By Manisha Champaneri BSc MSc
ISO/IEC 20000 & ITSM Consultant
Marval Group - UK
Within 4 months of graduating with BSc Honours in Business Information Systems, I entered the IT Service Management Industry where I got an opportunity to work closely with the well known Don Page - CEO of Marval AKA God Father of ITIL. This opportunity meant that I would learn faster and from a real world prospective rather than from theory, which would result with my knowledge being quality rather than quantity.
I had achieved my certificate in ITIL foundation but due to my age - 22 back then and lack of hands on experience in the Service Management Industry, I am unable to take the ITSM managers course, as one of the prerequisite was 5 years minimum in the ITSM industry. With Marval's continual relationship with Northampton University, we were fully aware of the forthcoming MSc course. I researched the course to highlight positives and negatives in order to make a decision on whether I'd wait a few more years to do ITIL Managers or the MSc;
The MSc IT Service Management course will:
· Allow me to gain a greater in-depth knowledge of service management
· Allow me to contribute more to my employer
· Allow me to take the ITSM managers course within 3years rather than 5 years hence become more productive/cost effective earlier to my employer.
· Allow me to learn whilst working and still benefit from knowledge gained whilst studying.
· Allow me to gain an additional industry recognised qualification
· Allow me to cover all topics surrounding ITIL i.e. from environmental change to implementation of software using PRINCE2 or quality and governance standards i.e. ISO20000 / COBIT / SOX etc.
· As this course is brand new, Marval would be sponsoring one of its staffs to be participating in encouraging Service Management to be taken as a serious profession.
The ITIL Managers Course will:
· Allow me to gain an additional industry recognised qualification, which Marval can market as one of my skills
· Wait 5 years until allowing me to take the ITSM managers course hence become more productive/cost effective later.
· Managers course is primary focused on the ITIL disciplines
The course was broken down into 8 modules; cover specific aspects from the IT Service Management world i.e.:
· Quality and IT Service Provision:
This module introduced the basic concepts of IT service and service quality, from the history of quality and its management through to current day quality processes, approaches and standards i.e. ISO9001, BS15000, ISO/IEC 20000 etc. It also introduced different models of IT service provision and resource management, and covered issues and techniques such as IT service continuity planning, capacity planning, availability and performance management with links to quality e.g. balanced scorecard and other techniques, financial aspects and costing models, service level management and contractual issues (outsourcing and insourcing), and customer perspectives.
· Information System development:
This module provided an introduction to the information systems application development life-cycle from the identification of system requirements through to procurement of the technology, system testing and evaluation, and implementation of hardware and software solutions. Additionally it provided an awareness of the activities associated with systems analysis and design, such that we would be able to make an immediate effective contribution to a systems development project.
· Project and Change Management
With so much emphasis on project work in a variety of commercial and industrial organisations, a good grasp of project management as a whole was a vital requirement for postgraduate information systems students. This module investigated the workplace's increasing dependence on advanced technology programmes and the impact such technology had on both people at work and on organisational factors - such as competition and growth. The module considered organisation development and the impact on the organisation created by IT projects and dynamic change. The module also investigated the implications of the interaction between humans and the technology that they use, and ways in which technology could be applied so that the safety, utility, effectiveness, efficiency and usability of the systems could be maximized. Many of the basic theoretical and practical tools and techniques that embrace the major challenges facing project managers today were introduced. The module addressed and emphasised the basic principles of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) established by the Association for Project Management (APM) and Project IN a Controlled Environment (PRINCE2). It equipped the students with a set of tools, techniques and methodologies for the estimating, organising, planning, scheduling monitoring and control of a project, plus an understanding of the human context for these principles.
· Network and infrastructure management:
This module stresses some of the more common practical aspects of managing a network in a business environment and considered the factors that might affect its performance. It focused on operational maintenance of the network implementation to meet day-to-day business needs, as well as the more strategic configuration, development and maintenance of the network implementation. It also concentrated on longer term planning and development of business requirements.
· Implementing service management:
This module outlined the "route map" for implementing service management through a detailed analysis of the concepts and issues using real-life case studies. A large number of evolving concepts and approaches were considered such as the role of IT security management, risk management, service desks, call centre technologies, hardware and software support/maintenance, etc.
· Strategic Information systems and quality management:
This module reflected the changing emphasis within the competitive business environment by examining the contribution of IS and IT to the effective management of the strategic corporate objectives. It also considered the models and tools used in strategic management and planning before focusing on the need to align current and future information needs with the corporate objectives. Quality management strategies and the impact of emerging technologies were also considered in terms of providing strategic options for competitive advantage.
· Research methods:
This module provided the support for the main research methods and paradigms useful within the discipline. It would give a firm grounding in Masters level approaches that lead to the completion of the dissertation.
· Dissertation - 15000 words:
From the taught parts of the course, there was an opportunity for students to carry out an in-depth, independent piece of research into an area of specific interest. Students were to apply critical and evaluative skills to an investigation where they could negotiate the particular angle that they wished to take. - My dissertation title 'Is the IT Service Management Industry mature enough to follow a prescriptive standard - ISO/IEC 20000?'
Overall I found the course very beneficial as it covered all aspects of the service management world rather than focusing on ITIL alone. The course was very challenging and required an open mind in order to get the most out of each subject. To this date I would recommend this course to anyone that felt ITSM was there true vocation.
I am now Marval's specialist consultant in advising and helping organisations work towards ISO/IEC 20000 accreditation. Additionally I help organisations in all sectors to implement an ITIL or ISO/IEC 20000 focused Service Desk. I am also the vice chair for the 'Special Interest Group' for ISO/IEC 20000 for itSMF. Using the knowledge and skills from my MSc, I have the proven ability on delivering successful results on schedule and within budget