ITIL® 4 - Two Questions?

Several people have recently asked me the following questions;


1. Why do some training providers offer ITIL v4 Foundation Bridging Courses and others do not?

2. Does ITIL v4 enable a company to achieve higher levels of service quality?


Firstly, the question relating to ITIL v4 Bridging Courses, e.g. is there an ITIL v4 Foundation Bridging Course?


Simply put, whilst courses must adhere to syllabus, accredited training organisations (ATOs) are directly responsible for course composition and production and in turn entitled (within reason) to package and label their courses as they choose. However, for the record, there is no ITIL v4 Foundation ‘Bridging Exam’. Students will still be faced with the full exam, i.e. 40 x multiple choice questions covering the entire Foundation syllabus, based on 1-hour exam duration. Some may recall that it was possible to Bridge from ITIL v2 Foundation to ITIL v3 Foundation based on taking a Bridging Exam which focussed on the key differences comprising of half the number of questions (x20) and half the exam duration (30-minutes). As a result, it was simple for ATOs to produce a 1-day Bridging Course to support this.


The only official Axelos®/PeopleCert® ITIL 4 Bridging Exam is ITIL v4 Managing Professional (MP) Transition designate however, to become eligible to take this exam students must have already obtained a minimum of 17 x ITIL v3 credits. For further clarification, there is no ITIL v4 MP book, the ITIL v4 MP designate is achieved through obtaining all four of the advanced certification modules (following ITIL v4 Foundation).


These advance modules comprise of create, deliver and support (CDS), direct, plan and improve (DPI), high velocity IT (HVIT) and drive stakeholder value (DSV). ITIL 4 does not adopt a credit/points system as ITIL v3 did/does, therefore, ITIL 4 offers a much simpler approach to progress through the certification scheme. It is also worth noting that ITIL v3 is expected to discontinue mid-2020.


So, in answer to the question, in my opinion, I find it highly unlikely that any ATO can compose and produce a TRUE ITIL v4 Bridging Course (or what most people would deem a Bridging Course to be) with Exam and maintain quality. Here is why?


We know that the norm for a full course is 3-days or 2-days, so a Bridging Course as most people would interpret a Bridging Course can only have credibility if less than 2-days, which in my opinion is not possible without running the risk of exam failure. Before I explain further as to why I don’t think this is possible let me clarify how we differentiate between 2-day or 3-day courses with maintaining course quality respectively.


Whilst both 3-days and 2-days are full courses regarding ITIL Foundation, we differentiate by the format of the exam. For example, if exams are to be taken online (e.g. where students take their exam at a location and time of their choosing after class) then course delivery is achievable within 2-days. However, paper-based exams which are site invigilated would be 3-days. We fill the gap of 3-day courses (AM on the last course day) with classroom revision. Not to mention, part reason why we boast impressive student exam pass rates aside from the quality of classroom delivery, is that we provide inclusive (whether 2-days or 3-days) access to our ITIL 4 Foundation MP4-video trainer presented eLearning resource prior to attending class, during class and for a period after class. This way students can fully prepare before joining the course and even rewind and playback in-between classroom days In cases where students work through the eLearning course in a structured and disciplined manner prior to joining class, the classroom almost becomes a duplication and as a result simply reinforces topic understanding, this almost guarantees an exam pass - its a no brainer.


Okay back to the point in question; The issue as to whether it is possible to compose a True Bridging Course lies with the content that must be covered. ITIL 4 no longer recognises the rigid approach to the 5 stages of the service lifecycle. ITIL 4 takes a completely new approach with the introduction of the service value system (SVS), the service value chain (SVC) and value streams, combined with a different structure and detailed view of the four dimensions of service management, and the guiding principles which those who have not taken ITIL v3 Practitioner will also find new (note: this has also been amended in ITIL 4) and not to mention, the ITIL 4 service management concepts are significantly different. This is without consideration to the adjustments to what ITIL 4 refers to as practices.


So, in order to deliver an ITIL 4 Foundation Course based on sufficiently preparing students to take their exam, anything less than 2-days in my opinion is far too short unless such a course is organised in ‘boot camp’ style, where classroom hours are extended however, this would impact on cost, so nothing gained. In my opinion, the only way a 1-day ITIL 4 Foundation course can be delivered and at the same time so that students can successfully pass their exam is if combined with our MP4-video eLearning course. However, in this case classroom delivery becomes supplementary with the eLearning resource becoming the core (prerequisite) if that makes sense - all that said, this is still not what I interpret to be a bridging course.


Secondly, the question relating to whether ITIL 4 enables companies to achieve higher levels of service quality?


In crude terms, yes, ITIL 4 will enable companies to achieve higher levels of service quality. That said, we must not think that ITIL 4 includes a magic wand. ITIL is public framework derived from the world’s best in class, so there is no need to rewrite what has already been tried and tested when it comes to efficient and effective principles, methods and practices. There are however, primarily two additional ingredients required, i) Culture and ii) Internal Branding. Meaning, if we fail to adopt the right culture (e.g. shared values, ideas and beliefs) and, there is an inability to create your own (in-house) ITIL brand, then ITIL 4 will simply become a book that you have read or a course which you have attended…period! In other words, nothing will happen.


ITIL 4 offers a revised and updated guide designed to meet the needs and expectations of today’s modern business world. Today we need principles and methodologies that help us to become more flexible, respond more speedily with improved direction and not to mention, realise that everything we do indirectly and/or directly must focus on the consumer and co-creating value. So, these things ITIL 4 will offer, a credible and tried and tested guide but this won’t happen unless we build a culture and adapt a framework relevant to our business so as to facilitate such a transformation.


I am taking bookings for onsite ITIL 4 certification courses (FND, CDS, DPI and MP Transition) for the New Year so if this of interest you are welcome to either contact me direct at: twilson@itsmassist.com or you can visit https://www.itsmassist.com/onsite-courses alternatively, you can view public courses at https://www.itsmassist.com/itil-public-venue-training or if just eLearning is of interest visit:https://www.itsmassist.com/shop


Trevor Wilson

E: twilson@itsmassist.com

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