Real ITIL training
The ITIL training industry is geared up to produce standardised certified theoretical courses. We've seen a lot of simulation games added to the mix to try to make the training a bit more practical but it is still nowhere near what I would call real ITIL training.
In a post some time ago, Will Edwards said
With the new ITIL V3 Intermediate Level courses - and exams for that matter - the focus is meant to take students away from simply regurgitating knowledge to demonstrating understanding and application of the subject matter.
For the intermediate qualification level ... correspond with Bloom's Levels 3 and 4 of the Taxonomy
So the big challenge for educators is: exactly how to Ascend the Taxonomy...
"Challenge" is right. How can you test Application and Analysis with a multichoice exam? Let's consider "Application". As my book Owning ITIL says...
The ITIL sheep-dip (Foundation training) is not enough. Often it is too much, meaning most people don’t actually need it, they need something else. They need training but not in the theory of ITIL. They need training in how it is going to work applied to their jobs; what they need to do differently, what they own, what they are measured on. That is real ITIL training and it is rare as hens’ teeth.
If Application is all about the ability to put learned theory into the context of a real situation it's hard to imagine how you can assess that in a closed room.
Looked at another way, consider this post just the other day from Pink President David Ratcliffe
When a concept is simple to grasp then I believe there’s a greater likelihood it will be embraced.
One such example is the Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating training programs. How can you argue with this:
A “Level 1” learning experience is where the student REACTS positively to training.
A “Level 2” learning experience is where the student actually ACQUIRES new knowledge or skills.
A “Level 3” learning experience is where the student actually goes back to work and CHANGES their behaviour.
A “Level 4” learning experience is where the student’s new behaviour IMPACTS the business in a positive and measurable way.
Here at Pink we’re undertaking a review of all of our education products to ensure we go beyond levels 1 & 2.
How does one ASSESS the trainee and EVALUATE the trainer in the context of Levels 3 and 4? Even when I worked in the same company as my trainees I found that challenging.
So I think the Kirkpatrick model is useful for evaluating one’s attitude and approach to delivering training - as Pink is doing - but it is hard to measure the results.
One thing that the Kirkpatrick Model points us to is that you get to Level 3 and 4 - of both Kirkpatrick's and Bloom's models - more readily when the learning - especially experiential learning - is customised to the function and practices of the trainee(s). In other words, training should be about how you will use ITSM in the context of your job to achieve your goals.
The best way to achieve real results is for training to be customised to the needs and situation of the trainees, and to include onsite coaching, support, follow-up, feedback and refreshers. The trainers who are binder-chuckers (delivering a standard theoretical set of slides and then abandoning trainees to their fate) are unlikely to achieve levels 3 and 4, and wouldn’t know if they did.
Sadly, real training costs much more. It needs to be sold as consulting not training. It will never compete with the ticket-sellers. And too many bosses don’t understand the difference between an employee with a ticket and an employee who has learned and assimilated.
But if we could get to there, that would be what I call real ITIL training.