Blog posted by: David Barrow - Sol Seven Studio, 09 October 2023.
What makes service management a profession?
While some people have fallen into service management, I know that it's a career and a profession you can choose to do.
And the ITIL 4 learning path helps illustrate that this is a profession. That's why I'm incredibly proud to become an ITIL 4 Master.
As ITIL is still the most widely-used service management framework, gaining Master designation is evidence of achieving a level of competence I didn't know I could five years ago, never mind 20 years ago when I began my ITIL journey.
One of the best things about ITIL 4 Master is refreshing one's knowledge about the practical stuff that service management professionals do at the “front line”. At this stage of my career, it's vital to retain knowledge and awareness of what's happening on the ground, as well as influencing leadership teams.
In essence, it's vindication that I've got all the “strings” to my “bow”.
The challenge of ITIL 4 Master
Attaining ITIL 4 Master designation means you need to understand ITIL holistically.
Though I had already obtained ITIL 4 Managing Professional and Strategic Leader levels, studying the new Practice Manager certifications (in my case, ITIL 4 Specialist: Monitor, Support and Fulfil) meant I was keeping in touch with the essentials, as well as knowing how to guide teams at a higher level.
For people in service management who are on a learning and development journey, this is a perfect way to go. In my opinion, it's less daunting than ITIL v3 Master while being well-designed, packaged and having add-on modules such as sustainability in digital and IT and managing cloud services. Certainly, the importance of having ethical and environmental standards in service management is now being discussed at ISO standard level from a global perspective.
The updated ITIL practices in Practice Manager now truly emphasize the value of practices over processes and encourage understanding about how to approach different operational activities.
Knowledge gathered on the learning journey to ITIL 4 Master
Among the certifications needed to reach ITIL 4 Master, the ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy certification really opened the door to thinking about strategy and the way organizations can rather make things happen than just allowing them to happen.
As a strategic leader with this knowledge, I have the confidence and ability to work with the C-suite. And it means I'm entrusted to assess organizations' service management capabilities and build strategies, develop service management offices and develop their people via ITIL.
In the end, this means they deliver better digital experiences to employees and services to customers with improvements to customer satisfaction, reducing incidents, improving change enablement and lowering risks.
ITIL 4 Master - why bother?
To my fellow service management professionals, I'd say go and do ITIL 4 Master.
The qualifications are useful, thought-provoking and you can implement them appropriately for your organization and sector.
And why is it important even for well-established professionals in the field to become an ITIL 4 Master?
Well, it looks fantastic on your CV, whether you're working for company, are a business owner or consultant. Even after 15 or 20 years in the profession, going through the courses helps you understand better the people you're working with, your teams and the challenges they face day to day.
Overall, it's important to be well-rounded and not content to sit in an “ivory tower”. If you don't know the basics you can't be a Master.