ITIL 4 Strategist Direct Plan and Improve (Module 4)

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ITIL 4 Strategist Direct Plan and Improve

This module provides individuals with the practical skills necessary to create a 'learning and improving' IT organization, with a strong and effective strategic direction.



  • Influences and impacts Agile and Lean ways of working, and how they can be leveraged to an organization's benefit.

  • Provide practitioners with a practical and strategic method for planning and delivering constant improvement with essential agility.


ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve is aimed at managers of all levels engaged in shaping direction and strategy or developing a continually improving team. It will cover both practical and strategic elements. Accredited training for the ITIL Managing Professional modules is mandatory to enable a full understanding of the core material. All modules have ITIL 4 Foundation as a pre-requisite.



Service value system

ITIL has evolved beyond the delivery of services to providing end-to-end value delivery. The focus is now on the co-creation of value through service relationship.

The updated framework will focus on facilitating value co-creation via a service value system (SVS). The SVS represents how different components and activities can work together, in any type of organization, to facilitate value creation through IT enabled services.

In ITIL 4, customers are an essential element in the process of creating value.

Service value chain

Incorporated within the SVS is the service value chain (SVC). The service value chain is the set of interconnected activities that, when sequenced in the right way, provides an operating model for the creation, delivery, and continual improvement of services. The service value chain allows an organization to define a number of variants of these sequences known as value streams, of which the v3 service lifecycle is one such example.

The service value chain is flexible and can be adapted to multiple approaches, including product-focused delivery teams, DevOps, and centralized IT.

The adaptability of the value chain enables organizations to react to changing demands from their stakeholders in the most effective and efficient ways.

Guiding principles

The ITIL guiding principles, first introduced in ITIL Practitioner, are at the core of ITIL 4. The guiding principles help IT professionals to adopt and adapt ITIL guidance to their own specific needs and circumstances. These guiding principles can (and should) be followed at every stage of service delivery. They allow professionals to define approaches and navigate difficult decisions.

The ITIL guiding principles are:

• Focus on value

• Start where you are

• Progress iteratively with feedback

• Collaborate and promote visibility

• Think and work holistically

• Keep it simple and practical

• Optimize and automate

The guiding principles provide a comprehensive and holistic vision of how a service (as well as a service management) organization should manage and execute its work. The focus on collaboration, automation, and keeping things simple, reflects principles found in Agile, DevOps and Lean methodologies.

ITIL Practices

What is currently known in ITIL v3 as “processes” are being expanded to consider other elements such as culture, technology, information and data management, and more. This holistic vision of a way of working is known as a “practice” in ITIL 4, and forms a fundamental part of the ITIL 4 framework.

The ITIL practices described in ITIL 4 will maintain the value and importance provided by the current ITIL processes, whilst at the same time expand to be integrated to different areas of service management and IT, from demand to value. The ITIL 4 framework will reinforce a flexible and non-siloed approach for the application of ITIL practices.

Four Dimensions

To support a holistic approach to service management, ITIL also defines four dimensions that collectively are critical to the effective and efficient facilitation of value for customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services.

The four dimensions represent perspectives which are relevant to the whole service value system.

All apply to both service management and to the services being managed across the whole organization.

Integration with other practices and new ways of working ITIL 4 will reflect other frameworks and integrate new ways of working including Agile, DevOps, Lean, IT governance and leadership. The guiding principles draw from proven ways of working and foster a customer centric culture of collaboration, working holistically and gaining continual feedback. ITIL 4 will provide the flexibility needed to adopt and adapt what is relevant to each business and organizations while reinforcing the fundamentals for delivering quality IT service.

All of this sets ITIL and service management in a strategic context, bringing together ITSM, Development, Operations, business relationships and governance in a holistic approach. This is a truly integrated model for digital service management.

And much more!

The ITIL 4 framework also includes governance activities that enable organizations to continually align their operations with the strategic direction set by the governing body. ITIL 4 provides organizations with a simple and practical improvement model to maintain their resilience and agility in a constantly changing environment.

ITIL 4 takes you through a service value system which provides a holistic picture of what it really means to contribute to business value.

The Foundation level is designed as an introduction to ITIL 4 and enables candidates to look at IT service management through an end-to-end operating model for the creation, delivery and continual improvement of tech-enabled products and services.

ITIL 4 Foundation candidates will have an understanding of the following:

• A holistic approach to the co-creation of value with customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services

• The Guiding principles of ITIL 4

• The four dimensions of service management

• Key concepts from Lean IT, Agile, DevOps, and why these are important to deliver business value

• How ITIL practices described in ITIL 4 will maintain the value and importance provided by the current ITIL processes, whilst at the same time expand to be integrated to different areas of service management and IT, from demand to value.

The first release of ITIL 4 will be the Foundation level, currently scheduled for launch in Q1 2019, with the following levels due for release in H2 2019. The certification scheme is aligned with ITIL v3 and has been streamlined to provide clear paths for practitioners to continue their ITIL journey.

ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP) targets IT practitioners working within technology and digital teams across businesses. The Managing Professional (MP) stream provides practical and technical knowledge about how to run successful IT enabled services, teams and workflows.

ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) recognizes the value of ITIL, not just for IT operations, but for all digitally-enabled services. Becoming an ITIL SL demonstrates that the individual has a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy.

To obtain the designation ITIL MP or ITIL SL, the candidate must complete all modules in each stream, with ITIL Strategist being a universal module for both streams.

How to transition to ITIL 4

There are recommended routes that allow candidates to transition over to ITIL 4 while still gaining the skills and knowledge needed to understand the core concepts of the updated guidance.

ITIL v3 Foundation

If a candidate has taken ITIL v3 Foundation, then the recommended approach is to take the ITIL 4 Foundation exam in order to be able to transition to the new scheme.

There is a large amount of new material in ITIL 4 Foundation therefore a new single exam is required to assess the end-learner’s knowledge of the new ITIL 4 Foundation guidance.

ITIL 4 Foundation is scheduled for release in Q1 2019.

ITIL v3 Intermediate (three or four credits achieved)

End learners holding a low number of credits beyond Foundation have two recommended options to transition to ITIL 4 dependent on what they want to achieve in the scheme.

OPTION 1: Candidates are encouraged to take ITIL 4 Foundation and a further module in their preferred area of interest, becoming either an ITIL Specialist, Strategist or Leader. *

If a candidate has no intention of pursuing the ITIL Managing Professional designation, then the recommended route for these candidates would be to take the most relevant module in their area of practice/interest.

OPTION 2: Candidates are encouraged to achieve 17 credits from ITIL v3 to become eligible to take the ITIL MP transition module.

If an end-learner would like to work towards achieving the ITIL MP designation, they will need to continue collecting v3 credits until they have achieved the required 17 credits to be eligible to take the MP Transition module.

They can also continue collecting credits until the ITIL v3 exams are discontinued in 2020, and accumulate enough points to take the MP transition course. The benefit of this is that they are eligible to fast track past the v3 Managing Across the Lifecycle course and exam.

ITIL Intermediate/Practitioner (six or more credits achieved beyond Foundation)

If an end-learner has achieved six credits or more following v3 Foundation, then it is in their interest to continue collecting v3 credits to prepare them for an easy transition to ITIL 4 and gain the ITIL MP designation.

They will need to reach 17 credits to be eligible to take the ITIL MP Transition module.

ITIL v3 Expert If a candidate has achieved ITIL v3 Expert, they can take the ITIL MP Transition module as soon as it is released to achieve the ITIL MP designation.

After achieving the ITIL MP designation, if the end learner is interested in pursuing the ITIL SL stream, they will only need to complete the ITIL Leader Digital & Strategy module. Once they have completed both streams they are eligible to move towards ITIL Master.

ITIL v3 is as relevant as ever and continues to be in demand globally by hundreds and thousands of IT practitioners. All certifications for ITIL will remain valid following the update and will continue to be recognized globally as valuable certifications. ITIL 4 retains many of the core elements of good IT service management, continuing to give value to millions of people and businesses around the world.

ITIL 4 is an evolution from ITIL v3, providing a practical and flexible transition that allows organizations to adopt the new ways of working required by the modern digital world.

Niladri Choudhuri Founder & CEO of Xellentro, ATO Working Group Member – Asia at AXELOS Global Best Practice

Niladri has 27 years of IT consulting and training experience across a range of verticals and technology. He has strong experience in managing large global projects and programs setting up from scratch various practices for BI/DW, Project Portfolio Management, etc.

He has been providing training and consulting to large organizations across the world on Project Management, Portfolio Management, Agile, DevOps, IT Service Management, etc.

He is the first person to be DevOps Test Engineer Certified and Accredited by DevOps Institute in India and second in the world.

He is also accredited by G2G3 for their DevOps Simulation.

Prior to his entrepreneurial start with Xellentro, Niladri worked with Satyam, PwC, ITC Infotech, etc.,in various capacities. His last assignment was with Satyam as Practice Leader for Portfolio, Program and Project Management Practice.

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About Axelos

AXELOS is a joint venture company, created in 2013 by the Cabinet Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) in the United Kingdom and Capita plc, to manage, develop and grow the Global Best Practice portfolio. AXELOS boasts an already enviable track record and an unmatched portfolio of globally-recognized best practice qualifications.

AXELOS is responsible for developing, enhancing and promoting a number of best practice frameworks and methodologies used globally by professionals working primarily in IT service management, project, programme and portfolio management and cyber resilience.

These methods, including ITIL®, PRINCE2®, MSP® and our collection of cyber resilience best practice products, RESILIA®, are adopted by private, public and voluntary sectors in more than 150 countries to improve employees’ skills, knowledge and competence in order to make both individuals and organizations work more effectively.

AXELOS is committed to nurturing best practice communities on a global scale. In addition to our globally-recognized certifications, AXELOS equips professionals with a wide range of content, templates and toolkits through our CPD-aligned My AXELOS subscription service and online communityof practitioners and experts.



ITIL 4 Foundation candidates will understand the following:

  • A complete approach to the facilitation of co-creation of value with customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services
  • The guiding principles of ITIL 4
  • The four dimensions of Service Management
  • Key concepts from Lean, Agile, DevOps, and why these are important to deliver business value
  • How ITIL practices portrayed in ITIL 4 will keep the value and importance offered by the current ITIL processes, while at the same time expand to be incorporated into different areas of service management and IT, from demand to value.

To take the ITIL Foundation exam, no prerequisite is required.

  • Multiple choice examination questions
  • 40 questions
  • 26 marks required to pass (out of 40 available) – 65%
  • 60 minutes’ duration
  • Closed book.


Country Date Time
India 01-02 August 9:30am – 5:00pm (IST)
India 29-30 August 9:30am-5:00pm (IST)
US 17-21 August 6:00pm – 9:00pm (MST)
Australia 24-28 August 6:00pm – 9:00pm (Australia Eastern Time Sydney/Melbourne)