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Happy Retirement ITIL© v3 Foundation! Passing the Torch to ITIL 4!

Retirement is a time that marks a new beginning. It’s a major transition that isn’t always easy. This is true whether it relates to the retirement of people, or a technology, or as is the case with ITIL v3 Foundation, a certification.
Like other major transitions, the retirement of ITIL v3 Foundation has sparked a variety of emotions and concerns. On a positive note, we can look back fondly on ITIL v3 and celebrate the progress that it has enabled us to make in terms of promoting the value of service management. It helped us to understand what processes are and the importance of continually improving those processes. It also paved the way for us to understand the importance of aligning service management with business requirements.
Concerns, however, have started to creep in. Is ITIL v3 enough in the digital age? Or perhaps more importantly, is ITIL v3 too much when viewed through the lens of adjacent ways of work such as Agile, Lean, and DevOps? Have our processes become unnecessarily heavyweight over the years? Have we been overly rigid in our application of best practice?

Just as retirement planning allows us as individuals to consider how we’ll navigate the next chapter of our lives, the retirement of ITIL v3 Foundation allows us to let go of what is now a dated approach to service management, and consider how we’ll move on to ITIL 4.

This doesn’t mean we have to reinvent the wheel. After all, the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of service management hasn’t changed. Adopting customer-focused, value-oriented ways of working will always serve us well. It’s the ‘how’ of service management that must change. Agile, Lean, DevOps, and Site Reliability Engineering represent more modern ways of thinking and working. These ways of working both support and rely upon service management. But we’re not talking traditional service management. ITIL has evolved and we need to evolve along with it. And therein lies the value proposition for ITIL 4. It is a principles-based approach to service management that aligns with these adjacent ways of working.

It’s quite common when individuals retire for them to have to reorient themselves in order to regain their sense of purpose and begin enjoying the experience. They may even go through a small phase of disenchantment along the way. It’s likely the same will occur with the transition to ITIL 4.

It’s human nature to resist change. Particularly when that change is as significant and fast-paced as what we are experiencing in the IT industry. Here’s where the principles of organizational change management come in to play, and recognizing the importance of preparing, motivating, and equipping people to embrace new ways of working.

Perhaps there is also a greater lesson to be learned here. Don’t get too attached to any one way of doing things. Accept that things are going to change and embrace the journey. Better still, commit yourself to lifelong learning. By turning education into a daily habit, you can hone your current skills and develop new ones that might just put you out in front of the next change curve.

AXELOS has published the following schedule for discontinuing the ITIL v3 qualification scheme.
  • ITIL v3 Foundation (English) - discontinued as of July 1, 2021 (exams can no longer be ordered or taken)
  • ITIL v3 Intermediates (English) to be discontinued as of January 1, 2022
  • ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition exam (English) to be discontinued as of July 1, 2022
To learn more about ITIL 4, consider the following ITSM Academy courses:

ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.


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