Call us Today +44 (0)1536 711 999

Marval logo

ITIL 4: Guiding Principles (Simplified)

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 organisations in continual improvement at all levels.


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. 


“ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited.” 

Contact Us View all Articles

Similar Articles

  • The ITIL 4 Service Value Chain (Simplified)

    What is the ITIL 4 Service Value Chain? The central element in the ITIL Service Value System (SVS) is the Service Value Chain (SVC). The SVC is an...

  • ITIL – Now entering the 4th Dimension

    ITIL has always taught us that to achieve our goals, the right outcomes, and the desired benefits, we need to successfully blend together our people,...

  • What's new in ITIL 4?

    ITIL 4 – Some of what I’ve perceived and learnt following the new Foundation course. Last week I had the pleasure of attending an...

  • What is ITIL 4?

    ITIL 4, the latest version of the world’s most popular ITSM framework, is scheduled to be released at the beginning of 2019. The ITIL...


Endless possibilities with Marval...

Whatever your aspirations might be, we have the technology, the expertise and the people to make them happen.

We know you may have some questions...

I would like to opt in to receive marketing communications from Marval via:

  • Request a

    Discover the benefits of implementing MSM software, designed to improve service quality, customer satisfaction and reduce costs

  • Download

    Your central repository of interesting and useful information on IT Service Management

  • Customer
    Case Studies

    See how organisations all over the world use Marval MSM software to address their most critical IT Service Management challenges

  • Contact

    Contact us to discuss your service improvement requirements