The ITIL intermediate exams are daunting. Exam candidates must read and fully understand a scenario, which can have many complex moving parts. Then, candidates must choose what they think is the best answer from a set of four possible answers. Sometimes all four possible answers look pretty good. The ITIL intermediate exams ask students to understand and apply their service management knowledge and sometimes to know when to forego application of that knowledge.
What I like most about the ITIL intermediate exams is that the scenarios and questions are very realistic. The topics chosen on the exam tend to mirror real-life situations that we all encounter throughout our careers. Because of that, I always instruct students that topics on these exams are somewhat predictable.
One thing that frequently happens in business is two companies merge or one company purchases another company. These can be disruptive events. Sometimes the merged organization is stronger and sometimes the merged organization fails. These days, one of the key factors that will determine the success of a merger and acquisition is how well the newly formed organization brings together disparate information technology and by extension how it applies, extends, and encourages the practice of service management in the newly formed organization.
This is where service management professionals come in. It is our job to help organizations that are experiencing mergers and acquisitions figure out the correct way to bring together diverse information technology assets and organizations so that strengths and opportunities are exploited and weaknesses and threats are minimized.
It is not uncommon to see questions on the ITIL intermediate exams that use a merger and acquisition as a backdrop to the question. Then the question will ask how the organization should proceed relevant to some specific areas.
Some topics that commonly arise:
- How to merge two organizations’ IT departments that have existing service portfolios
- How to merge two organizations’ IT departments that have existing service catalogs
- How to take service management practices that one organization does well and promote them throughout the newly merged organization
- How to merge various roles and responsibilities in a newly formed organization
- How to encourage a larger organization that is merging with a smaller organization to adopt some of the things that the smaller organization does better
- How to communicate mergers and acquisitions along with how to manage people through disruptive changes
These topics are only some of the possibilities. One of the best ways that you can prepare for any of the ITIL intermediate exams is to think about what the exam covers, and write down various ways that you would ask someone about that topic to assess a high level of competence. Remember when doing this that we’ve all lived through various changes and disruptions in IT. None of these scenarios are really a surprise to people who’ve worked in IT more than a few years.