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tips to put your ITIL qualification into practice

Let’s say you just took the ITIL certification exam. Better yet, you have yet to take it and you are currently considering how to apply what you will learn in your studies to your workplace. Importantly, you can implement it not only in the work you do, but also in enhancing the broader delivery of IT services and the support capabilities of your IT department.

Also, if you took and passed your ITIL exam a few months ago, this post will still work for you. Read on for our 10 tips to put what you studied into practice for your ITIL qualification

Don’t think that everything ends with your ITIL learning and qualification

Most employers, unless they earn more business through their employees’ skill level, will see little value in any new hire qualifications that are not used in practice, on actual tasks. You need to use your learning well and make a difference.

Start with the “why (s)”.

This is something I blatantly “borrowed you may have simply embarked on your ITIL studies to earn an additional qualification and advance your career. That’s fine (especially if you’ve self-funded it).

ITIL certification


But, if your employer has sponsored your studies, hopefully they will receive some kind of commercial benefit from your new ITIL qualification. So what is your “why”? Ideally, you will have agreed this with your boss before starting your studies. If not, try adapting it again, seeking to understand how your new knowledge can help your employer improves in the future.

Articulate your “why (s)” in terms of business value

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. The “Eight Field Model” is a proven technique to help managers and their staff improves the value received from their training investments. Ideally, this should be used before ITIL studies, but can be used retrospectively.

Understand what you have learned before trying to change something.

When studying for the ITIL exam, it is easy to focus on the ITIL processes and what they entail. Don’t worry, this is all good. However, in doing so, you can make a very common ITIL mistake: thinking it is about processes rather than better IT service delivery and support and the focus on quality services and business value creation (or co-creation). Therefore, verify that you are focused on the “end” (the required results) rather than the “means” (the processes) when looking to offer ITIL-based improvements.

Keep your ITIL study materials handy.

Don’t assume that you will remember everything you learned to pass the exam. To make matters worse, you will probably think that you have remembered (or even understood) something correctly when the reality is that you did not. Therefore, it is good to be able to refer to study materials when necessary.

Don’t blindly follow the ITIL “learning journey” in the real world

Instead, focus on what will help your organization the most. By this I mean that it’s easy to start with incident management, then move on to problem management, then switch, and so on, according to the ITIL study material. This could be what your organization needs, but it probably is not. So, try to apply what you’ve learned to the things that will have the greatest positive impact for the business.

Don’t try to make an ITIL-based change out of thin air

You are not the first ITIL student, and you will not be the last, to want to use what you learned in the office. Therefore, it seeks to learn from the experiences of others, once again, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. This could involve networking with your peers after the course, collaborating with colleagues, pursuing the success of your ITSM tools provider’s clients, or something else.


Don’t overestimate the value of your ITIL Foundation certification

Okay, it’s great that you passed the exam, but be realistic about what this means – you were able to understand and remember much of the ITIL Foundation syllabus. But it doesn’t make you an ITIL expert. Especially when it comes to making ITIL-based organizational change a reality. So stay connected and humble, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from more experienced colleagues.

Don’t think you need to go alone

Or, changing this, you recognize that trying to bring about ITIL-based organizational change will be difficult as a “lone voice.” So, try to get buy-in for your best proposals (and, ideally, help identify and formulate those improvements).

Don’t underestimate the time it may take to switch (which doesn’t preclude making “quick wins” based on ITIL

Some of the changes you have planned may require organization-wide modifications, crossing teams and reporting lines. Therefore, understand that it will take time to gain acceptance and that this could take even longer than the change itself.

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