The 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4: Progress iteratively with feedback

2 min read
05-May-2020 15:00:00


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 Progress iteratively with feedback:

Progress iteratively with feedback

You can’t do everything at once—or to use the cliché, you shouldn’t try to “boil the ocean”. Trying to tackle too many things at once is a recipe for staff burnout. Aim to deliver small chunks of value early; have the customer validate what you are doing to make sure you really are heading in the right direction; build on what you have done based on what you have learned from the customer.

Proficient young male employee with eyeglasses and checkered shirt, explaining a business analysis displayed on the monitor of a desktop PC to his female colleague, in the interior of a modern office-1

The Progress iteratively with feedback principle integrates agile principles into ITIL 4. The idea of making progress in small steps and validating each with the customer comes from the agile development philosophy. Where the waterfall process model uses a single monolithic cycle, an agile approach involves short, timeboxed iterations, framed by engagement with the customer to validate the value created.

In an age where innovation happens quickly, the customer’s view of value can change quickly. The Agile Manifesto recommends “Responding to change over following a plan”. An iterative approach will enable you to respond to changes in the perception of value; but a rigid waterfall approach “locks-in” the definition of value at the start—and any shifts are usually discovered when it is already too late.







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