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Archive for June, 2011

HI, I was tempted to publish this blog again. I posted it in my other blog page adebenedet407 which I will keep but for my other passions outside of ITSM, so I thought it was good to bring it here.  Also because I found out that my presentation about Myths and Realities, although a 2009-2010 one, has more than 850 views at slideshare.  So I hope you enjoy it and comment on it.

There are plenty of opinions on the real value of a certificate.  Many in favor, others against.  Some think that is another business opportunity for organizations (independent like ITIL examination institutes and not that independent like CISCO, Microsoft, etc) while professionals regard it as a tool to pimp their CVs and get more chances at a job interview (the famous “door opener”).  There are hundreds of practitioners with plenty of experience that say that the real value is real life experience and not a piece of paper that you get after answering some questions (sounds like a “marriage” procedure right?).

We could go on in this respect.  In an analysis of a LinkedIn discussion some time ago started by Sandeep Patwardhan under the question Which one is Better, certification or experience?, the opinions showed that:

Experience 31%
Both 22%
Certificate first then experience 15%
It depends 14%
Experience first then certificate/s 13%
Certification only 5%

To data, we must apply some analysis to produce information.  Then to the previous table we can suggest the following results:

Experience is the single most valued item when this comparison is done.  And this is fine, since without experience, we cannot perform any kind of quality job.  With only theory there are so many things that can go wrong, misunderstandings, unforeseen events, etc, that is not possible that every aspect of the “what if’s” can be written in books or presented in a training or check in an exam towards certification.  Therefore experience is a must.

The problem with experience alone is that it can be “adulterated” by many external and human behaviours that even though it makes the experience unique, it can also make it useless in a different environment.

So the second reading of the results is more illuminating:  If we sum up the results where experience and certificates are both mentioned, independently of which comes first, then we have that the opinion of the majority is that we need to have both (50% of the opinions and with the ones in the middle (it depends opinion) we get to 64%).

This is to say:  we need to have certificates and we need to acquire experience.  One way or the other it is best for organizations that search for professionals, and professionals to be found.

The final question is what it goes first:  For the majority it will be certificates, for the more fortunate experience.  Certificates are documents attesting to the truth of certain stated facts as some definition says. This is why 20% of the comments mentioned that certificates are good as “door openers” or a “foot on the door” so you get the chance to be interviewed and show your experience (or willingness to gain it).

This is a fascinating subject that does not end with a simple blog.  Let’s please discuss it in more detail.  AD.

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I was lucky enough to get invited to lecture in Sevilla and Malaga with temperatures close to 35 C (around 100 F) the day summer starts in the Northern Hemisphere and while there was not so good weather in my home town, The Hague.

It was also an amazing thing to see the interest that people have in ITSM related matters in this part of Spain.  Aepdp (Asociacion Española de Profesionales en Direccion de Proyectos – translated could be something like Spanish Association of Project Direction Professionals) fully booked two seminars with professionals and representatives from different organizations, including the public sector plus there was a possibility to listen (and see me 🙂 ) over Microsoft Live Meeting.

We reviewed things from the very beginning.  We discussed ITSM, ITIL, ISO 20000 and Lean Six Sigma.  And both the people factor and certification of professionals.  It was a lot for the 3 1/2 hours but everybody stayed until the last minute.

Interesting was the knowledge and desire to certify in Lean Six Sigma.  People really see that this can boost their careers and also that there is an opportunity to use it within IT.  Good to hear.  I hope it really goes this way, since it seems to make a lot of sense.

I have to specially thank PMConsultant Spain and PeopleCert that supported these two events organized by aepdp and their local partners.

I am posting some of the presentations here (via this link to slideshare) for you to download. They will also be available at the aepdp site.  The slides are IN SPANISH (las presentaciones tal cual lo prometido son en Español, las mismas que he usado en ambos eventos).

I am sure there will be a sequel of these events, and probably a big one.  The interest is there and with a good offer and services there will be plenty of excellent professionals coming out from Southern Spain.  Keep it up y espero veros pronto nuevamente.

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It is with great pleasure that I can share with you some recent achievements from itSMF in The Netherlands.  They have a new website at itsmf.nl and a new online magazine.

The significance of the website is not just that it is new but that it has been created with the worldwide community in mind. This is because the whole structure was thought to be simply modify and accommodate the languages of other itSMF’s.  This was made possible as a joint venture between itSMF International and itSMF Netherlands. With mutual understanding and based on the rebuilding of their website we are expanding the cooperation of the truly international community that sits in the foundation of itSMF.

Regarding the magazine, it is actually a news content publication and you can preview the first issue from May 2011 in Dutch after entering your details at their landing page (click here).

Thumbs up.  Well done itSMF Netherlands.

AED

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June seems to be the month of ITIL in the middle of this 2011.

The ITIL and ITSM community worldwide is desperately seeking for news and wondering what all the “revision” will be about and how far it will get.  Will only be the Service Strategy book that desperately needed it?  Is it just some of the cryptic figures?  What will happen with the exams and certification scheme.

Definitely a lot of questions and few answers.  We do know at this point that work has been done and that plenty of professionals worldwide have been involved.  It is also known that at least the part of the community that was able to see the changes has been gladly impressed and accepted the update.

During these first days of January, the ITIL examination institutes worldwide have been telling their ATOs when and how these release will happen.  Particularly to those that wanted to check on the press release of the ITIL books and get their training up to date they had access to the online version during the first week of June (I have read in a LinkedIn group that they are not free, that ATOs had to pay for them …).  This release includes text and figures (all but SD which is a bit delayed) plus syllabus and sample papers.   But if an ATO has decided not to be among the first ones, then unfortunately they will have to wait for a not specified date yet 😦 .  Hopefully this and the publication date should be known asap.

A second important matter is happening in June. It is the time to speed up in your plans to be an ITIL Expert.  Rules are changing and it will take more work to do it in the future since you will really have to navigate into the ITIL V3 qualification and not just take the Manager’s Bridge.   So if you had not done so or you need to re-sit, you must do it NOW !!!!  Check your options at ITIL official site.

I just wanted to add an opinion here.  Are the new requirements to be Experts be better than the previous ones?  Well it depends.  Definitely they candidates will have more exposure to ITIL V3 scheme than the ones taking the Bridge (although I personally think that the Manager’s Bridge is a very good exam).

This said, what will happen to all the questions from the Bridge Exams.  It is a pity to lose the Manager’s Bridge case based questions (Am I the only one who thinks this way?  Maybe …).  Why not use them as a new ITIL Foundation?  It would need some tune up and update based on the new books, but it would really raise the bar for knowledge and some practical expertise that the industry is longing for.  If worked around, the training could be adapted to include the core knowledge that a professional needs, wrap it up in 24 contact hours and go through a stressful but non-nonsense exam which will prove more competencies than the current Foundation does.  Maybe we can even call it the ITIL Foundation – Professional or Expert or other suitable name that will show some of the expertise gathered.

Yes, you can move to the top through Practitioners courses and certification (uppss, sorry Intermediates) but the statistics still show that most of the certified professionals stay in the Foundation level (only 10% or a bit more of the total ITIL exams are Intermediate level).  So why not give it a try instead of insisting in the good-old 40 MC questions 90% pass rate exam/certificate?

Well, I hope I can get some feedback and chat a bit on this and other subjects.  Comments always welcomed !

AED

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