Why should you attend ITIL® training? To help keep your future in focus

18 May 2016

Building a house is not a simple task. It requires a lot of people with a lot of different skill sets. Carpenters to do the woodwork, electricians for the power, plumbers, plasterers, painters, roofers, air conditioning experts, the list goes on. It also requires someone to coordinate this rabble of experts.

It’s important to have a good carpenter, in fact, you would ideally like the best carpenter that’s available but that’s not enough to build a whole house. For that you need someone who understands how to coordinate all of these craftsmen, someone who can explain to the customer why a window can’t go here, someone to keep an eye on the big picture, someone who is checking back with the plans to make sure that everything is still on track; and that’s the builder.

It’s a well-used analogy for project management, I know, but I want to take a different perspective on building a house. Managing IT is also like building a house, in that there are a lot of different technical experts involved, and IT will not work without them. Obviously, you need a manager to coordinate all of the people to ensure that the right things get done at the right time.

But who should that manager be? There may be one particularly talented developer, should she become the manager? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe she needs to be kept as a good developer. What about the brilliant network guy, should he become the manager? Not if he’s only brilliant at networking.

One of the greatest challenges for IT technicians wanting management roles is that they need to let go of their expertise. It’s great to have an area of expertise, but as a manager, they spend their time managing – not doing the technical work. By definition, they will lose their technical skill set but at the same time, they will be developing another one - a management skill set.

ITIL takes a big picture view of managing IT.

  • Who is the customer? What do they need?
  • As a provider, what skills do we have? Should we change?

Then moving into planning, implementing and managing those services. The higher up the management level, the less requirement there is for detailed technical knowledge.

The default approach for a technician when there is a crisis is to go into “fix it – problem-solving” mode.  A technician promoted to management needs to override this knee jerk reaction and see that their role is not to fix, their role is  to coordinate the people and activities required to achieve the outcome. They need to focus on the solution, not on the technical knowledge required to get there.

ITIL is always focused on the solution, the outcome. ITIL asks the question, “Where is the value?” and constantly stresses the need to maintain focus on this value. Of course, the technical activities need to be done, but the focus needs to remain on the customer.

In this same way, an individual needs to focus on their own future. There are daily activities that need to be done, but it is important not to lose sight of where these are leading. Will your next role be change or deployment based? Then the Release, Control, and Validation course may be your next step. Perhaps your interest is in contract and relationship management, in which case the Service Offerings and Agreements course would be the logical training to undertake. ITIL training helps with the day to day, but also provides a basis for planning for the future.

DDLS offers the full range of ITIL courses from foundation to expert. For more information on these courses click here and discover how your organisation can benefit significantly by applying the ITIL principles to your work environment.

ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.