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Weekend Warrior: Get ITIL Certified in a Single Weekend

Looking for a mental challenge? Why not get a certification? With a little planning and some diligent study, cough you can polish off the first level of ITIL certification in a single weekend.

ITIL hip dude studies up at homeBored this weekend? Wife and kids visiting your in-laws? Perhaps you need a reason to avoid going to your boss’ weekend barbecue? Rather than make up some shallow excuse, or pretend that you caught your 14th flu of the year, why not get ITIL certified? The entry-level ITIL certification is fairly easy to achieve, looks great on a resume and, who knows, you may learn a great deal.


Yes, it is possible to get ITIL certified over the course of a weekend. The steps will go something like this: Make the decision to get certified around Monday afternoon. Sign up for the test that same day. Order the book or borrow it from a friend that week. Study over the weekend and take the exam the following Monday.


All of your studying should be done in just a couple of days, and in a location conducive to learning. In all seriousness, if you have to pour more than 16 hours of study into passing the certification exam, then you simply aren’t ready for the test.


What is ITIL?


In loose terms ITIL is a framework for delivering IT Services. ITIL had its genesis in the 1980s, when the government of the United Kingdom expressed concern that there were no generally accepted standards for the management of IT practices, noting that government agencies and private sector companies were each developing their own standards.


ITIL was originally developed as a collection of books, each covering specific practices within IT service management. Since 2013, ITIL, also known as IT Infrastructure Library, has been owned by AXELOS, a joint-venture between Capita and the government of the UK.


Axelos defines ITIL as “a widely accepted approach to IT Service Management (ITSM), which has been adopted by individuals and organizations across the world. ITIL provides a cohesive set of best practices, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.” This sounds pretty generic until you review the components surrounding the framework.


ITIL has since been streamlined and reworked to include 26 listed processes, organized in five separate volumes covering the core content for each process.


Service Strategy (SS) deals with understanding organizational objectives and customer needs. If you have ever been in a help desk role, on the receiving end of an angry phone call from a customer, or if you understand how Information Technology fits into ANY organization, then you will understand this part of the framework.


Service Design (SD) is where we delve into turning strategy into a plan for delivering the business objectives. If you’ve ever worked as a project manager or business analyst, or been around those types of people and seen how they run a requirements gathering session, then you will understand the importance of a concrete plan as opposed to a simple strategy.


Service Transition (ST) provides a framework for developing and improving capabilities for introducing new services into supported environments. This probably seems like it’s getting a little harder, but don’t fear — if you have ever been around a new product rollout or formally given a new laptop to someone, then you probably executed this framework or its steps without even being aware that you were doing so.


Service Operation (SO) covers the best practice for delivering agreed upon services to users. While ITIL is IT based, anyone that manages a service-oriented operation will understand the steps of this framework.


Continual Service Improvement (CSI) deals with the constant realigning of IT services to meet the changing needs of business in order to achieve incremental or large-scale improvements in delivered services. This part of the framework doesn’t require excessive elaboration. Just consider how the free fruit at work can incrementally change our waistlines for the better.


Here is a quick tip-sheet of each area that you’ll be studying for the exam:


● ITIL Service Strategy: Understands organizational objectives and customer needs.
● ITIL Service Design: Turns the service strategy into a plan for delivering the business objectives.
● ITIL Service Transition: Develops and improves capabilities for introducing new services into       supported environments.
● ITIL Service Operation: Manages services in supported environments.
● ITIL Continual Service Improvement: Achieves services incremental and large-scale improvements.