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ITIL :: View topic - Thoughts/Questions re: Pract. vs Mgr. towards Consultant
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Thoughts/Questions re: Pract. vs Mgr. towards Consultant

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Joined: Oct 25, 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject: Thoughts/Questions re: Pract. vs Mgr. towards Consultant Reply with quote

Hi all

I am looking for advice on career direction and future training. Any responses would be appreciated.

Is it fair to say that as a Certified Practitioner (IPSR and IPRC), I would have a better understanding of what the 'Manager' course content really presents (much like working your way up from operator through the ranks to manager of the same department) and a better chance of passing the exams? Or are the two very distinct? I have been a manager of IT services before.

Does the managers course attempt to apply to real-world situations more than the Practitioner courses or do you have to toss everything you know out the window while you are on the course and become an ITIL zombie for the duration until after the exams? I felt that the 2 practitioners courses I took were lacking in that area. The sample case study was rather bland and needed more complex already in-place process to deal with to stimulate your mind for answers and more than 1 case study would have helped.

In other words, given my 17 years of IT experience, (not PM certified), would taking the managers course and having the IPSR and IPRC together make potential employers drool. I hear a "It depends" answer coming. Smile (Not sure if some of them would know what to with a Practitioner without a Manager at the helm or they would attempt to hire a practitioner and make him wear the managers hat as well). This is Ottawa after all.

Not sure if what I really need is to get some experience on a team with a firm that is implementing ITIL as a project to get some 'ITIL' experience under my belt. I mentioned this to one of my instructors and she said 'what do you mean you have no ITIL experience, you have been doing it for years'. I had to agree, but is that what potential employers are looking for? Is sufficient alternative experiences worth as much as working on an 'ITIL' project?

Through various positions, from front-end and back-end support, to creation of helpdesks and utilising/designing the how-to/implementing various SM tools (ie: Remedy, Openview, Patrol), and using the various change/config/release/incident/problem mgmt processes (without calling them ITIL), in the past, would it be fair to say I could move into a consultants role?

Also. Since my skills on remedy/openview are out-dated would it be best to pursue some kind of Certification in a service management tool to bring me up-to-date and put the package together or should I pursue PMP track. All of the above are expensive paths.

I'm from Canada, eh!
Thanks in advance,
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3597
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Since you're canadian, I will speak in simple words even a Quebecois could understand.. eh !

The answer is of course it depends

Employers / clients look to both the 'certification' and knowledge / experience of the person

If you have been in IT Operations for 10+ years, dealt with Small, medium and large companies; exposed to Unix, microsoft, networks etc....; even ig you dont have the paper; you can walk the walk and talk the talk. Been there done that got the t-shirt

However, they may price you lower w/o the certs either as a full time or a consultant because their HR department may be very pedantic about skills/official cert

On the other hand, if all you have is the certification for something and no experience or limited experience, then the employers/clients wonder whether your skill set is capable of doing the job

That enough eh ?
John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I agree with your words and thanks for your thoughts on the certs and consultant issue. The good thing about my situation is that I do not getting paid less to get some formal 'ITIL' experience.

anyone else wanna have a crack at answering my questions from the individual paragraphs I wrote?

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Joined: Apr 17, 2007
Posts: 36
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am looking for advice on career direction and future training. Any responses would be appreciated...

...In other words, given my 17 years of IT experience, (not PM certified), would taking the managers course and having the IPSR and IPRC together make potential employers drool.

Not sure if this will help, but this is my take on your question. And please bear in mind what I have to say from here on in is really about choosing people for projects, and not full time employees. Which is what I think is your situation.

Perhaps this is not a good forum in which to say it, but many employers take certifications of all kinds with a pinch of salt (and should do).

I have worked on both sides of the fence, and have conducted many (far too many) interviews for team members of IT projects.

The usual scenario is that I am managing a project and way too busy to read CVs (Google it if you dont know) but ho hum that's life.

So the process is to scan, and literally I mean scan, CVs for the standout items which are:

1) Experience in the area required <- by far the most important
2) Certifications, degrees, membership of professional bodies etc.
3) Any legal, or local HR requirements.

Relative weightings are: 1=>95% important 2=>4.99% and 3 =>.01%

I'll weed the CVs down to 5 immediately, almost exclusively based on experience. I'll always be more interested in someone with no qualifications at all but 10 years relevant experience, over someone with lots of paper work but no experience.

(By the way this is why your CV should have all the standouts on page 1 -if I have a stack of 50 CVs if it's not all on page 1 it gets tossed. Busy PMs dont want to read your life history if they can help it).

Of course if the candidate has both the papers and lots of relevant experience then that's great, and will (probably) be the winner if I have a to discard one.

Once I have my shortlist, certifications of any kind no longer have any bearing on the outcome. It will then come down to performance at interview and references.

Certifications generally guarantee nothing other than someone can pass the exam. One of my degree subjects was Electromagnetics, which I passed comfortably, but I guarantee you if I had taken the exam a week later I would have failed it miserably.

So to conclude: certifications are a 'good thing' in general because at least they show the person is acquainted with the subject. But relevant experience is the key. If you had the choice between getting a Manager's Certification and doing a real ITIL transformation project, the latter is always the most useful from a career perspective.

By the way I think reading these forums is incredibly useful because the questions are asked by people from many different ICT disciplines and organisations, and hence from very different perspectives.

Reading the questions and responses will challenge your own preconceived ideas about ITIL and hopefully improve your knowledge of ITIL in the real world, rather than ITIL according to some contrived case study. I know it has helped me enormously.

Good luck,

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