifying or telling something to a person or a group. Collaboration is quite different and occurs when a group of people work together. The key word here is “together”. They work as one unit to …

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles – Focus on VALUE!

Adopting the ITIL seven “Guiding Principles” for service providers could be the best way to establish a healthy organizational culture. All “Guiding Principles” are powerful but today are some thoughts on just one and that is “FOCUS ON VALUE”. 
ITIL 4 best practice guidance says to focus on value.  Getting level set on what VALUE is for your business partners, customers and consumers is critical to every strategic, tactical and operational action! To understand this better let’s start with the official definition of a service. “A service is a means of enabling value co-creation by facilitating OUTCOMES that customers want to achieve without the customer having to manage specific costs and risks". If this is so, then there is a direct correlation between VALUE and OUTCOMES. When it comes to defining “VALUE” we must get OUT of “IT”. 
An “OUTCOME” is what we deliver. It is not the activities within the value delivery stream but rather the RESULTS of all people, process, activit…

Adapting ITIL V3 Processes to ITIL 4 – Practices for the REAL WORLD!

One of the leading questions following the release of ITIL 4 is “How do I Transition from ITIL V3 to ITIL 4?

Which translates to, how do you proceed to adapt existing processes to the new way of working? 
The answer is… ITIL 4 for ITIL 4. What? That’s right! ITIL 4 has the best practice for “adapting” and might I include “accelerating” the ITSM processes that you have in play today. Below is an outline of principles, concepts and precepts from ITIL 4 guidance that will help. Ongoing Continual Improvement has always been a best practice. Therefore: How do you proceed to adapt existing processes to the new way of working? Each is discussed here at a very high level. First and foremost, START WHERE YOU ARE! 
Continual Improvement - ITIL 4 is the next logical progression of your improvement cycle. Business Requirements are dynamic and therefore we must be dynamic in order to provision for evolving business and customer needs. We must be responsive (Agile) and ensure “Stability” (Anti Fr…

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles – Start Where You Are!

START WHERE YOU ARE! This guiding principle is just common sense. We are either not moving and dying or we are moving forward and living. The guiding principles from ITIL4 best practices are universally applicable to practically any initiative, any size of organization, or type of service provider. There are seven “Guiding Principles” that can be adopted and adapted to suit any service management improvement. The one Guiding Principle that we will focus on here is simple yet powerful! That is “Start Where You Are”.
Every organization that is in business has existing systems comprised of people, practices, and technology! Don’t forget to “Honor the Past”. There are a lot of people who have put a lot of effort (blood, sweat and tears) into helping to improve the capabilities within your organization. Don’t start from scratch and build something new without considering what you already have. It’s almost always better to improve what you currently have than to throw it all away and sta…

Co-Create and Accelerate! – ITIL 4

What is changing in your organization? The easier question might be what is not changing. We live in an accelerated world. To say that business and customer requirements are evolving is an understatement. It is a volatile time and the Co-Creation of services between service providers and customers as defined in ITIL 4 is the type of guidance could help. Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between customer engagement in value co-creation and customer satisfaction. 
There is no room for an “Us and Them” environment. Engagement means that we vet the requirements with the customer to ensure needs but also that the customer will engage and play a role in the design, development and the delivery of the product or service. They won't necessarily get down in the weeds with the developers and techies, but they absolutely should have a strategic and a bit of a tactical role to play throughout. 
Beyond the consumer/customer and the service provider, there are many o…

How ITIL 4 and SRE align with DevOps

Author: Jayne Groll, DevOps Institute - originally posted on Tech Beacon.

In the early days of DevOps, there was a lot of debate about the ongoing relevancy of ITIL and IT service management (ITSM) in a faster-paced agile and DevOps world. Thankfully, that debate is coming to an end.
ITSM processes are still essential, but, like all aspects of IT, they too must transform. Recent updates to ITIL (ITIL 4), as well as increased interest in site reliability engineering (SRE), are providing new insights into how to manage services in a digital world.
Here's a look at ITIL 4 and SRE and how each underpins the "Three Ways of DevOps," as defined in The Phoenix Project, by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford.‎
What is ITIL 4? ITIL 4 is the next evolution of the well-known service management framework from Axelos. It introduces a new Service Value System (SVS) that's supported by the guiding principles from the ITIL Practitioner Guidance publication. The framework eases …