Training and Certification

ITIL v3 vs ITIL v4: What changed?

May 3, 2019

Bita Beigishah

In this interview with Virginia Scuderi, instructor with over 20 years’ experience, we dive into the the recent changes and upgrades for ITIL version 4 and how the content and certifications differ from previous versions.

Read the transcript below.

[Question] Can you share your your experience in ITIL with us?

Yes, as an instructor I’ve been teaching ITIL since about 2013 and I started with ITIL v2 and worked my way through ITIL Service Manager, which was the highest level at the time. As ITIL v3 was introduced and then refreshed in 2011 I earned my ITIL Expert at the time as well. So I’ve been teaching all the different levels through a lot of different versions of ITIL, and ITIL v4 is more excited and encompassing. So I think people will enjoy it once they get over the shock.

[Question] Can you describe to us what the shock is?

In the past there have been changes to processes between version 2 and 3. There was a change in structure in how the processes were organized from just a couple to different stages of a lifecycle of a service. And now ITIL has kind of shaken things up completely, and the processes are just a part of a much bigger organization and structure for organizing and managing IT services. We’re not just learning processes anymore. We’re learning this new overall structure.

[Question] How are organizations going to be handling this change, specifically the ones that are already using ITIL?

It seems like every ten years or so ITIL comes out with a new version. Since 2011 it has really been obvious that IT is moving much faster and we’re doing a lot more with bots, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and all of these different areas of service management.

So ITIL is now more encompassing, and in some ways it is a little broader, and even reminiscent of the way we taught ITIL v2, which was more of like a 30,000 foot view. This is a broader overview, especially in the material covered in the ITIL Foundation class. The terminology, the understanding of what is necessary in order to really provide IT services in what’s really more of a collaboration, but what they reference as a co-creation with other stakeholders including customers.

So it’s broader in a lot of ways and we’re not focusing on just a step-by-step processes, and looking at it more holistically, which is broader. It seems more general yet it encompasses more than just processes.

[Question] From my understanding these changes also have changed the structure of ITIL. Previously the pyramid model was used and now the structure has changed a little bit in terms of it’s designed for the certification scheme. Is that correct?

Even between the pyramid structure of the certification scheme getting us all the way to beyond ITIL Expert there was with the introduction of the ITIL Practitioner course a change in that scheme. ITIL Practitioner was designed to be sort of a bridge between the Foundation course concepts and implementing those concepts through continuous service improvement so that the pyramid structure for certification went into a more linear perspective with Practitioner running all the way through from Foundation on one end all the way to the highest level on the other end indicating that practitioner could’ve been taken at any point in time.

So now the certification structure is much different, and in fact all of the ITIL books have not even been written. The whole standing that this is more of a holistic view and we right now just have a Foundation handbook, and I think it’s what the first exam is going to be based on.

[Question] In your opinion, who are some of the best candidates to go into an ITIL course or learn ITIL in general?

It is going to be similar to before in that it is for anyone who has any involvement in IT service management, creating and providing the service of IT. So this may include service desk analysts, management, supervisors, directors, other providers and vendors. It is going to be necessary for everyone to work together to see how to provide the best in IT service.

[Question] Do you envision more organizations adopting an ITIL framework under this new version?

I think so because it’s really necessary to have some idea of where to go and how to provide the best service. As in the past, ITIL is still a framework that provides guidance. As we’ve said, we adopt ITIL to what works in our environment and this really does seem to provide more opportunity for adapting. 

[Question] What is the most exciting change in your opinion?

I think that the most exciting change is that we’re co-creating value with all of the stakeholders, including customers. So it’s not just about IT delivering service. And we’ve been evolving through every version by incorporating customer feedback and working with customers more and more. We’re talking more about value streams, and there are lots of variables with how the value can be delivered with that co-creation and involvement with the other stakeholders.

In addition, other frameworks are being more encompassed, recognized, and compatible with this version – Lean, Agile, and DevOps. It’s really rolling them together so that they work better together. There is a lot of reference to DevOps actually.

[Question] Is there anything else that you think that the Phoenix TS students or teams would love to know about ITIL v4?

People always wonder how they’re going to upgrade from their current ITIL certification to the new ITIL certification. In the past there had been a bridge that went through the differences between the prior and current version. This was taught between versions 2 and 3. If you passed understanding the differences, you were upgraded. This whole new arrangement and understanding of co-creation and where processes really lie with regard to practices as part of the bigger value chain really requires education from the beginning.

So people who have certification already will find some familiarity when we get down into the practices and processes, yet that’s not where we start. So right now there is no bridge and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a bridge from prior versions to this version. So it’s going to be important for everyone to start the certification again. If you have the certification there will be some areas of familiarity. For example, look to the idea of the four P’s of people, processes, partners, and products. We still have four dimensions so the terminology is a little different and those four dimensions still sounds similar, but they’re broader and more encompassing. Processes then become a part of the value stream and chain.

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