Is MALC of any value in 2019?

General discussion on all aspects of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
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Marianne Cherney
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Senior Itiler
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:25 am

Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:43 am

What skill set does the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) class/certification provide that is of value given the move to ITIL 4? For all of you who have taken MALC, please advise.

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Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:13 pm

Hi all. I believe this is a “loaded” question…"Is MALC of any value in 2019?" AXELOS knows how 'hard' they’ve made the exam. I'm going to define "hard" a bit differently -- the exam, IMHO, isn't really about being a service manager (no matter how often or how expressive one is in that message) but it is still about knowing a random amount of information and then correlating it. In the defense of AXELOS, it's hard to write a "correct" (best) ANSWER as the answers in the practical world are NEVER cut-and-dry and everyone will have their own opinion, hence making the best choice in MALC one of exam taking expertise rather than service management knowledge!!! I truly miss the written, essay exams of the v2 Service Manager. Here we could define our thinking, answer the question and practice presenting a cohesive answer. While that type of exam is very difficult to manage (e.g., grading consistency, having the experts to grade, the sheer volume of papers, etc.), it was a good exam. Today, in MALC, there is a focus on knowing relationships which I think is the vital nature of MALC (see below for more thoughts on those vital aspects). The current MALC exam is long, it covers a lot of material, and frankly, everyone who has passed this exam, deserves the badge of Expert -- it is an accomplishment.

BUT, what about ITIL 4 and now the "open" nature of 2011 ITIL (get 17 credits and take the transition class to ITIL 4 Managing Professional). What about MALC? Has AXELOS thrown in the towel on MALC? In reality, AXELOS has removed an exam from the forefront by making the 17 points necessary very enticing so in effect, AXELOS is potentially selling more 2011 ITIL intermediate exams!!!.

I digress. Back to the question. Even with what I've written above, I believe MALC HAS VALUE. It DEMANDS that folks put all the parts together and think about the complete picture. Will the transition class do that? We don’t know as nothing has been released.

Again, I believe there is value in MALC – there are parts delivered in MALC that are not mentioned in the other courses which makes the student read the rest of the volumes (no matter how the student creates their 15 points – plus the 2 from Foundation - they have to read the rest of the books!!!). It’s very valuable to think about these vital components: interfaces, inputs/outputs, metrics, and the various risks and challenges. Strategy and continual improvement are the main areas of focus in MALC -- think about, in today's digital transformation, aren't these two areas the main issues within organizations as they address "digital"? While it may seem academic to learn this material, I believe it provides context for the Service Manager in terms of understanding the full picture, truly the lifecycle, of services and the management of them.

Lastly, to repeat, to achieve the “Expert” cert is certainly something to be proud of -- it is truly an achievement. If you want the challenge of MALC, take the class. Do you need the exam? Not really if you are going to pursue the transition class. BUT the information does have value and it will impact your understanding of ITIL 4. Hope to see you in the MALC world...

What are your thoughts? Love to have a conversation here...
Cheers for now.
Suzanne D. Van Hove, Ed.D.
SED-IT, CEO & Founder
Lead Author, VeriSM
JTC1/SC40/WG2 Convenor
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