ITIL 4: how to combine strategy and execution?

Date: 23/11/2021| Category: IT Governance & Service Management|

The ITIL® 4 Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI) module comes after the Foundation level and belongs to two streams: ITIL® 4 Strategic Leader and ITIL® 4 Managing Professional. In this article we will explain the objectives, who it is aimed at and the main aspects of the module.

Objectives of the ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve module

The ITIL 4 DPI module supports professionals in directing and planning actions based on a strategy defined according to the principle of continual improvement. The module provides a clear alignment between strategy and operations by giving the tools to maximise results and teaches a practical method to plan and implement continual improvement with the necessary agility.

These are not just skills required at the highest levels of an organisation: every professional at every level is required to be able to plan, lead and improve.

Who should obtain the ITIL 4 Strategist – Direct, Plan and Improve certification?

The ITIL 4 DPI module, with its universally applicable knowledge, offers value not only to service management professionals. The course is useful for anyone currently in a leadership position, as well as for professionals aspiring to improve their role by helping them on their way to a more holistic approach and identify more opportunities within the organisation.

The ITIL 4 DPI module helps professionals to understand and become aware of their areas of control and the extent of their influence, driving them towards more collaboration with colleagues.

In particular, ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve is aimed at:

  • Professionals who want to continue their journey in service management
  • ITSM managers and aspiring ITSM managers
  • Managers at all levels involved in defining the company’s strategy or improving team productivity
  • ITIL certified professionals who want to develop their knowledge even further

For all information and advice necessary to pass the exam, read our in-depth article.

Strategy, outcome and value

In order to better understand and apply the principles of the ITIL 4 DPI module, it is necessary to understand the basic notions and skills presented in ITIL 4. The guiding principle of the ITIL 4 Focus on Value helps professionals to determine which factors are the most important for the organisation, both internally and externally, and consequently helps to co-create value for both customers and stakeholders.

This makes it possible to design strategies that address priority outcomes. Once strategies have been implemented and are supported by robust and structured governance mechanisms, plans are then aligned with those outcomes.

Read more: The 7 ITIL guiding principles

From theory to practice

The ITIL 4 DPI module is not only intended to give theoretical information to practitioners, but also to help them understand how to apply the method.

That’s why the ITIL 4 Strategist – Direct, Plan and Improve module also includes guidance on how to carry out key activities such as defining policies, introducing control, selecting evaluation methods, building business cases and applying continual improvement.

Breaking silos

By nature, human beings want to know where they are, what to expect and where the boundaries are. And while they may think it is much easier to work within silos, in reality business practices require crossing boundaries and limits. That is why the ITIL DPI module also includes techniques to help professionals avoid having a limited view of the situation.

In fact, ITIL 4 talks about service value chains and value streams, which instead of focusing on siloed ways of working, tend to cross boundaries. The DPI module sees the value chain as a whole system with different pieces flowing and working together, allowing professionals to understand where they fit best and what their contribution to the system is.

A complete Service Value Chain

The idea of focusing on outcomes makes it natural for an organisation to also incorporate elements from other frameworks or methodologies in relation to ITIL. This will allow various methods to be woven into an operational model that maximises value co-creation.

The DPI module emphasises that professionals do not exist in isolation, but as part of a community, and that adopting a method exclusively and without tailoring it to your organisation, can have negative implications.

Do you want to deepen your understanding of these concepts and learn how to combine strategy with execution? QRP International organises ITIL 4 Foundation and ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI) courses. Visit the website or write to us for more information!

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