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Additional Reading

Passing Your ITIL Intermediate Exam

Quite a few people have asked if I will be writing any intermediate books. Unfortunately, I'm not planning to. There are a number of reasons for this. First, the licensing issue is a pain. Second, the ITIL intermediate courses require attending an accredited training course. However, there is an excellent resouce to help you prepare for your ITIL intermediate exam. This book helps you to prepare for what to look for in the exam and how to parse the case studies for the relevant clues to what the right answer is.

Passing Your ITIL MALC Exam

The MALC exam is a @&$#%!! You will probably need all the help you can get. I can't offer much guidance on the MALC because it is very different from other exams. On the MALC, you will likely find that none of the answers are what you would select and that none of the answers is the MOST complete. On the MALC, you must grade each answer and then select from the lesser of four evils. Find the BEST answer from the four provided even though you may know of a better answer. The book "Passing your ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle" may be able to help you determine what to look for on this exam.

Visible Ops Handbook

This book should be on the shelves of every IT service management professional. Again, this is another book that I frequently refer to in my classes because it helps to explain the inter-relationships between the processes in ITIL. Through these inter-relationships, the service lifecycle can be far more powerful than any single stage or any single process by itself.

My initial read of the book took about 90 minutes or so on a plane from Houston to Sacramento. The second read took four hours because I didn't want to miss anything. While the book is written to support a specific vendor's tools, you really can't tell unless you look for it.

How it Relates to Service Management

How doesn't it? Not only does this book provide excellent guidance beyond what is included in the IT Infrastructure Library, but also provides a glimpse of how the processes and practices of ITIL work together to provide strategic value to an organization.

My Rating

A very solid 5 out of 5 due to its direct application to IT service management and the very honest and thought provoking approach to how people support (or don't support) IT service management.

Never Eat Alone

Even though it has been years since I have read it, Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi is one of the books that I continually refer to in my courses. The core theme of the book is instead of constantly asking "what's in it for me?", to instead approach life and relationships from the perspective "what can I do for them?" Through the guidance in Ferrazzi's book, you can achieve success by helping others succeed. This is a trait of highly successful executives, even though is is frequently absent from many.

How it Relates to IT Service Management

Even though the book itself is not an IT book, it aligns with the concepts of ITIL in that the success of the business is the measurement for a successful IT service provider. It is up to us in IT to ensure each other's success in order to help the business succeed. When the business succeeds, we succeed.

My Rating

Just on longevity of thought alone, this book scores a solid 5 out of 5 stars. Since the years that I have read it, I constantly remind myself of the theme of the book since the actual words have long been absent from my memory. The guidance in this book has helped me to become a successful instructor as well as a better person.

What Customers Want

ITIL's focus is on providing value to customers in the form of services. The services delivered provide a means for customers to achieve their business-desired outcomes. "What Customers Want" focused on understanding what these business-desired outcomes are by going beyond what customers say they want to truly understanding their outcomes. Only by understanding these outcomes can we, as service providers, deliver true value.

How it Relates to Service Management

While this book may not be pertinent to everyone within IT, it definately should be read by those that are defining services. "What Customers Want" should be in the hands of your Business Relationship Managers and Service Level Managers. This book should also be required reading for all CIOs.

My Rating

From a general business and marketing perspective, "What Customers Want" gets a 5-star rating out of 5 stars. From an IT perspective, the rating goes to 4 stars simply because it is not directly IT-oriented.

The Phoenix Project

I was excited to hear about this book. I had never read a "novel" about IT operations and was interested to see where this would take me. It shocked me beyond my wildest expectations in how the team that wrote this book could so eloquently identify issues that every IT organization struggles with and walk the reader through an approach to find ways to solve these issues.

This book goes way beyond ITIL, my expertise. When I teach ITIL classes, I constantly remind students to "bring your level of thinking up" to beyond just technology and applications, but to the service. This book helped me recognize that I must also bring my level of thinking up to beyond the service, but to the organization and the business.

While the book itself is not a textbook or certification manual, it does introduce the reader to the concepts of ITIL, Lean IT, Agile, and Six Sigma. A lot of the book's charm is that it does this without telling you that it is doing it - leaving me hungry to learn more.

How it Relates to Service Management

This book goes far beyond just Service Management to the next evolution of IT - Business Management. However, Business Management cannot be done without Service Management so it directly relates to what is possible, once Service Mangement has been mastered.

My Rating

My 5 point scale is not sufficient, but, since I am limited to a mere 5 points, then 5 points will have to do. The book is a fun read, very insightful, and left me with an understanding that, even as an ITIL Expert, my view is short-sighted and I still need to grow.

I hope it does the same for you.