ITIL 4 Managing Professional Guides: Which one is right for you?
On Feb. 28 this year we celebrated ITIL 4 Foundation’s first birthday. And on the same day, we launched the final two ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) modules — which meant we had even more reason to cheer.
This means that the ITIL 4 MP stream is now complete. It consists of the following modules: ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support, ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value, ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT, and ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct Plan and Improve.
So let’s have a look at all four modules individually to see what they are about.
ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support (CDS)
The CDS module supports IT practitioners who are involved in all aspects of developing and managing services and collaborating with others when delivering value through technology. This refers to colleagues and partners as well as customers and requires a flexible approach.
CDS is therefore about a holistic view of all service delivery activities — from idea to reality, from demand to value, from design/build/test to management and support.
The module will help to improve established processes as the use of ITIL Practices will enable IT practitioners to see their work in the context of the entire IT function and wider business strategy. At the same time, it’s about how to effectively measure service performance and increase service efficiency.
CDS also focusses on value streams and creating an effective flow of work. This includes utilizing new approaches, e.g. shift-left and CI/CD, as well as topics such as employee satisfaction, procurement, and the ITSM tools market.
ITIL 4 Foundation has already introduced the four dimensions of service management (organizations and people, information and technology, value streams and processes, partners and suppliers). The impact on all four dimensions needs to be considered when building new services or introducing new ways of working such as DevOps and Agile.
An example for this could be looking at guidance on teamwork and employee satisfaction as well as defining a customer-oriented and collaborative culture when considering organizations and people. And when it comes to partners and suppliers this would be about including the views of partners and suppliers as a key element for value streams.
ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV)
Co-creating value is one of the key features of ITIL 4 and for this, good stakeholder management — including a trusted relationship as well as stakeholder satisfaction — is essential. This is what the DSV module is all about.
Businesses need to put stakeholders at the heart of what they are doing and ensure that the services they offer meet and exceed demand. This can only be done if the customer experience and expectation is understood not only by the wider business but also by IT teams. In fact, this should be their main focus.
Service providers and their stakeholders need to engage and interact and agree together what value means. Not doing so will lead to a lack of understanding and eventually failure. ITIL 4 now also covers end-to-end stakeholders, which means building relationships with suppliers and partners in addition to customers.
The DSV module also looks at CX and UX design, customer journey mapping and how demand is turned into value through IT-enabled services. IT professionals should develop a service mindset.
ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT (HVIT)
The new HVIT module focusses on digital organizations and on operating models within high-velocity environments as an aspiration for more traditional organizations who are trying to “be more digital.” It also shows how ITIL’s operating model, principles and practices can be used for digital delivery.
Those digitally-enabled organizations, which haven’t been created with a digital business model in the first place, use technology to change their business model to co-create more value for and together with their customers. High-velocity IT plays an important role here as it increases the speed as well as the quality of service delivery, e.g. time to market.
A key characteristic of digitally-enabled organizations is working with complex adaptive systems, for which an incremental approach is necessary — which could be a challenge for some practitioners. At the same time, working within a high-velocity IT environment means using a less-centralized approach to IT services to co-create value.
The HVIT module shows IT professionals how to build a bridge between development and operations and how to incorporate new ways of thinking and working such as DevOps, Lean and Agile.
To be fully digitally enabled, organizations require a different way of thinking and the right kind of culture when it comes to purpose, people and progress. The mission and objectives must be defined and fulfilled, high performance must be enabled in changing circumstances and at the same time employees need to be able to work in a productive and stress-free environment.
But organizations should also look at five objectives: valuable investments, fast development, resilient operations, co-created value, and assured conformance. ITIL 4 HVIT looks at 25 techniques that support these five goals while also exploring cultural models and concepts that enable HVIT work.
ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI)
When talking about achieving value co-creation with customers the focus has too often been on implementing specific processes and tools. Instead human skills should also be included, and DPI looks at core competencies and skills IT managers and leaders need to direct, plan and improve things.
The module looks at how to align governance and business objectives to create a strategic direction while also making sure that organizational change fits in with this vision. However, it also helps IT professionals to ensure services can adapt to external pressures while remaining stable, compliant and able to create resilient service delivery with minimal disruption.
In addition, part of DPI is looking at techniques and ways of working (Lean, Agile, DevOps) to encourage a culture of continual improvement. While the ITIL guiding principles help with getting the bigger picture and are therefore ideal to help with change management decisions. And this is key for business agility.
All in all, the ITIL 4 Managing Professional stream is there to help IT professionals increase their knowledge and skillsets and to demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of how to successfully run IT-enabled services, teams and workflows. And this is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital world.