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ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles are suggestions that an organization follows no matter what its goals, strategies, types of work, or management structure are doing at the time.

The Guiding principles apply to everyone and last over time.

Focus on value

Everything the organization does need to directly or indirectly help the stakeholders. The focus on the value principle considers many things, like how customers and users feel.

Start where you are

Don’t start from scratch and build something new without thinking about what you can use instead. There is probably a lot that can be done with the services, processes, programs, projects, and people already in place. It should be looked into and watched directly to understand the current state fully.

Progress iteratively with feedback

Don’t try to do everything at the same time. Even the most significant projects must be done in steps. By breaking up work into smaller, more manageable pieces that can be done and finished on time, it is easier to keep your mind on each task.
Actions will be focused and right by getting feedback before, during, and after each iteration, even if the situation changes.

Collaborate and promote visibility

When people work together across boundaries, the results have more buy-in, are more relevant to the goals, and are more likely to succeed in the long run. However, it would be best to have knowledge, understanding, and trust to reach your goals. Therefore, work and results should be made clear, secret plans should be avoided, and as much information as possible should be shared.

Think and work holistically

No service or part of a service can be used on its own. The service provider and the people who use the service will get worse results if the organization doesn’t work on the service as a whole and not just on its parts.
Results are given to both internal and external customers through the effective and efficient management and dynamic integration of information, technology, organization, people, practices, partners, and agreements, which should all be coordinated to provide a defined value.

Could you keep it practical and straightforward?.

If a process, service, action, or metric doesn’t add value or lead to something useful, get rid of it. In a process or procedure, use the fewest steps possible to get the job done (s). Always think about results to come up with practical solutions that work.

Optimize and automate

All kinds of resources, especially HR, should be used to their fullest potential. Get rid of anything that is a waste of time and money, and use technology to do what it can do. Humans shouldn’t get involved in things unless it helps.

Guiding principles in practice

These guiding principles underpin ITIL and service management in general. They assist individuals of all sorts and levels in making wise judgments. They may help firms adopt a service management strategy and adapt ITIL recommendations to their requirements and scenarios. The guiding principles inspire companies to improve on all levels.

These guiding principles are also present in many other frameworks, methods, standards, philosophies, and bodies of knowledge, such as Lean, Agile, DevOps, and COBIT. This makes it possible for organizations to use multiple methods that work well with their overall approach to service management.
The guiding principles can be used for almost any project or relationship with a stakeholder group.


Applying the Guiding principles

  • To successfully apply this principle, keep the following in mind: Know how people use each service. Know what they want to happen, how each service helps them get there, and how the service users see the service provider. 
  • Don’t just ask for feedback on value at the start of service relationship; do it often.
  • Encourage all staff to think about value. Teach staff to know who their customers are and what CX means.
  • Pay attention to value during normal operations and when trying to make things better. 
  • The customer’s value comes from the whole organization, so everyone in the organization needs to make the most of the value they create. People who work on exciting projects and new things should not be the only ones who make value.
  • Focus on value at every step of any project to make things better.
  • Everyone who is a part of a project to make things better needs to know what results in the project is trying to bring about, how its value will be measured, and how they should be helping to co-create that value.


  • When trying to get rid of old, ineffective methods or services and replace them with something better, it can be tempting to throw out everything that has been done before and start from scratch. But, unfortunately, this is not often necessary or a good idea.
  • This method can be very wasteful, not only in terms of time but also in terms of the services, processes, people, and tools already in place but could be very useful in the improvement effort but is thrown away. Don’t start over until you’ve thought about what you already have that you can use.
  • Don’t give in to the urge to do everything at once. Even the most significant projects must be done in steps. 
    By breaking up the work into smaller, more manageable pieces that can be done and finished on time, it will be easier to stay focused on each task.
  • Don’t give in to the urge to do everything all at once. Even the most significant projects have to be done in steps. By dividing the work into smaller, more manageable pieces that can be done and finished on time, it will be easier to stay focused on each task.

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