ITIL 4 at IT in the Park

Have you heard about the new ITIL 4?

​The ITSM Zone team were in Edinburgh this week at the last conference of 2018; IT in the Park.

​Claire Agutter hosted a question and answer session at the event with ITIL4 contributing author Stuart Rance. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the changes to the ITIL scheme and the associated certification paths

Why was ITIL 4 developed and who was involved?

Axelos announced the updates to the ITIL scheme all the way back in January 2018. Stuart opened the session by noting that we talk about the need for people and process in IT Service Management and then go on to talk about, “Process, process, process!” The world has changed since ITIL V3 arrived and ITIL needs to recognize the changing, digital word that we live and work in.

Claire Agutter noted that it was a huge undertaking as ITIL is adopted by literally hundreds of thousands of organisations around the world, and asked Stuart to clarify how businesses start a project of such drastic change.

Stuart gave a brief history of ITIL clarifying that it was Axelos, (the owners of ITIL), who did a huge amount of research before deciding on the updates. They attended events, conducted surveys and obtained feedback on what improvements people wanted to see in the ITIL framework.

This was encapsulated into a dozen key points that would be adopted into the new version, ITIL 4.

An important consideration was how it would work with other, more modern, approaches like Lean, Agile and DevOps.

A lead architecture team was put into place which consisted of approximately 10 people from different countries, with diverse backgrounds, roles and experience.

How can we change the ITIL architecture, so it doesn’t need such a drastic update in the future?

Stuart commented that this was something that the architecture team thought about long and hard. With the new release, it won’t all be published in one go: in February 2019 the ITIL foundation and exam will be the first to be made available. There won’t be 5 large, core volume books, instead one small book of less than 200 pages that covers the whole of ITIL but not in a huge depth.

Material will then be released over time with another set of exams around a year later.

Some of the content will be published not in an examine-able form but in a consumable form.

Example process flows, for example, will be published not for the purpose of examination but in a way that they can be updated and customised for your own organisation.

What is the transition between ITIL V3 to V4 and what are the main differences between the two versions of ITIL?

Stuart comments that the ITIL Practitioner book focuses on values, outcomes, costs and risks. In his opinion, the key themes of continual improvement and guiding principles in Practitioner give the best guidance in the current ITIL Framework. This has been used in the creation of ITIL v4, with a focus on value, and holistic working, that looks at the whole and works end to end.

What do companies that have invested In ITIL need to think about working and training for ITIL 4?


A key point is that ITIL 4 does not invalidate anything that is current.

Anyone who is new to ITIL, or for organisations who want to start to adopt ITIL principles, they should absolutely start with the ITIL 4 Foundation. There is a focus on an end to end value chain rather than individual siloed processes, a focus on service consumers rather than service providers and the idea of creating value with your customer not for your customer.

It is less prescriptive, and less process focused, instead looking at practices and structure and how they create value.

However, anyone working with the current framework, can continue to do so. Once more information is shared, organisations can start to adopt the principles according to their business needs and individuals can decide what they want regarding their own qualifications – why not try our interactive ITIL 4 map to help with this? 

How does ITIL 4 relate and interact to management practices like Lean DevOps and Agile?

Stuart commented that the most important aspect is the adoption of the guiding principles, many of which were developed with ITIL practitioner and will work with other approaches. As an example the focus that ITIL 4 puts on value and the advice keep it simple and “work holistically”, captures the essence of Lean. 

There’s a warning that the new version of ITIL will not fix cultural problems in a business though!

What does the ITIL 4 training scheme look like?

We’ve covered the ITIL 4 training scheme in lots of detail before.

The certification scheme for ITIL 4 is vastly different to the V3 which has a Foundation, nine intermediate courses (based around the Service Lifecycle) and the MALC capstone course.

After ITIL 4 Foundation launches in February, the next batch of courses to be released will be those that lead to “ITIL Managing Professional” status, but no more information has been released at present.

Create, Deliver & Support (one of the courses in the Managing Professional stream) captures the essence of the current service lifecycle; think service design, service transition and service operation!

For those who are current ITIL Experts, or who have experience with ITIL the Strategic Leader will be focused on gover nance and strategy improvement,

Unfortunately, Stuart couldn’t currently give any further information about the ITIL master certification, as this has not been developed yet.

Can I keep my current qualifications? Are there bridging options?

There’s no expiry on any of the current certifications. However, for those who want to demonstrate that they hold the latest and most relevant qualifications, then there will be a bridge to ITIL Managing Professional.

Anyone who has 17 ITIL credits on the current scheme will be eligible to take the transition course when it is available at the end of 2019. So, the advice is to keep going with studies, if you’ve already started them.

Stuart said that anyone who is an ITIL Expert because they took the V2/V3 manager’s bridge course will be eligible to also take the transition course to Managing Professional – however, this is yet to be confirmed by Axelos.

For anyone who holds only the ITIL V3 Foundation, there is no bridging option available, and they will continue to hold the older qualification only.

How does ITIL 4 relate to cloud technologies?

Stuart advises that ITIL 4 is compatible with cloud practices. The foundation level doesn’t give prescriptive frameworks and keeps the idea of flexibility towards your own organisational needs. More information on this will be available as the book and course contents are revealed in a couple of months.

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