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ITSM ITIL 4 The 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4: Think and work holistically

The 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4 are the key messages of ITIL. They are designed to guide decisions and actions so the people who are responsible for managing and operating the organization’s service portfolio can benefit from these high-level best practices.

These principles aren’t new. They’re influenced by ideas born in disciplines outside of service management (such as manufacturing and software development) but have now been proven in the service context.

Today we look at Start where you are:

Start where you are

It was American tennis player Arthur Ashe who first said “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”. It was a new expression, but the sentiment was already an old one.

Outside of a start-up, few business opportunities happen in a “greenfield” site; an empty space where there is no pre-existing capability. Most of the time, the challenge is to build something new and better where some capability already exists. It can be tempting to throw everything you have away, start from scratch and aim for something fresh and perfect. But starting from scratch usually means walking backwards from where you are now.

The 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4: Start where you are

You will already have some of the people, skills, knowledge, processes and assets that you need, so think about how you can move forward with what you’ve got. To do this, you need to assess where you are now—using a combination of measurement and direct observation to triangulate the truth about your current capabilities and performance, so you can objectively identify what you can adapt and reuse to get you closer to where you need to be, more quickly.

It is easy to assume that every part of a sub-optimal capability is also sub-optimal, but this is often not the case. Many of the old “components” may be fit-for-purpose in the new context.

So, when you are facing a challenge and wondering where to begin, start where you are—but be aware that you will need to apply organizational change methods to get people to adapt old behaviors. People change is always the trickiest aspect of moving forward.





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