Why should you attend ITIL® training? So you understand what outsourcers and tool vendors are talking about
By Marcus Binet
The words ‘de facto standard’ are applied quite often when talking about ITIL. Just to set the record straight, ITIL is not a standard, it is a set of guidelines. More importantly, it is a set of guidelines which is used by every major tool vendor, outsourcer, and provider of IT services around the globe. Because of this, being comfortable with ITIL terminology and its concepts makes managing these third party outsourcers and service providers much less complicated, if you can speak the same language as them.
One of the benefits of ITIL which has been promoted since its inception, is that it provides a single language, you might almost consider it a taxonomy. When an outsourcer or third party uses the term ‘Incident Resolution’ in a different way to ‘Incident Closure’, there is a very specific reason for this. ITIL defines these as separate activities.
It is true that ITIL contains many definitions, if you have done any type of ITIL course, you will be very familiar with this. These definitions are one of the reasons ITIL has proved to be so useful. For example, ITIL uses the word ‘incident’ in a very specific way. An incident is not a ‘problem’, it is also not a ‘Service Request’ , a ‘change’ or an ‘event’. Understanding the difference and these definitions is enormously helpful when reading contracts, understanding tool features, negotiating with third parties and speaking with customers. All major outsourcers use ITIL terminology so understanding it just makes it easier to communicate.
The same is true when working with tool vendors. Specifically, the tools which are used to manage all of the interactions between IT, its customers and users (commonly called Service Management Tools or Service Management Suites). The manufacturers of these products use ITIL terminology when designing their tools. Using the single ITIL language makes it much clearer to their customers the difference between the ‘Change Management’ module and the ‘Request Fulfillment’ module (again, both standard ITIL terms). For example, based on each team’s role, they may have access to different features of the tools for different reasons. Obviously, the Service Desk would be the largest user of the Incident Management and Request Fulfillment capabilities in any Service Management Suite. Level two and three teams would also use the Incident Management capability, but perhaps also Problem Management or Availability Management. Understanding what each feature does means teams have access to the right tools.
One of the criticisms often laid at the feet of ITIL and the training programs around it, is that ITIL contains too many definitions; and that learning these definitions serves no purpose. Anyone who has worked in a multi-national company will know how helpful being familiar with the ITIL language and these definitions can be. Financial and manufacturing terminology and methods are not consistent around the globe, even the English language is not consistent the world around. ITIL is used as a way to level the playing field and provide a clear set of rules for the game. It removes distractions and misunderstandings and means every player can focus on playing the game – not the interpretations of the rules.
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