version 1.2

ISM Foundation Syllabus & Starter package

Introduction

The syllabus outlines the knowledge the candidates need to master in order to pass the ISM Foundation Certification exam. It provides suggestions for preparation and highlights the benefits of taking this exam.

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Target audience

The ISM Foundation training’s target audience comprises:
• Individuals who want to acquire insight in an IT management organization’s way of working based on the ISM method
• Employees of an IT management organization that uses or is going to use the ISM method.

Learning objectives

After following the course, the participant has high-level insight in:
• the meaning of IT service management in general terms in the context of the business processes and information provision
• the characteristics and structure of an IT service
• the business resources People, Process, and Product, and how these are integrated during the management of the service delivery
• the relationships between processes, procedures and work instructions
• the relationships between processes and organizational functions
• process-based approaches versus line- and project-based approaches
• the various roles and tasks for process management and delivery
• the ISM process model and the six core processes
• the ISM principles and premises
• the application of the ISM method in practice
• how an IT management organization’s way of working can be continuously improved, and the contribution that employees can make.

ISM Foundation is not limited to the usual knowledge learning objectives, but offers in particular, insight into practices that can be applied directly.

Content

The content of the training is exclusively determined by the content of the standard ISM method:
• acquiring knowledge and insight regarding IT service management
• learning to abstract and nuance management issues
• using a process model in the context of management issues
• acquiring insight in the application of the business resources People, Process and Product
• learning how to position the influence of situational factors in the context of management (e.g. in a situation with outsourcing)
• learning to improve by using a methodical approach based on ISM.

Teaching methods

The following teaching methods are applied in the ISM Foundation training:
• transfer of theory
• discussion based on practical examples and exercises
• reflection on the student’s own situation at work
• reflection on the student’s own contribution to the service provision.

Assessment and certification

The ISM Foundation training is assessed by following an individual exam comprising 40 multiple-choice questions. Servitect manages the exam question database. Examinees are allowed a maximum of 60 minutes to answer the questions. The exam is conducted by Servitect.
Examinees who have passed the ISM Foundation exam receive the ISM Foundation certificate, are added (anonymously if required) to the ISM Register, and are granted access to the LinkedIn group “ISM Certified”.
A pass is achieved by answering at least 26 of the 40 questions correctly. Objections against an exam result can be made to Servitect.
There is free access to the exam, but an ISM Foundation training is highly recommended.

exam requirements

The following topics are taught in the ISM Foundation training. The trainer may deviate from the sequence.

BlockContent
Intro-ductionIntroduction to the training

Goal: acquaintance with the students, explanation of the structure of the training, and documentation of expectations.

 

Students share their background. The trainer discusses this and asks about the way of working.

The trainer notes the students’ expectations.

 

Recommended duration of this block: 0.5 hours

Block 1Block 1 – Introduction to IT service management

Goal: acquiring insight in the meaning of IT service management in general terms, in the context of the business processes and the information provisioning.

 

This is about the question: “What is IT service management?”

The student should (be able to):

1.   distinguish between customers and suppliers in the information provision:

i.    know the differences between primary and secondary tasks

ii.   explain the separation of duties between Demand and Supply

iii.  explain the 3×3 matrix (SAME) at a high level

2.   explain the position of the task area IT service management with respect to Information Management, Technical Management, Application Management, HRM, Facility Management, etc.

3.   have insight into the various relationships between customer and supplier:

i.    recognize the relative stages of maturity of an organization

4.   have insight into the nature of service delivery:

i.    know what a service is

ii.   know what a service comprises (structure, components)

iii.  recognize the difference between goods and services

iv. know the most important characteristics of services (functionality, availability, speed, capacity)

 

Recommended duration of this block: 1.5 hours

Block 2Block 2 – Process-based approach

Goal: acquiring insight in the processes in the task area IT management and the coherence of these processes with respect to the other business resources.

 

This is about the question: “What is a process-based approach?”.

The student should (be able to):

a)   know the various business resources (PPP)

b)   have insight into the relationships between the business resources:

i)     describe the interfaces in the ISM relationship model (high level)

ii)   have insight into the chain in which IT management operates

c)    have insight into the demonstrability of performance (reporting, trends)

d)   know what a process is:

i)     name the components of processes: triggers, input, throughput, output, control, outcome (ITOCO)

e)   know the various levels of execution of work:

i)     explain the terms process, procedure, work instruction

f)    know which processes we distinguish between in IT management:

i)     name the six pure core processes at only tactical and operational levels

ii)   explain the coherence between the processes

g)   name a number of core functions IT management organizations, state why they exist, and explain how they make use of the six core processes and the products:

i.    Helpdesk

ii.   Service Management

iii.  Security Management

iv. Capacity Management

v.   Continuity Management

vi. Application Management

vii.      Technical Management

h)   name a number of core products in an IT management organization:

i)     ITSM tools, reporting tools, BPM tools, templates, forms, portal, standards

 

Recommended duration of this block: 3 hours

Block 3Block 3 – The way an IT management organization works and how it is managed

Goal: acquisition of insight in process-based approaches and the processes that occur in an IT management organization.

 

This is about the question: “How to organize the way of working in, and management of, IT management organizations?”

The student should (be able to):

1.   have insight into process-based approaches versus line- and project-based approaches:

i.    know the difference between process management roles and line roles / process execution roles, and explain the matrix

ii.   have insight into the various positions in the PMM-diagram

iii.  know which role projects can play in IT management processes

iv. know how escalations between processes and line can manifest themselves

2.   have insight into the approach of an organization that follows ISM, and the related important ISM principles:

i.    have insight into how procedures emerge from processes

ii.   have insight into how work instructions follow the process flows

iii.  describe the terms organization, employee, function, and role coherently

iv. have insight into the terms Tasks, Authority and Responsibility, and how they can be used

v.   have insight into how ISM provides a secured approach

 

Recommended duration of this block: 2 hours

Block 4Block 4 – The six core processes of an IT management organization

Goal: insight in how the six core processes manifest themselves in an IT management organization.

 

This is about the question: “Which processes manifest themselves in an IT management organization?”.

The student should (be able to):

1.   know and explain the following components in the SLM process:

i.    the SLM process

ii.   control

iii.  service

iv. requirements

v.   contract/agreement

vi. SLA

vii.      OLA

viii.    UC

ix. service catalog

x.   service portfolio

xi. availability

xii.      uptime

xiii.    roles

xiv.    service reports

xv.     FD/TD

xvi.    capacity

xvii.   security

xviii. speed

xix.    continuity

xx.     costs/charging

xxi.    KPI

2.   know and explain the following components in the OPS process:

i.    the OPS process

ii.   control

iii.  service request

iv. plans (day plan, week plan, calendar/window)

v.   monitoring

vi. event

vii.      threshold

viii.    alert

ix. KPI

3.   know and explain the following components in the INC process:

i.    the INC process

ii.   control

iii.  helpdesk

iv. categorization

v.   prioritization

vi. routing

vii.      1st/2nd/3rd line

viii.    solution team

ix. call management

x.   workaround

xi. escalation

xii.      impact

xiii.    urgency

xiv.    priority

xv.     metrics

xvi.    knowledge management

xvii.   KPI

4.   know and explain the following components in the CHM process:

i.    the CHM process

ii.   control

iii.  scope

iv. RFC

v.   CAB

vi. development

vii.      test

viii.    implementation

ix. plan

x.   support

xi. standard change

xii.      milestones

xiii.    change calendar

xiv.    version control

xv.     releases

xvi.    impact

xvii.   urgency

xviii. priority

xix.    back-out

xx.     KPI

5.   know and explain the following components in the COM process:

i.    the COM process

ii.   control

iii.  scope

iv. CI

v.   attribute

vi. CMDB

vii.      verification

viii.    delta list

ix. audits

x.   assurance

xi. KPI

xii.      baseline

6.   know and explain the following components in the QM process:

i.    the QM process

ii.   control

iii.  risk

iv. risk inventory plan

v.   risk scan

vi. improvement

vii.      PDCA

viii.    risk database

ix. impact

x.   urgency

xi. priority

xii.      known error

xiii.   KPI

 

Recommended duration of this block: 4.5 hours

Block 5Block 5 – Characteristics of a way of working based on ISM

Goal: insight in the application of ISM in an IT management organization and how using it – also by the student – can achieve continuous improvement of the service provision.

 

This is about the question: “How does an IT management organization work?”.

The student should (be able to):

1.   have high-level insight into the ISM method’s approach (know the phases, and relevant activities per phase)

2.   know how to secure the approach:

i.    how the People factor is published (with TAR, roles, functions, hierarchy, RACI)

ii.   how the Process factor is documented (process model, processes, steps, activities, coherence)

iii.  how the Product factor is filled (tools, templates) according to the process model

3.   know how the ISM portal enables full disclosure of management tools

4.   have insight into how management executes integration and process management:

i.    have insight into the structure and working of process improvement plans

ii.   have insight into how all three business resources (PPP) are continuously managed

5.   have insight into the influence and effect of culture

i.    ABC

6.   have insight into stepwise improvement according to ISM, and their own role in the improvement

i.    PDCA cycle

7.   know which support resources are available in the ISM method:

i.    know what literature is available about the ISM method

ii.   know the address of the ISM website

iii.  know what can be found in the ISM community and how to access it

iv. know what ISM training is available

v.   know what ISM meetings are available

vi. know what support the Back-office offers and how to reach it

 

Recommended duration of this block: 1 hours

Block 6Block 6 – Evaluation

Goal: Summary and evaluation of the training.

 

The training is discussed in the evaluation:

1.   have the expectations that were formulated at the start of the training, been fulfilled?

2.   what could be improved for future training?

 

The on-line evaluation is announced by providing the URL for the evaluation.

 

Recommended duration of this block: 0.5 hours

 

Sources

The ISM Foundation training makes use of the following sources:
• The book “The ISM Method. Past, Present and Future of IT Service Management”, version 3. Authors: W. Hoving & J. van Bon. Uitgever: Inform-IT, 2011. ISBN 978 011 708106 2.
• A hand-out provided by the trainer.

Each student should be in possession of the book at the start of the training.

note

ISM (Integrated Service Management)® is a registered trade mark of Servitect.