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ITIL 4 Strategist - Direct, Plan & Improve

This 3-day course explores and explains principles, methods, and techniques that can be universally used to direct, plan, and improve. Thorough planning creates a shared understanding of how work will be organized and managed, allowing contributors to understand their roles and to coordinate and collaborate efficiently and effectively. Identifying and acting upon improvement opportunities ensures that the organization grows and remains successful and competitive over time. The course therefore focuses on activities in and around Plan and Improve.

The target audience for this qualification is:

  • individuals continuing of their journey in service management
  • ITSM managers and aspiring ITSM managers
  • managers of all levels involved in shaping direction and strategy or developing a continually improving team
  • existing ITIL qualification holders wishing to develop their knowledge


Select specific date to see price, venue and full details.

Learning Objectives

The purpose of the ITIL 4 Direct Plan and Improve Qualification is:

  • to provide the candidate with the practical skills necessary to create a ‘learning and improving’ IT organization, with a strong and effective strategic direction.
  • to provide practitioners with a practical and strategic method for planning and delivering continual improvement with the necessary agility.

The purpose of the ITIL 4 Direct Plan and Improve Examination is:

  • to assess whether the candidate can demonstrate sufficient understanding and application of the concepts covered in the ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve publication to establish a learning and improving IT organization. The ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve qualification is one of the pre-requisites for the designation of ITIL 4 Managing Professional which assesses the candidate’s practical and technical knowledge about how to run successful IT-enabled services, teams and workflows. It is also a pre-requisite for the designation of ITIL 4 Strategic Leader, which assesses the candidate’s ability to build and implement an effective IT and digital strategy that can tackle digital disruption and drive success.


Candidates must have passed the ITIL4 Foundation examination to attend this course.

Course Content

Understand the Key Concepts of Direct, Plan & Improve

  • Understand the following key terms:
    • Direction
    • Planning
    • Improvement
    • Operating Model
    • Methods
    • Risks
    • Scope of control
  • Understand the differences between the following key concepts:
    • Vision and Mission
    • Strategy, Tactics and Operations
    • Governance, compliance and management
    • Policies, Controls and Guidelines
  • Understand the concepts of Value, Outcomes, Costs & Risks and their relationships to direction, planning & improvement

Understand the scope of what is to be directed and/or planned, and know how to use key principles and methods of direction and planning in that context

  • Identify the scope of control and within this:
    • Know how to cascade goals and requirements
    • Know how to define effective policies, controls and guidelines
    • Know how to place decision-making authority at the correct level

Understand the role of GRC and know how to integrate the principles and methods into the service value system

  • Understand the role of risk and risk management in DPI
  • Understand how governance impacts DPI
  • Know how to ensure that controls are sufficient, but not excessive

Understand and know how to use the key principles and methods of continual improvement for all types of improvements

  • Know how to use the ITIL continual improvement model to improve the service value system or any part of the SVS
  • Know how to identify assessment objectives, outputs, requirements and criteria
  • Know how to select an appropriate assessment method for a particular situation
  • Know how to define and prioritize desired outcomes of an improvement
  • Know how to build, justify and advocate for a business case
  • Know how to conduct:
    • improvement reviews
    • analysis of lessons learned
  • Know how to embed continual improvement at all levels of the SVS.

Understand and know how to use the key principles and methods of Communication and Organizational Change Management to direction, planning and improvement

  • Understand the nature, scope and potential benefits of organizational change management
  • Know how to use the key principles and methods of Communication & OCM:
    • Identify and manage different types of stakeholders
    • Effectively communicate with and influence others
    • Establish effective feedback channels
  • Know how to establish effective interfaces across the value chain

Understand and know how to use the key principles and methods of measurement and reporting in direction, planning and improvement

  • Know how to define indicators and metrics to support objectives

Understand and know how to direct, plan and improve value streams and practices

  • Understand the differences between value streams and practices and how those differences impact direction, planning and improvement
  • Know how to select and use the appropriate methods and techniques to direct, plan and improve value streams and practices.
    • Addressing the 4 dimensions
    • Applying the guiding principles
    • Value stream mapping
    • Optimization of workflow
    • Elimination of waste
    • Ensuring & utilizing feedback

Exams & Certification

  • 90 minutes closed book exam
  • 40 multiple choice questions (each one being worth 1 mark)
  • Pass mark 28 out of 40 or 70%

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