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What are the seven guiding principles of ITIL® 4?

The ITIL® 4 guiding principles serve as a set of recommendations and best practice to help support organisation through their IT service management (ITSM) processes. But what are these guiding principles, and how can applying them successfully benefit organisations.

The seven guiding principles

Focus on value

Value co-creation should be the driving force behind all decisions and activities in the service management lifecycle. To do this it is key that ITSM teams understand what value means for customers, and other stakeholders, and therefore what their expectations are for the product or service.

Start where you are

The first step in any ITSM timeline should be to consider where you are now. Observe your current situation and conclude what needs changing and which elements can remain as they are. Building from this point will help to save time and avoid wasted effort.

Progress iteratively with feedback

Organise work into small, manageable sections, once one stage has been completed the processes and results should be reviewed to identify any issues or opportunities for improvement before then moving onto the next iteration.

Collaborate and promote visibility

Collaboration shouldn’t just occur between the internal ITSM team, you also need to consider stakeholders, users, customers, vendors, and anyone else that may be related to the service. Being transparent is key, the complete team should be on the same page, they should understand what their responsibilities are and how their role contributes to the wider work effort.

Think and work holistically

In successful IT service management, everything is connected. It is important to consider how your work will impact other departments in your organisation, and whether your processes are aligned with business objectives.

Keep it simple and practical

Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep your processes as simple and clear as possible to avoid unnecessary confusion and challenges.

Optimise and automate

Constantly look for ways to improve and optimise your processes to ensure all resources are used to their maximum potential. Consider where automation can be used to increase efficiency. Don’t use automation for the sake of it though, only do so when it will add value.

What are the benefits of effectively applying the guiding principles?

Utilising the seven guiding principles of ITIL 4 has many benefits for an ITSM team, including:

  • Helping to achieve value co-creation
  • Improving efficiency and effectiveness
  • Building better collaboration with other teams and departments
  • Ensuring IT services aligned with wider business objectives
  • Creating a tailorable, flexible approach to ITSM
  • Leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction
  • And more!

Want to learn more about the guiding principles and other elements of the ITIL 4 syllabus? Check out our e-learning and virtual training options.