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Obtaining ITIL Certification as the Way to Build a Career as an IT Project Manager

There is a general belief in the world of Information Technology that there is a clear distinction between products and services. As a matter of fact, many people think that the two are absolutely exclusive. However, this is far from the truth. Project management and services within the field of Information Technology are interrelated and can co-exist. Interestingly, the value of a project manager in IT in relation to services can only be enhanced by learning IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is a certification that is designed for IT professionals, including project managers, to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to provide the high-level services in the IT field. Before we look at how significant the ITIL certification is to an IT project manager, it is important to see how project and service complement each other and how ITIL can help a professional to function optimally in both areas.

Difference between Project and Service

A project is a temporary task that has a specific start date and a set deadline with an end date. Without these two well documented parameters in place, a task cannot be referred to as a project. In addition to this, the end result of a project is a unique or special product. On the other hand, service does not have a specific start date or a logical end date. It is meant to be a continuous activity for as long as it is required. There is no special outcome for a service, and there is no product created. Generally, the aim of a service is to sustain a particular norm.

Role of ITIL in Project Management

Before you go ahead to pursue the ITIL certification, it is important to understand how it impacts on project management. Generally speaking, ITIL is a credential for services, which means the IT professionals working in the service field are targeted. However, this is not the case anymore. The business world is interwoven, which means there is not a clear distinction between service and product in the IT industry any longer. Products, which are the end results of projects, require servicing to maintain them. Interestingly, there is rarely a case scenario where services take over a product after the project has ended. In other words, the planning scope for project now goes beyond the development of product to include service as well. After a product has been created from a project, the servicing of such product and the boundaries of the services must be agreed upon at the initiation phase of the project and will run for as long as the product needs services. The implication of this is that projects and services operate hand in hand, and there is no great distinction between the two. No doubt, ITIL is the perfect standard for IT services. The fact is that it is becoming more popular by the day, and many professionals within the service industry are exploring what it offers. Currently, there is a need for project managers to begin to learn the different nuances and leverage ITIL for better results on their various projects.

Significance of ITIL for Project Managers

ITIL explores the process, in which services are to be formulated in terms of transition, aspects of design, administration, and the enhancement that can be recognized and executed. The traditional project management phases focus on initiation, planning, implementation, monitoring, and controlling. All these stages are very similar to the offerings of ITIL. In many cases, the end result of a project will be the initiation point for services, which means that product leads to service. For instance, when a business releases a product for an end user, there are bound to be issues with compatibility and capacity, in addition to other possible issues. In order to provide quality service for the end users after developing the product, the business will have to take over the servicing role and do everything necessary to provide service that leads to customer satisfaction. It would be hard for the organization to take up the servicing role if they had not prepared for it at the product development stage during the project phase. It is crucial to predict the possible service concerns that might come up and device implementable approach to counter these concerns. Thus, having an understanding of ITIL will be of great help to a project manager in taking up this servicing role.

ITIL Certification for Project Managers

The ITIL certificate will help the project managers in all ramifications. Given the position he/she occupies in a project, a comprehensive understanding of the ITIL content will give him the good perspective and skills on how to handle the project. Being the right person to lead the team, project manager with the ITIL certification has been equipped to be a seasoned expert. He or she is capable of managing project from the scratch to a successful completion. One is also equipped with the technical know-how of project progression and the handling of project team. Today, a professional IT project manager with the ITIL credential is like all-in-one manager with high level technical insight and project management abilities. Of course, a specialist with the capability of dealing with any project with insight into different project technicalities is a valuable project manager. In fact, he/she does not have to do everything alone. One can leverage on the knowledge of other specialists for technical and research view to enable him to make the final decision for the progress and success of the project. No doubt, an excellent project manager must know something about everything. He/she must be able to incorporate his/her skills in management and in technical matters before making decisions. With the ITIL certification, the PM is more equipped to generate required data and make decisions for the benefit of other project team members. Therefore, an ITIL certified project manager has a comprehensive knowledge about how to manage project to a successful completion and pick up the servicing phase of the project without breaking a sweat.

Impact of ITIL Certification on a Project Manager’s Career

In the field of IT today, a project manager with the ITIL certificate is a highly valued person in any organization. First of all, the credential gives you career options. You can take up job roles that entail only project management. Besides, you can also consider roles that incorporate both skills. You have a high potential to be considered for a high job role in the service industry due to your knowledge and skills in ITIL. You can take up the job position of a service delivery manager, which is one of the various managerial positions that are available in the IT service industry. Others include data center managers, IT process managers, and account managers. When it comes to salary package, the PM with the ITIL certification can expect to earn very good salaries irrespective of the type of organization.


The ITIL certification is an important credential to consider if you want to become a better project manager. In addition to being a better professional, it also enhances your potentials in the employment scene. Many organizations, especially the IT companies, are using ITIL as the standard for their service delivery.