ITIL Expert - Passed

eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
I received good news today. I passed the ITIL Expert v3.0 test, which means I have bridged my ITIL v2 Manager certification to the new version 3.

The exam was a really hard 20 question multiple choice test that followed a 4 day training class. The percent required to pass was 80%, which is exactly what I scored!

I do realize that this is of very little interest to most on this board...however, I was certain that I failed it two weeks ago, and want to share news of my success....I'm so happy that I don't have to fly to another city next month to retake this thing.

MS

Comments

  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    eMeS wrote:
    I received good news today. I passed the ITIL Expert v3.0 test, which means I have bridged my ITIL v2 Manager certification to the new version 3.

    The exam was a really hard 20 question multiple choice test that followed a 4 day training class. The percent required to pass was 80%, which is exactly what I scored!

    I do realize that this is of very little interest to most on this board...however, I was certain that I failed it two weeks ago, and want to share news of my success....I'm so happy that I don't have to fly to another city next month to retake this thing.

    MS

    Of interest to me. Congratulations and I hope you found the training useful!
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    Honestly I found the training a bit pointless.

    What really helped was reading the 1000 or so pages of the 5 ITIL v3 books....

    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    eMeS wrote:
    Honestly I found the training a bit pointless.

    What really helped was reading the 1000 or so pages of the 5 ITIL v3 books....

    MS

    Sorry to hear that about the training. Did you foot the bill for that stuff? Was it stuff you had already covered or knew or just off base?
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    I did foot the bill for it. The training was required in order to bridge the v2 manager cert to the new v3 "ITIL Expert" cert.

    Please don't misunderstand me...I do not intend to imply that ITIL v3 is useless, only that the particular training that I was required to take to bridge my v2 certification to v3 was useless.

    I know v3 pretty well. First, much of the information in v3 amounts to ITIL best practices catching up to what many organizations have already been doing. This is particularly true in financial services, the sector where I tend to work the most. Second, I spent quite a bit of time over the past 6 months reading and understand what was different in v3.

    However, what I found most useless about this particular training is that the training provider (a large company that sells a lot of ink jet cartridges) basically took the information from the 5 ITIL version 3 books, changed it around a little bit, and put it in a PowerPoint presentation.

    Partially this is because version 3 is so new, and partially this is laziness on the part of the training provider. The cost of this was $2500, 4 days away from home in another city, and 4 days that I was not billing or producing future business.

    My standpoint is that I would rather have been told that I had to pay $2500 to take the bridge exam to v3 and that I would need to study on my own, rather than having to study on my own, pay $2500, and then having to sit through a 4 day class that added no real value.

    I left the exam thinking I had failed miserably. It was really tough, and the class really didn't provide anything that I felt helped me on the exam above and beyond what I did on my own.

    rant over....

    MS
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    I asked this in another ITIL pass post, but I never got a response. What was your motivation for taking this exam, and how does it benefit you/how will you use it? I've read the information on Wikipedia as well as the official information, but I'm curious to see what people actually do with them. I've researched that Six Sigma Blackbelt of yours as well. How do you feel that relates to the ITIL material? I'm sorry of these are basic questions. I don't see a lot about these, and they've piqued my curiosity.

    Oh yea, congratulations on the pass :D
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    Apologies if I missed something in another thread...I will do my best to answer here.

    First, I don't think these are basic questions at all.

    My work involves process development, improvement, and management, design and implementation of best practices, achievement of standards (such as ISO 20000 and ISO 27001), and IT governance.

    These certifications are typically held by people that are consultants that help organizations implement or improve processes in support of technology, design and implement IT in the form of IT services, reduce waste and costs, and align IT with business needs. Additionally, there is a role in educating others in specific needs areas related to these bodies of knowledge. For example, in ITIL an ITIL Expert might conduct a training class focused on IT Capacity Management processes and best practices.

    My motivation for achieving the ITIL v2 Manager's Certificate in IT Service Management (that's the the full name!) was to demonstrate my experience with ITIL and knowledge of those best practices. This certification was the highest level in ITIL v2, and required 5 years of experience doing IT Service Management/best practices work, as well as two days of really difficult essay tests that covered all aspects of the ITIL v2 "red" and "blue" books.

    Being able to demonstrate my experience with and knowledge of the topic with this certification allowed me to offer my services in IT Service Management implementation, consulting, and training. Without this particular credential, it is difficult to compete with others out there that hold it in IT Service Management. I completed this credential in October 2007. There are less than 10,000 people worldwide that hold this certification, and the majority are outside of the US.

    The subject of this post was ITIL v3 Expert. ITIL v3 was released in 2007, right about when I had accumulated enough experience for the ITIL v2 Manager Certificate mentioned above. An ITIL v3 Expert is currently the equivalent of the ITIL v2 Manager Certificate, but for version 3 (there is another level higher than Expert, but the requirements have yet to be defined). For those people that held an ITIL v2 Manager Certificate a program was designed to transition those people's qualification to ITIL v3. That transition required this class and passing the exam offered at the end.

    As ITIL v3 is quickly gaining support, my motivation to take this class and complete the exam was primarily to keep myself viable in the marketplace for these services. At some point ITIL v3 will fully replace v2, and v2 qualfications will be useless. From late 2007 through the end of 2008, the credentialing organization is offering to any holder of an ITIL v2 Manager Certification the opportunity to bridge their certification to ITIL Expert for v2 by taking this 4 day class and successfully passing the exam at the end. Again, bridging to v3 and achieving ITIL Expert ensures that I remain competitive with others offering the same type of consulting and education.

    I am told that less than 100 people worldwide have achieved the ITIL Expert certification as of today. However, I do not have this from a good source and do not know if this is true. In any event, very few people currently hold it, so holding this credential, coupled with my experience of having actually implemented ITIL in large organizations and my education, puts me in high demand. Therein lies my motivation....

    In my mind, as well as the ITIL party-line, ITIL is about IT doing what the business needs, rather than doing what IT wants or what IT thinks the business needs. ITIL v3 moves this integration of business and IT forward even further from v2. Implementing to some extent the best practices described in ITIL v2 or v3 helps organizations align IT with what the business really needs. Ultimately this saves money and improves quality.

    Regarding the Six Sigma Black Belt....You will see differing opinions on this, but Six Sigma projects are always about three things, either 1) Saving money, or 2) reducing waste, or 3) both (In Six Sigma parlance, these are called "defects"). Over the years I managed several projects that were "Six Sigma Projects" according to this standard. Six Sigma is a body of knowledge that supports projects that achieve (or seek ot achieve) the above stated goals.

    There is a lot of material included "Six Sigma", and in fact I feel like every time someone sees something they like, they add it to the Six Sigma body of knowledge.

    How Six Sigma relates to ITIL is very simple from my perspective. First, ITIL is heavily focused on continuous improvement of processes and IT Services over time and in line with business needs. Six Sigma fits into this by providing some of the tools that help you achieve continuous improvement in terms of reducing costs and waste. Second, Six Sigma is also focused on defining and monitoring metrics. Metrics are of key importance to ITIL, becuase without knowing how your processes are performing or how your IT Services are working, an IT service provider does not truly have management control, and is therefore not achieving what the business wants with the money that they spend.

    One of the best times to use Six Sigma is when you have a process that is executed millions or hundreds of millions of times. Saying that something is operating at a "Six Sigma" level indicates that out of every million executions, only 3.4 "defects" were produced. This is a very high standard, and difficult to achieve, because many processes that are in use in organizations will never be executive 1 million times. This is why I say that Six Sigma is very situational, and tends to work best where processes are constantly repeated.

    On the other hand, one of the worst times to use Six Sigma is during new product development. However, ITIL offers best practices that do help IT service providers develop and deliver new products and services.

    ITIL like Six Sigma, are not all or nothing propositions. This type of thinking is what causes many of these types of activities to cost too much money to implement and not achieve planned results. An organization can pick one thing from ITIL and implement that, or everything in every ITIL book if they want. There is no "requirement", and there is no such thing as "ITIL Compliance". The same thing with Six Sigma. It's like a tool box, when you need a tool you grab the one you need out of the box. Many organizations have failed with Six Sigma because they thought that every project required that everything in Six Sigma be used. In fact, Six Sigma is situational...you use what you need when you need it.

    To me, these things are complementary. Six Sigma is good at improving the heavily repeated processes, whereas ITIL is good for introducing new IT Services and managing existing IT Services, and can employ Six Sigma tools to achieve some of its goals.

    One thing that is bothersome about Six Sigma is that some organizations have taken to minting black belts simply because they paid $5000 and attended a class. There isn't really a governing body for "Six Sigma", and any organization (even your own company), can set up a training/development program and qualify people to be "Six Sigma Black Belts". You will also find "Master Black Belt Certifications", which is really made up, because in Six Sigma this is a situational position that requires leading multiple black belts and coordinating their projects. IN fact, there is not a certification to achieve "Master Black Belt" status.

    In my opinion, there are really only a few places that offer a "Six Sigma Black Belt" certification that is worth more than the paper it was written on. One is Motorola, as they are the ones that invented it. Another is GE, as they really took it to the next level. However, I'm not intimately familiar with the exact details of either company's training programs. Another place to get a Six Sigma Black Belt certification that requires verifiable experience is the American Society for Quality www.asq.org.

    I earned my Black Belt from ASQ. I can't remember exactly how much experience was required, but I think it required the verifiable completion of two Six Sigma projects that either reduced costs and/or waste. Upon proving experience, you are then eligible to sit for the 4 hour multiple choice test that covers the entire Six Sigma body of knowledge. They allow you to bring any written notes or books into the test that you choose, but you really don't have time to look things up because there are so many questions and not enough time. There were people that literally took in shopping carts full of books! I took in two books and a set of Six Sigma slides...I barely finished the exam in the 4 hour time frame and had very little time to verify my answers with the material I took into the exam.

    I hope I've at least scratched the surface on answering your questions...
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    It wasn't you that didn't respond in the thread I mentioned. Someone else recently earned an ITIL certification, and I asked in his pass thread. It's not a big deal; he probably just didn't have a chance to respond yet.

    I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post. I saw you were still on a few minutes after I asked, and I was wondering if something of epic proportions was coming down the pipeline. That certainly answered a lot of questions, so thanks again!

    Hopefully you don't mind, but I'd like to ask a follow-up question. Aside from the Security+, I see that you don't have any other technical/hands-on certifications. Do you have previous experience with Cisco, MS, *nix? However you answer, do you feel like that has helped or hindered you with what you are currently doing? While I don't think it would be necessary for someone like you to have expert-level knowledge in those areas, it seems like it would be a difficult position to be in without spending some time down in the trenches. What are your thoughts?
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    I agree.

    I know that I am a bit of an anomoly on this site. But that's ok because reading the information here and hearing about what people are doing in their careers and their jobs helps me continue to keep in touch with the "hands-on" side of this business. I appreciate greatly everything that I learn when I have time to read the questions, answers, and other information posted here.

    I grabbed the Security+ because I wanted to have some type of security-related credential, but don't feel that I have met the experience requirements for something like the CISSP. I wanted something to validate my knowledge/experience in that area, without going for a full-blown career in info-security...time will tell if Security+ meets that need or not.

    To answer your question, with another question.....How can someone advise someone else at a high level how to manage their technology, if they actually have no hands on experience with technology?

    This is the problem that I see with many consultants. They are merely theorists. Theorist are good at coming up with grand schemes in many cases, and offering no real information about how to achieve those schemes to their customers. If the same consultants are working on a time and materials basis, what incentive do they have to ever help their customers achieve a result or accomplish something?

    For example, I know of one person presently that is a pure theorist who is billing himself at $225 per hour to a financial service organization. He has been advising them for 2 years now on achievement of IT goverenance processes. To my knowledge, he knows nothing hands-on about IT governance, and nothing has been achieved other than this guy coming up with grand schemes that his customer can implement at a high-level, but cannot achieve in a "hands on" sense. It's one of those cases where management loves the guy, but the people that actually do the work think he's a "douche" (their word, not mine!). In this case I know the consultant in question and the people that actually do the work, and I agree with the people that actually do the work. This is the kind of person that often gives all consultants a bad reptuation.

    Back to me, my experience began very hands on.

    I started my IT career in the 1980's working in a mainframe environment. My first job involved running large 3800 printers at night. I went to college during the day. Over time I moved into different roles, some of my hands on experience includes:

    Mainframe operations (hardware, software, batch, and online support)
    Mainframe disaster recovery
    Mainframe Automation (primarily using REXX and some Computer Associates products, yuk!)
    Early (like Windows 3.1!) Desktop, Server, and LAN support (in the early 90's Novell was all the rage...)
    Operations and administration of large-scale UNIX systems (Pyrmaids in the mid 90's, RS/6000, etc..)
    Distributed systems automation (custom and using a natural language tool called "G2" by Gensym)
    Some experience managing Teradata, Tandem, and Stratus equipment that was used in support of financial services activities.
    Linking distributed systems automation and mainframe automation
    Developing early (199icon_cool.gif java applications in support of an IT operations team
    Project Management in an IT environment
    What is now called "Availability Management", but then we called it failover, in critical financial services environments.
    Defining and improving monitoring (one of my Six Sigma projects was about reducing false alarms from distributed systems)
    Various versions of windows desktop/server, but more in support of other projects..
    Early implementations of Linux running as partitions in a mainframe environment
    A project to convert communication of financial services data to XML.
    Management of technical resources
    Implementing message oriented middleware such as MQ-Series and Sonic-MQ
    Workflow automation (Using a tool called IT Governance, which was formerly known as "Kintana")
    Implementing monitoring (Topaz, SiteScope...) and change management software
    Mainframe PPRC and XRC, PPRC is about creating real-time copies of mainframe data that is separated by long distances, whereas XRC was similar but with less distance involed
    Conducting technical training
    Assisting sales teams with discussions of technology, primarily in financial services
    The list goes on....

    I've touched many different platforms, equipment, etc.. over the years. What amazes me the most is how similar many of technologies really are. For example, in my brief time writing Java I learned about the "model-view-controller" pattern typically used in user interfaces. This is very similar to what is called the "subsystem interface" in mainframe parlance.

    What I have seen is that yes technology changes, but patterns that have worked well (in some cases for thousands of years), continue to work well and always show up in new technologies. Once you learn it, you can apply your knowledge in support of whatever the new thing is.

    I've never worked directly with Cisco equipment, and my direct knowledge of networking equipment is limited to what I have had to know to do the things that I've done. I guess the closest I got to this was the early Novell stuff, but I think that was IPX/SPX back in those days, which is probably dead at this point. I did spend some time working with SNA on mainframes, but I think that is mostly dead these days. I did get some experience recently with a tool called "Adlex" that does some type of network monitoring. Honetly I couldn't figure out exactly what value the tool added, but I do know that all of the people at that particular customer wanted it to do something!

    The point I'm trying to make is that I've been fortunate in my career that I've been able to work on many many things, and generally those things have complimented and built upon one another. My work definitely started in the "trenches". My first job was running a 3800 IBM printer connected to an IBM mainframe...this was in 1988. My next role was as an operator of IBM and Amdahl mainframes, and my role after that involved replacing dumb terminals with ps2 PCs in like 1990-ish...

    There is another thread on this site about my brother beginning a career/education in technology. I could just recommend to him that he jump straight into process and/or project management work after college to earn a high salary. I could even help him get the training and certifications that he needs to do this. However, in my mind that makes very little sense, and would be more of a disservice to him than helpful. How could he really be good at process or project management work without some hands-on experience with technology? At a minimum, the hands on experience provides a very good feeling for many of the things that are persistent problems in technology and technical organizations.

    To this day I am not afraid to get directly involved in the technology, and I believe that this gives me capabilities in my current line of work that not everyone has. It sets me apart. In my opinion, anyone can read the ITIL books and be a theorist, but having direct hands-on experience and understanding how to apply best practices to solve real problems sets a few consultants apart from the crowd. The theorists tend to be very dogmatic and insist that things like ITIL be implemented in a very specific manner. A good consultant knows that every organization is different, and what is implement or how it is implements depends on that organization and its objectives and business needs.

    My opinion is that I could not be doing what I am doing now without having had actual hands-on experience with technology. I agree that it is not necessary to have expert-level knowledge in a specific technology to do what I do, however, having no hands on experience would truly limit both one's ability and street credibility.

    Because of this I continue to work directly with technology. It may be a fear of mine and it may be based on my experience, but I never want to end up as a pure theorist in this business. To that end I keep up my skills in many areas...I have some copies of windows server running on spare pcs, I run a Hercules image (mainframe) on another machine, and I have a couple of Linux images, and even an old Sun Sparc 5 that I keep up. I enjoy installing software and testing things out. What I find that I do not have time for these days is writing code...I can't remember the last time I was in a real IDE or wrote something in Java or C.

    In summary, things like ITIL are very much about high-level alignment of IT with business needs. The result of this is some process, policy, etc.. that is often carried out by someone that does hands-on work as their daily job. The rubber has to meet the road somewhere. If those people who are designing high level activities, processes, and policies are unaware and unexperienced with actually executing the work that they create, how can they be adding value to the organization?

    IMO this is where organizations get into trouble; when there is a disconnect between their high-level business/IT alignment and what it actually takes to achieve and execute that alignment.

    Didn't mean to get all long-winded and philosophical on you, but this is an area where I have strong feelings.

    What I am more interested in is where I am headed next. I think I am going to take the PMP exam at some point soon, which I have always avoided because many of the organizations I have worked for/with really only use project managers to scheduled meetings and take meeting minutes...who wants to do that crap? Also, I am awating the CTT+ credential results. I initially thought about this because I once lost some work to someone that wasn't as good as me but that had an educational credential that I didn't. Sometimes having the experience doesn't matter without having the certificate to back it up. However, over the last year or so I am seeing that there is more demand for technical trainers, and I would definitely like to steer my business to doing more training, as I like the clearly defined begin and end that training assignments tend to offer that are not always there with consulting work. If the demand for trainers holds, I might look at achieving additional hands-on certifications in areas where I am comfortably experienced in order to make myself more attractive as a trainer.

    That, and constantly teaching ITIL Foundation classes lacks anything really hands-on and is really dull!!!!!

    MS
  • Vogon PoetVogon Poet Posts: 291Member
    Congrats on the pass!
    Thanks for the additional info (and questions, Dynamik). I've looked briefly at some ITIL info, but didn't really get it.
    No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough.
  • coffeekingcoffeeking Posts: 305Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats eMes on your achievement.

    When I first saw your post I wanted to ask you a lot of questions, but dynamik did that for us, thanks to both of you for making this thread a useful one.

    I would still like to ask you a question though.

    I am still not exactly sure or should I say fully understand the ITIL deal, that is probably because I just started my IT career < a month ago. But the organization I got into plans to implement ITIL standards in future and made a presentation to the senior staff a little while ago, to my information they don't have any people with ITIL certs.

    Would you say that this is something only for consultants, or full time permanent staff should also get into it?
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    Congrats on passing the ITIL exam! I will be working towards my ITIL: IPRC in the next few months. I can only imagine how hard getting the "red badge" will be
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    coffeeking wrote:
    Congrats eMes on your achievement.

    When I first saw your post I wanted to ask you a lot of questions, but dynamik did that for us, thanks to both of you for making this thread a useful one.

    I would still like to ask you a question though.

    I am still not exactly sure or should I say fully understand the ITIL deal, that is probably because I just started my IT career < a month ago. But the organization I got into plans to implement ITIL standards in future and made a presentation to the senior staff a little while ago, to my information they don't have any people with ITIL certs.

    Would you say that this is something only for consultants, or full time permanent staff should also get into it?

    This link might be useful to you:

    http://www.itil-officialsite.com/Qualifications/ITILV3QualificationScheme.asp

    Described within are the ITIL V3 Qualifications.

    To answer your question:

    I know of people that hold the ITIL v2 Manager certification that work as full-time permanent staff in organizations. I know of many others that that hold ITIL v2 Manager that works as consultants for consulting organizations. Then there are those that are wholly independent consultants.

    I think where someone is on that scale has little to do with the certification, and more to do with their individual risk/reward requirements. For example, you see holders of other certs such as MCSE or CCIE that do the same as well. In my mind, it's not the certification that drives this as much as it is the individual's desires.

    Another point to make is that no organization needs to educate all of its employees to ITIL Manager or ITIL Expert levels. It would take way too long and cost way too much money. At some point there are diminishing returns. What you see more of in organizations is mass training at the ITIL Foundation level, more targeted training at what is called the practitioner level, and either 0 or 1-2 people trained at the Manager/Expert Level.

    So to answer your question without going too in-depth:

    ITIL Foundation Level - Good for everyone that executes, designs, or plans IT in organizations. Largely the benefit of Foundation training is that everyone begins to use the same terms and understand what processes are used to deliver IT Services

    ITIL Practitioner Level (Called Lifecycle and Capability Modules in v3) - Good for select people that do specific IT related tasks. For example, Capacity Management. In a practitioner class about Capacity Management one learns techniques that can be used to plan and implement capacity for IT Services.

    ITIL Manager Level (Called Expert in v3) - 0 to a few people in an organization would need to be qualified at this level, as someone at this level understands all of the ITIL best practices itimately, and is qualified and experienced in implementing best practices, and designing and delivering IT Services.

    ITIL Advanced Level (New in v3) - ITIL Expert is now not the top credential in ITIL v3. There is a new thing currently called "Advanced Level". The requirements are not defined and no one knows what it takes to get there, and no one currently holds this credential. There is speculation that to achieve this level, one requirement will be that the holder will have to achieve several high-level credentials (such as CMC from http://www.imcusa.org/certification/ , or PgMP from http://www.pmi.org ). I would predict that this credential, once defined, will exclusively be held by independent consultants who will likely bill all of their time at $200+ per hour.

    I hope this helps, let me know if I can provide additional info...

    MS
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    down77 wrote:
    Congrats on passing the ITIL exam! I will be working towards my ITIL: IPRC in the next few months. I can only imagine how hard getting the "red badge" will be

    Release and Control is a tough one. Where are you taking the class?

    The really bad thing about practitioner classes is that there is woefully inadaquate study material available.


    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Vogon Poet wrote:
    Congrats on the pass!
    Thanks for the additional info (and questions, Dynamik). I've looked briefly at some ITIL info, but didn't really get it.


    Not that your reply is directed at myself but I will throw in my 2 cents as a 'techie' with experience in technical project management.

    There is certainly room for ITIL and all the project management disciplines, they are not new and provide methodology and practical help for those individuals doomed to be accountable to a business for the successful delivery of changes to an organisation. In today's world that increasingly involves technical change. This could be the relocation of site A to site B, a merger, or the adoption of ITIL best practices for problem resolution through effective helpdesk support. I did a contract in 2004 and I know the helpdesk folks were working to ITIL standards.
  • snadamsnadam Posts: 2,234Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    emes, I wanted to congratulate you and thank you for all that information. This IT category in general has always been fascinating to me, and its nice to hear some good info from a real persons perspective.
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks again MS. That was all very insightful, and I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond so thoroughly.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Good Project Management is an art. One problem is a lot of people in corporations move into project management when they are off the pace technically. PM is seen as a necessity by companies and a natural progression by many permys who go 'soft' and see PM as an 'easier' option. The thing is, PM isn't easy not if you are to be really good at it but it's often seen as a natural sideways move and we don't always end up with effective project managers as a consequence. Project +, PMP, ISO xxxx take up is not what it should be really. I hope that situation improves in the years ahead!

    One problem is power. Results and targets driven many PM's interfere with the specialists because they have to answer to what I call Piechart people. A good PM is like the conductor of an orchestra. He sets the tempo, but leaves the lead violinist alone. The best designer cannot meet deadline without effective PM, but the best PM cannot design a technical solution. Oil and Water do not mix, so it's not a job for everyone! Trust and the management of that trust is important.
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    eMeS wrote:
    down77 wrote:
    Congrats on passing the ITIL exam! I will be working towards my ITIL: IPRC in the next few months. I can only imagine how hard getting the "red badge" will be

    Release and Control is a tough one. Where are you taking the class?

    The really bad thing about practitioner classes is that there is woefully inadaquate study material available.

    I would recommend when you are studying for the exam to study the following guide:

    http://store.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=itsmfusa&StoreType=BtoC&Count1=508526027&Count2=425666451

    Practitioner exams are notoriously tough multiple choice exams. A friend of mine discovered that many of the answers/questions for these answer tend to come straight from the pocket guide.

    At one point I offered on this board to give several of these away for free, but they are all gone now.

    I have not taken IPRC, so I don't know if the above statement holds true, however, if I were doing it I would spend a lot of time in that pocket guide.

    MS

    Once work approves the PO (which I am still waiting for), I will be taking the IPRC at the ITSM Academy in either Ft Lauderdale or Dallas, Tx. I have been studying the ITIL Service Support (blue book) for a while, which includes the pre-requisite reading for the course.

    I agree, the Practitioner exams and above are no joke and require a mastery level comprehension of the material. ITIL does provide benefit to the "Business Side of IT" and can be a valuable tool towards efficiency and process.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    emes...congrats on the pass!
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • AlanJamesAlanJames Posts: 230Member
    good work!
    ITIL is definitely good certification to have if you want to get into I.T operations or Management.

    I only have the foundation certs, it is not something I enjoyed, but it is something I'm happy to have :D
  • Johne1Johne1 Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Dear MS,

    Initially my hearty congratulations for your excellent scoring and achievement in your IT service management career. I am new to this forum. Let me introduce my background

    I am a Post Graduate with more than 15 years experience in the field of Information Technology. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP- 2006) and ITIL Foundation Certified (2005, v2). Currently associated with one of the reputed firm in the middle east as an IT Manager.

    Exposure to various ERP’s application and infrastructure project implementation including some part of ITIL implementation process. Familiar with application development and database administration. Functional knowledge of various business process and applications areas. Currently preparing for ISO/IEC 20000 certification too.

    I am looking forward for ITIL Master Certification and before I am going ahead with this, I have some clarifications.

    1. Should I go ahead with a PM career in ERP projects or ITIL related projects? (Of course I like both the areas but more towards IT service management career)

    2. For ITIL Master Certification, which version would be ideal, v2 or v3 ?
    As I understand that v2 qualification can be gained till the end of 2008, if that is the case, there will be a risk in case I am not able to clearing the exam at the first attempt. And I think V2 master certification still popular in the market.

    3. What best I can do in order clear the exam at the first attempt ?

    Appreciate your suggestion and feedback.

    Thanks & Regards
    John
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    Johne1 wrote:
    Dear MS,

    Initially my hearty congratulations for your excellent scoring and achievement in your IT service management career. I am new to this forum. Let me introduce my background

    I am a Post Graduate with more than 15 years experience in the field of Information Technology. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP- 2006) and ITIL Foundation Certified (2005, v2). Currently associated with one of the reputed firm in the middle east as an IT Manager.

    Exposure to various ERP’s application and infrastructure project implementation including some part of ITIL implementation process. Familiar with application development and database administration. Functional knowledge of various business process and applications areas. Currently preparing for ISO/IEC 20000 certification too.

    I am looking forward for ITIL Master Certification and before I am going ahead with this, I have some clarifications.

    1. Should I go ahead with a PM career in ERP projects or ITIL related projects? (Of course I like both the areas but more towards IT service management career)

    2. For ITIL Master Certification, which version would be ideal, v2 or v3 ?
    As I understand that v2 qualification can be gained till the end of 2008, if that is the case, there will be a risk in case I am not able to clearing the exam at the first attempt. And I think V2 master certification still popular in the market.

    3. What best I can do in order clear the exam at the first attempt ?

    Appreciate your suggestion and feedback.

    Thanks & Regards
    John

    Hi John,

    Welcome to the board. You will find that this board is primarily focused on technical certifications, and there is very little ITSM or PMP traffic here. Personally, I like that because reading this forum keeps me grounded in the actual technology.

    Regarding your questions:

    1) Only one person can answer this question, and that is you. It depends on what is important to you. You will find that your project mangement skills are very applicable to ITSM work, and vice-versa.

    If I were asking myself this same question, the decision for me would be very simple. I would ask myself which has the most clearly defined results (both for the customer, and me), and which pays more?

    I've been called shallow before, but that's ok. My personal opinion is that all of the things I know how to do or have experience with are simply tools that allow customers and me to achieve results. Usually these results have some financial bearing on both parties.

    I guess I don't see this as an either/or situation. For example, I have quite a bit of experience with mainframe automation from early in my career. Occasionally I get offers to do some mainframe automation work that pays well. I have no qualms about using that expertise to help both a customer and me achieve our goals!

    1.5) You didn't ask, but I should let you know that ITIL Manager has an experience requirement. If I recall correctly that requirement is 5 years of ITSM experience. I have not seen anything indicating that "ITIL Expert" (v3) has any experience requirement.

    2) The manager level equivalent in v3 is now called "ITIL Expert". Ideally, you'd be able to get ITIL Expert, as at some point in the near future v2 will be supplanted in favor of v3.

    Unfortunately, it's not that easy yet. Most of the courses for v3 ITIL Expert are not yet available, and probably will not be in any signficant volume until later this year.

    Additionally, if you are starting from scratch going for ITIL Expert, you will have to complete around 30 days of training. Compare this to ITIL v2 Manager, which requires approximately 12 days of training plus 2 half days of testing.

    If I were in your shoes, at this point, the decision would be easy for me. 12+2 for ITIL Manager v2 vs. 30 days for ITIL Expert is an easy decision, especially since the classes for ITIL Expert are not expected to be widely available for some time.

    Now, that leaves the problem of once you achieve ITIL Manager, how do you get to ITIL Expert? The good news is that throughout 2008, you will be able to bridge your ITIL Manager to ITIL Expert by taking a 4 day bridge course and exam. This is the class and exam that I recently took to earn ITIL Expert.

    So, all told, you are looking at 12 + 2 + 4 = 20 to get both ITIL Manager and ITIL Expert, vs. ~30 for ITIL Expert alone (assuming the courses are available).

    If you choose this route you have very little time; as you've mentioned after 2008 the ITIL v2 certs will no longer be offered. In my case, I took the required courses over a 2 month period, the two day review the following month, and the exams 2 weeks later.

    My exam took about 8 weeks to grade and receive the results. However, I know at least one person that waited over 13 weeks, only to find out that he failed one portion of the exam. Consider the amount of time it will take to have your exams graded in your plans as well.

    As you mentioned, you do take a risk in not passing on the first attempt. More people do not pass on the first attempt than do. Given that your earliest start on the courses is probably June, this is a pretty significant risk that you won't have enough time left in the year to get it all done. The other risk is that ITIL Expert bridge classes are no longer offered once you achieve v2 certificaiton.

    3. Here's some things I did to pass ITIL Manager on the first attempt:

    * Have actual experience implementing ITIL and ITSM. Referencing real-world experience is something that is not only required to complete ITIL Manager, they look for it in your essay responses.

    * Develop a study plan and stick to it. I studied ~400 hours outside of the class requirements. I varyed my study activities between reading, writing sample tests, working with inputs and outputs of processes, etc...

    * Teach ITIL/ITSM to someone else. I was fortunate in this respect in that I was able to give internal "ITIL Awareness" classes to a customer prior to my ITIL Manager certification. Teaching something to someone else is for me one of the best ways to learn a topic. Some people that I know have formed study groups to accomplish the same thing.

    * Practice writing for 3 hours without pause. The exams are split into 2 days, 3 hours each day. When your exam begins, you have to basically start writing immediately in order to answer all of the questions with enough detail to pass. Pratice this, as writing for 3 hours straight is very tough. However, if you are taking your exam through Exin, some of those are typed on a computer now. Either way, practice it for 3 hours, because both can be very tiring.

    * Study "Smart Cards" - I have some things called "ITIL Smart Cards" that someone, somewhere gave me. They provide a very good overview of the material. I laminated these things and I would study them when I had time, including the day of the test. Unfortunately, these have a copyright on them, so I cannot provide them directly to you.

    * Get instructors that have actually implemented ITIL/ITSM - This is a big deal. The first week of training I had 2 instructors that had actually implemented this stuff in multiple organizations in various industries. The 2nd week I had 2 instructors that were pure theorists. Experienced implementers that are also good instructors will always help you more than good instructors that are pure theorists. Unfortunately I know of no real way to control this...it's kind of a luck of the draw thing.

    After you do all of the studying and know that you're ready, take solace in the fact that some CCIE candidate on this board is probably studying 2000+ hours for his exam!

    4. You didn't ask, but I'm going to anticipate another question...How does the difficulty of ITIL Manager compare to the PMP? (My intent is not to marginalize or minimize the PMP, I'm simply relating my experience)

    I recently (yesterday) completed the PMP exam. I read alot of stories online about people studying for months and years, and failing the exam once or multiple times. I also spoke directly to several PMPs that indicated that it was the hardest exam they had ever taken.

    Because of this, I prepared myself for an exam that I thought would be on par with ITIL Manager. What I found out was that I significantly over-prepared. This could be because I have many years of PM experience, and it could be becuase the prep material I used was high quality. However, I truly believe that I could have taken the exam and passed with minimal preparation. The majority of the technical exams that I have taken are much more difficult than the PMP.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I would put the difficult of the PMP at about a 5. This could be because PMP is very much focused on cumulative experience as a project manager, so if you are qualified and have been verified as such, then by the time you get to the exam it is simply a formality. On the other hand, ITIL Manager is more like a 9 or a 10 on the same scale.

    ================================================

    I took my exams in San Jose, California. The first day covered Service Support. I left the exam feeling confident that I passed. That night I was having dinner in a mall across from the Winchester Mystery House (I don't know the name of the mall, but I remember it because it is near that crazy looking house). During dinner, I was talking on the phone to my business partner. During this conversation, a 6.? earthquake occurred, which was the first earthquake I had ever experienced. It was the strangest thing; people were screaming and running and it looked like the ground was waving.

    Being from Texas, where the ground doesn't move much, I was a bit stirred up. In fact, I almost didn't stay for the 2nd day of the exams because I was very close to getting in my car and driving the 2000 miles back home! I couldn't sleep that night and I felt like crap the next day. Fortunately, I was adaquately prepared, and I passed the 2nd day as well. Immediately after passing I got to the airport and got myself on a plane.

    A final recommendation is to look for an earthquake-free place to take your exams!

    MS
  • Johne1Johne1 Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Dear MS,

    Thank you so much for your prompt and excellent response, and you well answered my queries in a very professional way.

    I am totally agree with what you have mentioned that, I am the only person can able to choose my own career path but of course suggestions and advise from well experienced people like you will definitely facilitate this process.

    What you have you mentioned regarding v3 route is perfectly right and I think V2 route will be much more appropriate considering the current scenarios even though I can foresee some risks. So as you mentioned, I prefer to choose the V2 route.

    I would like to attend ITIL v2 Master Training program in India and due to some organizational commitment, I will not be able to travel out of the country till the end of June. So the only thing which I can do now is to get familiar the literature well in advance and by July, attend the training program and proceed accordingly. I know time will be a constraint for me and hope for the best.

    Regarding the PMP exam rating compare to ITIL master, my ratting will be between 5-6, more or less same as you mentioned. Probably the reason is, PMP literature and area of focus are clearly defined without any ambiguity and it can be execute like a project . So people who are preparing for the exam have a clear idea about what to study and where to focus rather than reading whatever materials that they are getting, spending so much time on this topics and ultimately end in losing confidence and focus. As I understand for any given exams there will be time limit for the preparation and I think shortest time is more effective and that will give us more confidence, focus, encouragement and dedication towards achieving the final objectives. And also your experience as PM role also make lots of difference while preparing for the exam and that’s it may easy for you compare to others.

    For ITIL v2 master certification, will you please advise me what all literature should I refer for the exams. In fact I have the copy of service delivery and support book from OGC (version 1.2. and version 2 respectively) But I need to verify the latest version so that i can work on. Appreciate if you can give some insight into this also. Regarding Study "Smart Cards" – I as you mentioned, could you please suggest me from where I can get this.

    Thanks once again for your valuable time and support and I really appreciate your response.

    Regards
    John
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    Your plan sounds excellent and well thought out to me. I wish you the best. I will gladly provide any support I can to you.

    Regarding what to study for v2:

    As you mentioned, the ITIL Service Delivery (Red) and Service Support (Blue) books will be your primary study material. I would also become vary familiar with the ITIL Glossary available from OGC at http://www.best-management-practice.com/officialsite.asp?FO=1230366&action=confirmation&tdi=575004

    Beyond that, I would recommend as many practice exam questions as possible. Your instructors will provide these as part of the classes that you take. Usually these are copyright protected.

    I also mentioned the "Smart Cards". These are an individual sheet for each ITIL process that provides a high-level overview which happens to be perfect for the manager exam.

    Unfortunately these are copyright protected as well, or I would gladly post them here for all to see. I know of no one that can directly provide these to you.

    Here is the copyright information displayed on each page of the Smart Cards: "Copyright 2006 CLAVIS klw AG, version 2.0.0, www.klw.ch"

    Perhaps this information will help you to track down a copy of these items.

    Again, best of luck to you,

    MS
  • surajitsahasurajitsaha Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi MS,

    First of all hearty congratulations on your having cleared the ITIL Expert exam.

    I am based out of India and currently preparing for the ITIL V2 Managers exam. As part of the preparation can you please let me know whether you had practised specific case studies as part of the preparation. Also can you please guide me where can I get some sample case studies or questions?

    Regards,
    Jit
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    Hi MS,

    First of all hearty congratulations on your having cleared the ITIL Expert exam.

    I am based out of India and currently preparing for the ITIL V2 Managers exam. As part of the preparation can you please let me know whether you had practised specific case studies as part of the preparation. Also can you please guide me where can I get some sample case studies or questions?

    Regards,
    Jit

    My test was provided through Exin. The case study used in the exam was declared approximately 2 weeks prior to the testing dates. In my case it was the same case study that we used in both weeks of training, however, with an extra page of information added that is not given until the actual exam.

    If your test provider is ISEB, I believe a similar path is taken with regards to the case study, with only minor differences. Generally during the 1st day of the 1st week of your training your intructors will discuss this and give you a good idea of how it will work.

    Regarding sample case studies or questions; all of those things that I know of are subject to copyright and non-disclosure agreements. However, your instructors will provide adaquate practice case studies and exam questions during the required 2 weeks of training.

    Actually, having access to the case or sample questions prior to the exam would have been of very little help in my case. This is because the questions are graded subjectively by multiple, different graders. Without having that grading component during your preparation, it's really just a guessing game as to whether or not what you think the answers to the questions are adaquate.

    In my case, what helped me was that in each week of training, during the last day, we took a real mock exam using a sanctioned case study and questions provided by the training provider. These exams were then graded by our instructors, who indicated that they would grade them more harshly than an actual exam. Going through this experience really prepares you for having to write that long non-stop, and it gives you an idea if you're on the right track. Doing this was a choice of the students in the class, so be sure to ask if this is available.

    Another thing that I have heard of people doing is forming groups with other students to study. They will then create and grade their own exam quetions for each other.

    Best of luck to you,

    MS
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