If you’ve just taken your ITIL Foundation Certification exam or if you’ve still to take it and are thinking about how best to use your learning in the workplace, then this article is for you. Plus, if you have an older ITIL qualification, then parts of this article will still be helpful for you.
Please take a read of my eight tips for putting your new ITIL learning into practice.
1. Don’t view your ITIL qualification(s) as the end of your ITIL journey
Your new ITIL qualification will have little value unless you proactively use the new learnings. For example, most employers (unless they market their services based on employees’ qualifications) will see little value from any new qualifications that don’t get used in the workplace. So, aim to find opportunities to leverage your new learning – either in your own role or wider afield within the IT organization – and ideally before you commence your exams.
2. “Start with the why”
As per the wisdom of Simon Sinek, understand and start with your “why”?
Ideally, you’ll have agreed the “why” of taking the ITIL qualification with your manager before starting out. If not, then retrofit it by understanding how your new knowledge could help your organization and make this your “why.”
3. Define your “why” in business-value terms
Don’t worry, help is at hand here.
The “Eight-Field Model” is a proven technique for managers and their staff to focus on and improve the value returned from their training investments. Again, this should ideally be leveraged prior to your training, but it can also be applied retrospectively.
4. Look, and look again, before you leap
When studying, it’s easy to be sucked into a common ITIL adoption mistake – thinking that ITIL is simply a set of best practice processes (now practices in ITIL 4) rather than it being a better way for IT service delivery and support. With a focus on quality services and business value creation (or co-creation as outlined in ITIL 4).
So, look before you leap. Ensure that you’re focused on the desired outcomes (the end) rather than the processes/practices (the means) as you set out to improve on the status quo with your new ITIL learnings.
5. Don’t ditch your ITIL study materials
You’ll never remember everything you learned about ITIL. Plus, you’ll remember some aspects or details of ITIL incorrectly too. Hence, you should keep your ITIL books and study notes safe and within reach – just in case you need to refer back to them.
6. Don’t follow the ITIL-training order verbatim
ITIL training courses, like ITSM tool demonstrations, tend to follow a logical process or order. It usually starts with incident management, then progresses to problem management, then change, etc.
This might be what your organization needs help with, but it probably won’t be. So, instead seek to apply what you’ve learned to the things that will make the biggest positive business impact not by systematically working through what you’ve learned.
7. Don’t try to create change in a vacuum
You might want to use what you’ve learned (on your ITIL course) as soon as you’re back in the office. This is fine, but don’t try to “go it alone.” Instead, involve and benefit from the experiences of others. If only to prevent wheel reinvention.
So, network with the other students after the course, collaborate with like-minded colleagues, seek out your ITSM-tool vendor’s customer successes, or find other avenues for building on your ITIL learning with real-life success stories.
8. Stay grounded about what your ITIL Foundation Certification means and is worth
It might be a sought-after IT qualification, but it doesn’t make you an ITIL expert. Hopefully, that will come in time (and perhaps with additional exams).
So, don’t assume that you know everything, and can do everything. Plus, don’t be afraid to lean on more experienced colleagues for advice and help.
So, that’s my eight tips for putting your ITIL learning into practice back in the workplace. What would you add? Please let me know in the comments.