Free ITIL Training?

Free ITIL TrainingI have a confession – I am a data squirrel.

Any template, anything Visio-flavoured, anything that might prove useful for meetings, documentation – I snaffle it and put it somewhere safe.

Freebie ITIL material, however, is a different beast.  There are things out there if you look, some useful, somewhere one might have to be a bit more creative, but there is stuff out there.

Free ITIL Training

There is no getting away from the fact the ITIL books and initial training costs money.  So to stumble across a free ITIL training overview merited a look.

First up – you cannot get away from this, you HAVE to register for most of the freebie-offers.  If handing over a decent, credible email is not your cup of tea, then this quest is not for you, traveller.

The prospect of a two-hour ITIL “taster” came to me through an e-newsletter from The ITIL Training Zone and I settled down to run through the training.

The Free ITIL Training course does require an email to access it, which will need verification, and will come back your ID and password, within a matter of minutes.


You are asked if you are a total beginner, someone who has Foundation certification, or if you are an expert (on the first pass) and then takes you to the course.  I logged in again to see if it changed the presentation depending on what you pick, but didn’t see the options again, so maybe this is more for analytical purposes.

It would be fascinating to see what the spread of participants are.

The course itself

The layout appears on the right and is broken down to handy links so you can just dip into what you want if you need to.

  • Introduction – The first bit covers a lot of probably the least useful bits of ITIL training in ANY course, if I am being honest – the history of ITIL. But it constantly asks the user to imagine how everything that is being taught relates to your own environment, putting it in context from the start. It introduces the concept of a case study that you follow throughout the course as well.
  • The core books – This is maybe the most daunting bit – there are lots of sections to go through, but they are in smallish chunks of around 6-10 minutes, and can be paused.
  • The last bit – With the case study that you follow throughout the course, and examples of real cases, the course constantly reiterates that you need to look at the wider piece and understand how it can help you in your organization.

What I liked

It’s nice and concise and it covers the details that you need.

It is worth noting that it doesn’t go through all the processes in Transition, and with good reason – this is a FREE taster to give people the basics of ITIL ahead of maybe doing the courses for real.

Maybe because I have worked across a range of roles, I can look across the piece and understand the larger end-to-end picture.  It constantly reiterates the approach of applying what you are being told to your own organisation.

People approaching ITIL education in general need to be of a mindset that it is a journey and not a quick-fix.

What people might NOT like


The first company I worked for was a multi-national corporation, centred in the US and the majority of our online training is produced in the US.  I have absolutely NO issue with hearing an American voice, but I have been on courses where people whine about Americanisms (there’s always one!).

Globalisation is prevalent in our industry and if this is an issue for you then perhaps this is not the course for you (or dare I say it the industry for you!)

Implementing ITIL

One of the things that always amuses me from trawling the Linked In groups is the sharp responses to queries about:

“I want to implement ITIL… give me x, y, z”

You will invariably see people slap that down with:

“You do not implement ITIL, you adopt, adapt, create and define policies and processes and deploy an ITSM tool to enforce, etc”

The course validates this phrase with talking about the processes and how they interact, and again this is an introduction to the basics.

And above all, it mentions the “journey” that you take in Service Management, which is often the answer given to the “implement ITIL” queries – so I think the course makes that distinction as you delve into it.

For beginners – this is in terms they understand – but would be interesting to see if more advanced courses still talk in those terms, or whether they make the “adopt/adapt/journey” distinction.

ITIL Lite – free or chargeable?

This is a taster course for offerings run by a training company – and there are links to a more formal corporate targetted ITIL Lite course on their website.

The benefit is, understandably, no additional marketing and links.

Just to reiterate – I am reviewing the completely free, ads-and-all version.

Would I recommend this?

I would definitely point people starting out in ITIL at this course, and in fact chatted to someone at a Regional itSMF UK seminar about this very course as an awareness starter for their staff.  They had also looked at it, so it is getting known as a key free resource.

A much respected ITAM colleague asked me whether it was worth their going for their ITIL certification, concerned about learning.  Unfortunately there is no short cut or free ride to the certification, but I would certainly point them at this for the basics, and leave them to make their mind up as to whether to go any further.

My final point focuses around the PDF “Report” that you are also able to download.

It boils down the concepts covered in the course, as well as the focus on applying the case, and packs a lot in to 80 pages.

Calling it a report really does not do it justice – it is the course material in its own right – showcase it as such, and maybe make this a core part of the ITIL Lite branding.

All in all this is a great introduction to ITIL for people thinking about certification, or getting people up to speed with the terminology.

SDITS12 Session: "ITIL 2011: Any the wiser?"

2011 - Does anyone care?

Having gained my ITIL® V3 Foundation Certification before the new ITIL 2011 updates, I was really keen to hear this key-note seminar, at the recent Service Desk & IT Support Show 2012.

There was small gathering for the post-lunch session, and the assembled panel certainly did not lack experience.

Roy Illsley, Ovum, led the panel discussions, and was joined on stage by Ben Clacy, Chief Executive of itSMF UK, Don Page, CEO of the Marval Group, and Sven Strassburg, IBM.

Most people in the room seemed to be using at least some level of ITIL in their organisation, but as to the specific nuances between ITIL V3 and 2011, well that was anyone’s guess.

Something that I had not been aware of, raised by Don Page, was that the advent of ITIL 2011 was also supposed to bring a lot of complementary material, but none has materialised.

A quick check on the official site still has ITIL v3 complementary material, and indeed I managed to snaffle a selection of “Little ITIL” books that were being handed out free, because people are clearing stock for the new versions.

The view from itSMF was: “Just do the bits you want to.”

And there we started to diverge.

The Business Benefits

A question from the floor was around the thorny topic of how to sell the benefits of ITIL to the business.

It is a valid response to say that the business SHOULD be taking an interest on what it is paying out for.

But I am not entirely sure that answered the question, and the conversation then seemed to sit in the IT/Business separation arena.

OK – so we got the business bought in – does my new tool make me coffee?

 “A fool with a tool is still a fool.”

At this point I rather hoped we might start to venture into something I believe in quite strongly in that the ITSM processes in particular should always be the fuel that drives the Service Management tool engine.

But alas the topic stayed on fairly esoteric grounds.

A very valid point, again from Don Page, came in response to query about whether it was time “IT” was dropped from ITIL.

He believed, however, to do that would maybe dilute the content so much as to make it unworkable.

Sven Strassburg gave examples where ITIL was maybe being used to drive processes in nuclear power plants, or aircraft.

  • There was a quick wrap up where we just came back to the same points – adaptable to environments, check.
  • Something to help put structure around processes? Check.

So … what IS ITIL 2011?

It is apparently much improved, but I will make that investment in the books and will see for myself.

What I want to know more about, though, is exactly what complementary material should have materialised with the new version.

As part of my role at The ITSM Review, I want to run an article looking at what ITIL information is out there (and more importantly of actual use to people) ahead of doing courses/gaining certification.

What is it that we are missing?

Does anyone care?

The people currently on a whole heap of ITIL related groups on Linked In care a lot about this!

Which version do I need?

Can I get by with the old V3 for the new exams?

I think it is safe to say that for those taking the new exams, they will have to be at least aware of the differences with older versions that they may have access to, and newer material, for the sake of terminology in the exam.

Is there a quick way round this?

Not as far as I can see.

Start making friends with people who can help you plan for training

Look for helpful material out on the web specifically on ITIL 2011

Are you, Ros, any the wiser?

As an analyst, with experience mainly around the Service Lifecycle, I knew coming into the show that I would need to get up close and personal with ITIL 2011.

As someone with a solution architect background, I have seen projects flounder without due thought around how this is sold, but in my past life have been too low down the food chain to influence those kinds of discussions.

But at its very essence – ITIL is still an adoptable and adaptable set of guidelines.

My view, therefore, is as it was before.  Just needs an update!

For more information on the specific updates, please refer to ITIL Publication Updates