Top 10 Books to Read for the ITIL Foundation Certification

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Posted on Friday, 28th October, 2016 - 14:06

An ITIL Service Management Foundation Certification is a globally accredited qualification. It’s designed for those looking to embark on a career in IT service management, advance to a project management position, or consolidate pre-existing knowledge. Participants are assessed on their knowledge of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in the form of a closed book exam containing 40 multiple choice questions. A score of 65% or better is required to pass the exam. Here are ten books to get you on a fantastic start to a great learning experience with one of the world’s most widely-practised IT service management methodologies.

1. ITIL Lifecycle Suite by Great Britain Cabinet Office

The ITIL Lifecycle Suite contains five publications representing each stage in the “lifecycle” approach to ITIL: ITIL Service Strategy, ITIL Service Design, ITIL Service Transition, ITIL Service Operation and ITIL Continual Service Improvement. The interdependent nature of each stage has aided the 2011 edition of ITIL Lifecycle Suite. For depth of knowledge, this text is one of the best. The revised edition aids flow between the separate texts, which is a great improvement. According to reviews, it also corrects inconsistencies in the first edition of the ITIL Core books.
The set of five books can be purchased for a total of $399.00 on Amazon, saving considerable amounts rather than purchasing each publication separately.

2. Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam (Best Management Practice) – Second Edition

by Christian F. Nissen and the Great Britain Cabinet Office
Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam fills two main spaces in the official ITIL books. The first is the retention of knowledge. The content is presented to aid learner absorption in a variety of ways; anecdotal examples, checklists and mind-maps are included to succinctly summarize the core components of the text. Secondly, the book focuses a substantial amount on transferring ITIL knowledge to best practice in the workplace, with multiple “real world” scenarios and case-studies. The book includes 73 original questions with their answers explained thoroughly.

The book can be purchased via the Best Practice Bookstore here for $50.00.

3. ITIL® Foundation Complete Certification Kit
Study Book and eLearning Program – Fourth Edition
by Ivanka Menken

The ITIL® Foundation Complete Certification Kit is, to quote numerous of ITIL® certified clients, “the Gold Standard of ITIL® Certification.” The text briefly outlines the ITSM methodology before introducing ITIL. It then presents examples inspired by the day-to-day implementation of ITIL. For those already studying for the certification, the book is structured so that readers choose their own starting point. It also caters to a variety of learning styles with several multi-media resources. A particularly great selling point is the use of Adobe Flash presentations, facilitated by certified ITIL trainers with no limit on replays.

It is available here as an e-book.

4. Foundations of IT Service Management with ITIL 2011:

ITIL Foundations Course in a Book by Brady Orand
This book uses a fictitious Italian restaurant as a single analogical narrative. The application of knowledge to real-world practical situations is pursued to considerable depths. Foundations of IT Service Management also includes audio “learn while you drive” reviews. They’re ideal for commuting professionals. However, critics of this book have pointed out a lack of definitive reasons why answers to the sample questions are correct. Readers are instead referred to the author’s website. Your purchase will also enable access to online study resources. So, if you’re looking for one single resource to help you pass the ITIL exam, this book may not be for you.

This book is available here on Amazon for $30.00.

5. ITIL® 2011 Edition – A Pocket Guide (Best Practice Series)
by Jan van Bon and Van Haren Publishing

This book is the result of contributions from members of the internationally recognised IT Service Management Forum, all guided by the question: “Is the content a correct reflection of the core content of ITIL, given the limited size of a pocket guide?” A particular selling point is how it manages to overview the entire ITIL framework in just 200 pages. Reviewers find it a lot easier to read than some of the more dense textbooks. This also means that it could be framed as a “refresher” as opposed to a fully-comprehensive guide. It definitely suits individuals who don’t have the time or the predilection for long-term intense study.

This book can be purchased on Amazon as a paperback for $20.00, with the Kindle edition at $14.20.

6. Introduction to the ITIL® Service Lifecycle by Anthony T. Orr and Great Britain Cabinet Office

Published on behalf of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), Introduction to the ITIL® Service Lifecycle markets itself as “the only government approved introduction.” This book is an introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the core concepts of ITIL, defining several key terms such as “service”. The book also avoids too much technical jargon. The writing is concise and at times borders on informal. A particular highlight is the final chapter “ITIL Service Management Model.” This chapter includes a large amount of diagrams that don’t feel overtly complex, in spite of the considerable amount of information they display. A great self-proclaimed introduction for beginners to ITIL.

This book is available here both as a paperback for $42.00 and as an Adobe eBook for $53.00.

7. ITIL Foundation Exam Study Guide by Liz Gallacher and Helen Morris

This book is written by two individuals renowned for their IT Service Management expertise. Both authors hold the ITIL Manager and ITIL Expert Certifications; Liz Gallacher was also a member of the ISEB Managers Certificate Examiners Panel. This really is an indispensable guide to passing your Foundation certificate. The introduction includes a definitive list of the ITIL Foundation Exam objectives alongside a direction to a corresponding chapter in the text. Chapters also include questions at the end to consolidate your knowledge as you go. Although the professional experience of the authors is unequivocal, the book’s content, over 400 pages long, has been criticized for being wordy and at times repetitive.

This book can be purchased on Amazon as a paperback for $25.00, with the Kindle edition retailing at $20.00.

8. Insider’s Guide to the ITIL Foundation Exam: Pass the Exam on Your First Try! – Kindle Edition by George Parker

As an unofficial insider’s guide to the ITIL Foundation Exam, participants may have reservations about reading a guide not reviewed or endorsed by AXELOS. However, the fact that its content is gleaned from exam participants is a refreshing perspective. The book, available on Kindle, also includes helpful visual cues for content deemed “critical” for passing the Foundation exam. At only 44 pages long, the content of the book is restricted to helping people pass the Foundation Exam. For those who are looking for a concise, accessible revision aid, this book is ideal. However, the downside of this “bare bones” format is the lack of context or real-world scenarios.

9. IT Service Management Foundation Practice Questions: For ITIL Foundation Exam Candidates by Steve Mann, Tony Gannon and Nigel Mear

The questions formulated in this text are the result of the authors’ combined 80 years of experience in IT Service Management. Steve Mann has also served as chair of the ISEB ITIL Foundation Question Examination Board. Structured around the service lifecycle methodology for “ease of use”, the emphasis is on passing the ITIL Foundation Exam. It’s not a comprehensive overview of ITIL. Part of the introduction is dedicated to dissecting the anatomy of a multiple-choice question as well as different types of multiple-choice questions. Reviewers have also commented that the sample questions are actually more difficult than the examination questions. For examination guidance this book succeeds, but users will probably need to read this book in tandem with other publications.

This book can be purchased on Amazon for $360.00.
10. ITIL Exam Prep Questions, Answers, & Explanations:
800+ ITIL Foundation Questions with Detailed Solutions by Christopher Scordo

Christopher Scordo’s ITIL exam-preparation content was the first to be endorsed by the Association of Project Management (APM), the official accreditor of ITIL. For sheer volume this book’s content really does give you your money’s worth. It contains 800+ questions accompanied by 15 mock exams modelled after the ITIL Foundation Certificate. Scordo is clearly very knowledgeable about the subject matter, with reviewers having praised the accuracy of the sample questions upon completion of the Foundation exam. However, readers working through the ITIL core texts alongside these exam questions may struggle, as there is a notable lack of citation or referencing to other publications.

This book can be purchased here on Amazon.
Paperback editions cost $50.00, with the Kindle edition costing $25.00.