Organizations are increasingly becoming dependent on IT and seem to be an integral part of any business. Focus has shifted to customer outcomes and the value a service demand brings. IT can help streamline end to end inter organizations business processes which in turn brings the transparency and control. This has led organizations in reduced operational costs, reduced helpdesk calls, decreased response time, improved quality of service, user satisfaction, etc.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of industry standards widely used in IT environment to control the IT oriented business services and its management. ITIL is not project management. Its core focus is on delivery of IT services to customer.
ITIL is incorporated by organizations to streamline their business and operations, and enhance customer services.
So, why should I would you do that?
If you are a service delivery manager, working in service desk, IT manager, Project Manager, Process Manager, or something similar along these roles, then this will add value to your skills.
Why did I do it?
Its been a while since I last (Action plan: How to become a project management professional) attempted an exam, my reasons were quite a few, for instance, I had a chance to work in a customer services level 2 support, so I was aware of the service processes.
Interestingly, I helped setup a customer service unit for our new internet banking software product for level 1 and 2 support. And level 3 support from product team. We used SharePoint 2010 for automating the process. If you know anything of this sort, this exam is for you.
Moreover it was to help myself understand the industry best practices for service management.
How to approach ITIL v3 2011 Foundation Exam?
I spent 1 to 2 hours a day (4 to six hours every week), depending on the time I had, and went through all of the 13 modules. Each module a day, it took me ~4 to six weeks to complete, reread and clear the concepts.
After that I attempted the mock exams; there are several available online. Many web sites provides a list of questions that seems to be the closest match to exam or in some cases exact dump.
Exam appeared to be fairly simple, but I must add that I have been in the IT industry for over 12 years now, and I have experienced several of similar processes, seen and used the terms off and on; also the study notes during project management professional (PMP) certification – most of the things in ITIL just made sense.
Note that there are three levels of ITIL certificate: Foundation, Practitioner and Manager. A foundation exam only prepares you to understand areas in service management domain, and then practice and manage them.
I attempted the test through Prometric test center in Abu Dhabi called, New Horizons Training Institute. You can go online at, https://register.prometric.com
- Exam Name: ITIL Foundation (syllabus 2011) - http://www.exin.com/AE/en/exams/&exam=itil-v3-foundation
- ITIL Exam ID: EX0-117
- Last syllabus revision: 2011 (latest so far)
- Exam type: Computed aided test (CAT), multiple choices (MCQs)
- Fee: USD159.00/- (~AED572.40/- or ~PKR16000/-)
- Total questions: 40
- Passing marks: 26 must correct out of 40 (that is, 65% marks)
- Time available: 60 minutes (1 hour)
Areas of study:
- · Service Management as a Practice
- · ITIL Service Strategy
- · ITIL Service Strategy Processes
- · ITIL Service Design
- · ITIL Service Design Processes
- · ITIL Service Transition
- · ITIL Service Transition (SACM)
- · ITIL Service Transition (Change and Evaluation)
- · ITIL Service Operation
- · ITIL Service Operation Functions
- · ITIL Service Operation Processes
- · ITIL Continual Service Improvement
- · ITIL CSI Improvement Processes
The following resources were the building blocks and extremely helpful; a good level of understanding the framework and build concepts.
- · http://www.unc.edu/remedy/presentations/itil_study_guide.pdf
- · http://www.scribd.com/doc/49295732/ITIL-Foundation-Study-Notes
- · http://www.inf.unideb.hu/~fazekasg/oktatas/ITIL_V3_Study_Guide.pdf
IMO, a certification or a certified professional cannot in any way be ranked above or below or a non-certified professional. In industry like ours (IT), what counts is experience, thorough knowledge and “technical wisdom”.
A certification only signifies (usually approved by a third party) that you have adequate knowledge (and in some cases expertise) in the area of certification, even before you’re called in for interview. For some organizations certifications are required to show competency level. It helps you stand apart.