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  • continual improvement at all levels

ITIL 4 the Guiding Principles

The guiding principles defined here embody the core message of ITIL and of service management in general. Applicable to practically any initiative, guiding principles encourage and support organizations in continual improvement at all levels.

 ITIL 4 guiding principles

The Guiding Principles 

Focus on Value:

Only do things that create value for the consumer and/or service provider. If what you’re doing creates no value, don’t do it.

Start where you are:

It’s all too easy to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. That’s human nature. Instead, pluck out the good bits in existing processes and practices and use them. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Progress iteratively with feedback:

Keep the broader picture in mind, but don’t get bogged-down by it. ‘Zoom in’ and focus on each step irrespective of the overarching size of the end-to-end task. Get feedback after each iterative step. Modify if needed!

Collaborate and promote visibility:

AKA the importance of teamwork! Get stakeholder buy-in, agree desired outcomes, collaborate openly, trust each other, avoid hidden agendas and share information whether it is negative or positive. 

Arguably the hardest principle to master…

Think and work holistically:

All constituent parts* of a service should contribute to the successful desired outcomes. The end-to-end service should be the primary concern, including how the constituent parts all contribute to it.  Value is provided when these are all integrated and managed effectively. *What am I talking about? The four dimensions of service management.

Keep it simple and practical:

The simplest, most efficient method to achieve the desired outcome will likely be the best method. Reduce all activities to the fewest possible steps. If the activity does not provide any value – discard it.

Optimise and automate:

Use resources effectively. Leverage technology where you can, and where it is appropriate – using people where people are best used. 


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