Now with added ‘enablement’: the ITIL Study Guide 2nd editions

They say a week is a long time in politics; as it turns out, it can be a long time in the world of service management as well.

Hot on the heels of the release of my two ITIL 4 publications – ITIL® Foundation Essentials ITIL 4 Edition – The ultimate revision guide and ITIL® 4 Essentials – Your essential guide for the ITIL 4 Foundation exam and beyond I found it necessary to create second editions, which were released in April.

In this blog, I’ll explain what’s changed, why and also provide you with some extra guidance about the books based on the questions I’m often asked.

What’s changed?

The first and probably most obvious change is to the change control practice. What would have been referred to as change management in previous versions of ITIL was originally called change control in ITIL 4.

However, after feedback from the community, AXELOS has decided to amend this to refer to the practice as change enablement.

Akshay Anand, AXELOS ITSM Product Ambassador, explains the alteration:

Following the release of ITIL 4 Foundation, we have heard from several people around the world that the practice was being misinterpreted or misunderstood as focused on ‘controlling changes’ or ‘controlling teams’, rather than ‘controlling the rate of changes’.

The roles formally known as…

The next changes are to the definitions for customer, sponsor and user. The first publication of ITIL 4 described these as ‘people’ – this has now been updated to ‘roles’.

So, the definition of a user for example is now “the role that defines the requirements for a service and takes responsibility for the outcomes of service consumption.”

This has changed from “A person who defines the requirements for a service and takes responsibility for the outcomes of service consumption.”

Hopefully you can see how this change broadens the scope and adds clarity. It also makes it simpler to understand situations where a single person holds multiple roles.

IT, or not IT?

The final change to note is the removal of ‘IT’ from the definition of a change. The definition now covers changes to products and services without specifying that they are IT specific.

What else is new?

There are some other minor amendments to the ITIL Foundation content, but these do not affect the syllabus requirements and so are not reflected in the publications.

The world of IT is moving faster and faster, so it’s no surprise that guidance must also adapt in order to keep up. The challenge for AXELOS will be balancing the need to update the content against the ability to update their publications and ensure changes are reflected across the training ecosystem.

And finally…

I get asked about the difference between the two books – as one is more expensive than the other, it’s a fair question!

ITIL® Foundation Essentials ITIL 4 Edition is the information you need to pass the ITIL 4 Foundation exam – no more, no less. It is licensed and reviewed by AXELOS to confirm that it gives you everything you need.

After you pass your exam, you’ll refer to this book when you need to check a particular definition.

ITIL 4® Essentials is your guide for the Foundation exam and beyond. It includes ITIL material that isn’t on the syllabus, and some lessons from my own experience that I hope you will find useful as a service management practitioner.

The content is clearly divided so you can see what is examinable and what isn’t, and I hope you continue to refer to this book long after the exam.